The Junior League is an organization of women volunteers who find solutions for some of society's toughest problems. It empowers its members by providing them with both  formal and experiential training.  The tremendous and ongoing community impact created by the members, as a result of the training, makes Junior Leagues unique. Members keep pace with emerging critical needs then develop effective community partnerships to address and improve conditions.  Members become involved as volunteer leaders in various aspects of each community impact project with activities ranging from research, development and problem solving through to fund-raising and implementation.

For more than 75 years, the Junior League of Hamilton-Burlington (JLHB) has been an effective catalyst for creating lasting changes in our community, making an impact in areas such as respite care, women and children, health and well being, social services, the environment and the arts.

Proud of our rich history, the JLHB continues to be committed to improving our community by doing what is intrinsic to our organization - addressing emerging and changing community needs while nurturing and developing the potential of members.

How you can Help the JLHB Button


It's no secret that today our communities face serious challenges that, directly or indirectly, are the result of widespread poverty. To address this critical issue, in 2008, the JLHB adopted a Focus of Poverty that now grounds our volunteer efforts and resources in activities and partnerships across the community, including the collaboration fostered by the Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction.

The root causes of poverty are a lack of housing, warm clothing, education, food security, income security, accessible transportation, social inclusion and safe neighborhoods.

Research also reveals that poverty has a female face that often goes unreported. 

  Women account for about 60 percent of minimum-wage earners.
Women on their own are the poorest of the poor, especially women raising children, in one-parent families, who are almost five times more likely to be poor than those in two-parent families.
Young single mothers are particularly vulnerable, and represent an area of great need in our community.

It's well known that investing in the capabilities of one young woman today is really an investment in the next hundred years.  The JLHB believes that by increasing educational success, through both formal and informal learning, we can help to break the cycle of poverty for the young women whose lives have been affected by poverty, and for many future generations.  Our volunteer resources are now committed to creating opportunities and programs that increase capabilities, by enhancing the life skills of young women affected by poverty.

JLHB Empower Hour

In partnership with Good Shepherd Centres Brennan House, the JLHB recently developed and launched a pilot program we call 'Empower Hour'. Now adopted as an ongoing JLHB program, members are responsible for a series of workshops and activities that engage young women in self discovery and developing basic living skills, together with providing support through coaching and mentoring. 'Empower Hour' is very exciting! It aims to open the doors of success for young women affected by poverty, by building self esteem, increasing confidence and inspiring a desire to succeed.  Our research indicates that improving the capabilities of young women can help to break the cycle of poverty for themselves and for future generations.  Learn more about this exciting program.

JLHB Discretionary Fund

The JLHB Discretionary Fund provides modest financial support to other organizations whose needs and programs align with the Junior League Mission of developing the potential of women, improving the community and promoting voluntarism. Tax-exempt, non-profit, registered charitable organizations, located within the Halton Region or City of Hamilton, are encouraged to apply. Completed applications must be received up to and including March 15 of each year. Funds are disbursed annually in May.  Link to more information

Junior Leagues' Kids in the Kitchen

Annually since 2006, the JLHB has joined over 200 other Junior Leagues in four countries to address the urgent issues surrounding childhood obesity and poor nutrition. Childhood obesity is a global health issue that has grown at an astonishing rate.  One in four Canadian children is overweight. Obese children are more likely to have longer-ranging health problem such as high blood pressure, raised cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, asthma attacks and kidney problems. Overweight and obesity are also associated with poor self-esteem and depression.

Spearheaded by the Association of Junior Leagues International, Kids in the Kitchen is a unique and interactive program designed to empower children to make healthy lifestyle choices. It builds upon a heritage of impact Junior Leagues have had on family nutrition for the past 108 years. The program, which the Junior League of Calgary started as Junior Chefs in 2001, is now being offered  by the JLHB and other independent Junior Leagues in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico.

Kids are more likely to eat meals they have had a hand in preparing. Kids in the Kitchen involves children in the preparation of meals that are tasty and affordable, by making it fun and giving them tasks they can handle. The program also promotes the benefits of family dining.  Recent studies indicate that family dining improves the dietary habits of children.

