From the Junior League of Westchester on the Sound:
For 60 years, the Junior League of Westchester on the Sound (JLWOS) has helped women and children in the Sound Shore area in countless ways. Beyond its community projects and volunteer efforts, JLWOS funds the initiatives of other non-profit organizations through monetary grants. This year, thirty-four applications were received totaling more than $117,000 in grant requests. After close evaluation of all applications, JLWOS awarded $60,000 in grants to twenty organizations throughout the Sound Shore area. Decisions were based on each program’s merit, effectiveness in meeting a documented need, and compatibility with the Junior League’s mission. The full list of awards is as follows:
Boys & Girls Club $2,500 New Rochelle
With the grant, the club will provide the Music Technology Institute program in which children learn to play an instrument, write their own song, and record it. The children will also have the opportunity to attend a live musical performance.
Cancer Support Team $1,000 Sound Shore
Funds will be used to support and increase distribution of Chemo Comfort Kits to Cancer Support Team patients. The kits provide cancer patients with products that help manage nausea, mouth sores, hair loss and the other side effects of chemotherapy.
County Harvest $2,500 Sound Shore
County Harvest rescues excess food from restaurants, caterers, supermarkets, bagel shops, beverage distributors, and private clubs and delivers it to soup kitchens, food pantries and homeless shelters. Grant monies will be used to purchase supplies needed to rescue excess food for donation.
Family Services of $2,500 New Rochelle
Westchester (Sharing Shelf)
The Sharing Shelf aims to fill the gap in efforts to collect and distribute clothing and other items for families in need. This grant will go to help defray costs of moving the location from Rye to New Rochelle as well as purchasing shelving units and supplies for the new warehouse.
Furniture Share House 7,500 Sound Shore
The mission of the Furniture Share House is to collect gently used furniture from the public and redistribute it free of charge to needy families in Westchester. Monies have been awarded to in form of a partial grant to fund the purchase of 30 mattress sets for the ―Mattresses for Moms‖ Program.
John F. Kennedy Magnet School $1,000 Port Chester
Literary magazines can highlight the importance of writing and encourage each child to find his inner author. This grant will cover publication of the JFK literary magazine, The Kennedy Kronicles, and provide every student with a copy.
John F. Kennedy Magnet School $1,395 Port Chester
Funds to support the school’s nutrition garden that provides students with hands-on instruction about the life cycle of plants and vegetables.
Harrison Youth Council $2,500 Harrison
The Harrison Youth Council was founded to provide a broad range of mental health and social services to at-risk children, teens and families. Funds received are being used to assist the Harrison Youth Council in bringing to the community renowned national parenting expert on bullying prevention, Dr. Joel Haber.
Legal Services of Hudson Valley $2,000 Westchester County
The organization provides legal counsel in civil matters to low-income individuals where basic human needs are at stake. Grant monies will be used to assist clients in emergency situations by providing transportation and meal vouchers to victims.
My Sister’s Place $7,500 Westchester County
This grant will fund a county-wide conference called Love Shouldn’t Hurt, which features a large group presentation as well as small break-out groups. Students will have the opportunity to explore aspects of teen dating violence and, alternatively, healthy teen relationships. The conference is expected to be held in the Sound Shore area.
New Rochelle Campership Fund $3,529 New Rochelle
JLWOS funds will pay for over 20 needy children to have a summer camp experience. Children will attend one of the non-profit summer camps serving the New Rochelle community.
New Rochelle YMCA Provisional Project New Rochelle
JLWOS will use our fall provisional class to help refurbish the childcare room in the New Rochelle Family Courthouse.
New Rochelle Youth Bureau $5,000 New Rochelle
Funds will be used to support the Community Tutorial Center that will train thirty high school students as Peer-to-Peer tutors. The center will provide academic assistance to sixty 3rd – 12th graders.
Open Door Family Medical Center $1,000 Port Chester
This grant will allow Open Door to host a series of self-defense classes for 25 Latina women and teen girls in their Port Chester location.
Pace Woman’s Justice Center $2,000 Westchester County
Funds will pay the partial cost of language translation services for domestic violence victims with limited English proficiency.
