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.
CURRENT FOCUS ON POVERTY AND DEVELOPING YOUNG WOMEN
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 fascinating...it'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.
FOCUS ON RESPITE CARE
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.
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
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.
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
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.
Canadian Junior Leagues donated more than 340 boxes of clothing nation-wide to various womens shelters, community organizations and agencies.
"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.
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The Junior League of Hamilton-Burlington, Inc. is a Canadian Registered Charity. (Charitable registration number: 135275931RR0002)
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