Proudly,  Janet and Greta Podleski, the co-hosts of the popular Food Network Canada TV series, Eat, Shrink & Be Merry have joined the Canadian Federation of Junior Leagues' national campaign to promote the Kids in the Kitchen program.  The Podleskis are dedicated advocates of healthy living, preparing nutritious and delicious foods and were drawn to the program because of its basic premise, says Greta: That kids belong in the kitchen. "I believe it's important to get kids involved in the kitchen when they're young," she says. "Most kids find cooking fun and's like an edible science project".   Janet adds. "If we don't teach children how to cook, they'll eventually move out of the home without one of life's most important skills: the ability to prepare a healthy meal. That's a shame, because it means they'll be forced to live off the processed, packaged foods and fast foods which are almost always high in salt, bad fats and sugar, including high -fructose corn syrup, which has been linked to childhood obesity and diabetes".   Greta also comments that "Getting kids to appreciate fresh, natural and healthy foods starts in the kitchen!  If we can make cooking and nutrition a fun and tasty topic, then maybe we can inspire children to choose a healthy diet over a diet of fries, chicken fingers and sugary drinks".

Junior Leagues also offer a comprehensive Kids in the Kitchen website with materials that interest both kids and parents. An online recipe collection features kid-friendly, nutritious recipes from celebrities, chefs and athletes, as well as an educational interactive game provided by Cartoon Network. Kids and their parents can also access nutrition and exercise tips and quizzes to test kids on their nutritional knowledge.

More about JLHB Kids in the Kitchen in our local community.

Junior League of Hamilton-Burlington - Kids on the Block Puppet TroupeMaking a difference in our community!
Currently on hiatis however for over 27 years, The Junior League of Hamilton-Burlington "Kids on the Block" puppet troupe have been helping our elementary school children understand and accept differences in people. This form of puppetry is a powerful medium of education that enlightens local children on the issues of disability awareness, medical/educational differences, and social concerns.

Junior League of Hamilton-Burlington - Kids on the Block Puppet TroupeOur Kids on the Block puppeteers present skits to children in a marvelously effective and fun way. The appealing and realistic characters encourage children to ask these puppet characters questions that they may be too intimidated to ask a real person. The skit content and the subsequent dialogue helps children to identify similarities between themselves and the puppet "kids", strengthens positive messages on issues such as bullying, vandalism and smoking, and helps to dispel myths and misconceptions about people with disabilities and differences.

The programs and materials presented are thoroughly researched and developed by Kids on the Block Inc. with the co-operation of national organizations representing specific issues and with the assistance of experts in the field of study.

To learn more about the Kids on the Block program please visit the Kids on the Block Inc. website


The JLHB regularly conducts community research to identify areas of greatest need, then explores partnerships to address these needs. Our research helped to identify "Respite Care" as an area in our community in dire need of help. As a result, the JLHB committed to a focus on respite for their community service work from 2003- 2009, dedicating both volunteer and financial resources to this impact area.

  Respite Care: The temporary transfer of care for a person with disabilities from family and friends to trained professionals and volunteers, thereby giving the care giver a break from stress and responsibility.

Imagine an elderly person with limited means, coping with the challenges that age inflicts and having to care for a grown disabled child.

Imagine a single parent with limited resources, caring day and night for severely handicapped child that needs around the clock care.

Imagine a senior citizen who is dealing with their own health issues, while trying to help their even more challenged partner.

Where are they to take their loved one when they need to get care for themselves? How do they take a much needed break from the constant stress and strain of caring for someone they love that has no way of looking after themselves?

The Junior League of Hamilton-Burlington, Inc. was involved in a very exciting project that has made our community a better place to live for the people with these incredibly difficult challenges.  We are very proud to have participated in the creation of facilities offering support for families and caregivers.

VON-Junior League Overnight Respite Centre

Opportunities were identified for VON and the Junior League to work together to make a difference in the lives of families caring at home.  Both organizations share the vision that families in this community will have access to "Respite care when you need it".  Most people affected by long-term health conditions prefer to stay in the familiar surroundings of their own home, family and friends for as long as possible. The families often provide the much-needed practical assistance and support to help these individuals, however, families need help for themselves in order to provide the appropriate care at home.  Family caregivers need to be able "take a break" from care, so that they can carry on with all of life's other needs and just as life goes on around the clock, the need for respite goes on day and night, seven days a week.

More information about the League's efforts to assist with providing care for caregivers at the VON-Junior League Overnight Respite Centre.

Mark Preece Family House - JLHB 75th Anniversary Initiative

The Junior League of Hamilton-Burlington is a proud supporter of the Mark Preece Family House in Hamilton, scheduled to open in early 2011. Evaluating the unmet critical needs in our community, members of the JLHB recognized the importance of a facility that will assist families of critical care patients in Hamilton area hospitals and have committed significant volunteer and financial resources to support this initiative. The Mark Preece Family House will offer a "home away from home" for families of critical care patients being treated in Hamilton area hospitals.
More about the Mark Preece Family House

Rebuilding New Orleans, October 2006

The Junior League's 'Rebuilding a Better New Orleans' project mobilized approximately 1000 volunteers over the course of nine days.  Together with local volunteers, more than 600 people came from 200 cities across the United States, Canada and United Kingdom.  Fourteen Junior League of Hamilton-Burlington members and several of their family and friends traveled to New Orleans at their own expense to participate in this very rewarding and memorable initiative.


Ronald McDonald House - Home for Dinner Ronald McDonald House - Home for Dinner
Recently, Junior League members were treated to a recreational cooking class at Liaison College of Culinary Arts in Hamilton. The prepared meals were delivered to Ronald McDonald House in Hamilton in support of their "Home for Dinner" program. The Junior League of Hamilton Burlington was instrumental in the creation of Ronald McDonald House in 1993 and has continued to work with the 'Home with a Heart' on several occasions since then.

"To the Junior League of Hamilton-Burlington:

I want to thank you so much for providing our families with all the incredible "take out" meals. We have received many comments not only about how delicious they are but also how they're a perfect lunch to take to the hospital. We're thrilled by how our families have enjoyed our Home for Dinner program. Thanks for being part of it."

Pearl Wolfe
Executive Director
Ronald McDonald House
Hamilton, Ontario

Talbots - Clear out your Closet Clothing Drive Canadian Junior Leagues donated more than 340 boxes of clothing nation-wide to various womens shelters, community organizations and agencies.

CFJL - Canadian Federaion of Junior Leagues "Clear out your Closet" Clothing Drive was a community impact initiative of The Canadian Federation of Junior Leagues (CFJL) in association with specialty retailer Talbots. Through the unique retail partnership with Talbots Canada, the CFJL was able to mainstream this clothing drive at a consumer level as CFJL and Talbots invited Junior League members, friends and customers to drop off their gently used fall and winter clothing at any Talbots store throughout Canada, for this event.

 FRIENDS for Success was a natural choice as the local recipient selected by the Junior League of Hamilton-Burlington for clothing donated through the "Clean Out Your Closet" initiative.  Junior League of Hamilton-Burlington (JLHB) members collected clothing, volunteered their time to work with clients, painted a new location, and financially supported their Phenomenal Women speaker series.

FRIENDS for Success Inc. is a program of the YWCA Hamilton, committed to helping individuals who are experiencing difficult life circumstances. Most of the participants are women. By providing clothing and support necessary for employment success, the program enhances the well-being of families and the community. To date, more than 1,200 individuals have been assisted - from both Halton and Hamilton partner agencies. Over 90 referral agencies send clients to FRIENDS.


JLHB Empower Hour

JLHB Discretionary Fund

Done In A Day

Kids in the Kitchen

Mark Preece Family House

VON - Junior League Overnight Respite Centre

Re-Building New Orleans


A collection of photos from some of the JLHB's Projects.
Rebuilding New Orleans 2006
Rebuilding New Orleans 2006
Preparing food hampers for Grace Haven
Preparing food hampers for Grace Haven
Food Hampers around the tree at Grace Haven
Food Hampers around the tree at Grace Haven
Grace Haven Pre-Launch
Grace Haven Pre-Launch
KOB Puppet Troupe
KOB Puppet Troupe
KOB - New Puppets from Millcroft funds
KOB - New Puppets from Millcroft funds

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