Pajama Program $5,000 Westchester County
Funding will provide new pajamas and books to more than 300 pre-teen and teenage children in the Sound Shore area.
Port Chester Town of Rye $1,000 Port Chester, Rye
Council of Comm. Services
Funds will support the intergenerational, cross-cultural, oral history project for youths and seniors in the community. This social development program created by Susan Perlstein, founder of ―Elders Share the Arts‖ suggests that the positive bonding to an adult will help reduce the risk of youth being involved in problem behaviors.
Pregnancy Care Center $2,000 New Rochelle
The center reaches out to distressed pregnant woman to support her through her unplanned pregnancy with education, housing, counseling and other services in order to ensure they reach a point of self-sufficiency. The monies granted are to purchase two new four-seat strollers for the Elinor Martin Residence for Mother and Child.
Sound Shore Medical Center $5,000 Sound Shore
This grant will be used to create Girls Night Out, a social support group for women with breast cancer and survivors. The group will meet once a month with the goals being (1) to provide a respite from the daily stresses of breast cancer by providing recreational activities; (2) to provide a social support network for breast cancer survivors; and, (3) to provide current medical information to assist in improving quality of life.
Westchester Children’s Museum $5,076 New Rochelle/Port Chester JLWOS grant will provide equipment and allow the WCM to hire Barbara Allen, an accomplished musician and educator, for a series of drumming workshops for children participating in the Museum Without Walls program at the Port Chester Carver Center and the Boys and Girls Club of New Rochelle.
WestCOP $2,500 New Rochelle
Scholarships for Head Start eligible children for a 9-week summer program to continue the federally funded early childhood program that is not funded through the summer months.
A History of the Junior League and JLWOS
The Junior League is an international organization of women devoted to working together to improve the communities in which they live. The Junior League was originally founded in New York City in 1901 by Mary Harriman to help improve the lives of those living in settlement housing, with the first project at the College Settlement on Rivington Street in today’s Lower East Side of Manhattan. By 1921, Mary’s league was emulated in over thirty locations across the United States, and even went international with the creation of a Junior League in Montreal, Canada. To date, there are 292 Junior League chapters in the United States, Canada, Mexico and the United Kingdom. Today, the Junior League is an organization of professional women working together to continue Mary Harriman’s vision of improving their communities. The Junior League of Westchester on the Sound is proud to share a tradition of working to improve our Sound Shore community with so many other women worldwide.
The earliest beginnings of what is now the Junior League of Westchester on the Sound was formed in 1933, during a time of financial and global crisis in the United States, as a group of women who had moved to the suburbs from New York City, looking for a way to connect to and improve their new suburban community. Their first projects centered on improving area hospitals by sewing layettes and rolled bandages, establishing the Welfare Fund for the community, and creating a library for pediatric heart patients to use. While the League was originally known as the Eastern Westchester Unit of the Junior League of New York, in 1950 when the Junior Service Group of New Rochelle joined with the Eastern Westchester Unit, a Junior League charter was officially granted. This marked the beginning the Junior League of Larchmont, which eventually expanded to also include the Sound Shore Communities of New Rochelle, Mamaroneck, Harrison, Rye, Rye Brook, and Port Chester. With this expansion, the Junior League of Larchmont eventually became the Junior League of Westchester on the Sound. Similar to other Junior Leagues the mission of JLWOS is to “promote volunteerism, develop the potential of women, and improve the Sound Shore communities, through the effective leadership of trained volunteers.”
Currently, the Junior League’s main fundraiser is the Golden Shoestring thrift shop, located on Larchmont Avenue in Larchmont. Through these fundraising efforts, JLWOS is able to donate $30,000 in grants annually, as well as a scholarship to students who demonstrate a natural willingness to volunteer in the Sound Shore Community. This year JLWOS awarded the scholarship to Thomas “Tucker” White, a senior at New Rochelle High School, in the amount of $4,000. Tucker provided more than 1500 hours of community service including restoration work in New Rochelle parks such as Wildcliff Manor, Hudson Park, and Wykagyl Wetlands.
JLWOS President, Dana Diersen Buehrer, has been working on archiving the vast history that the League shares with the sound shore community. Dana said of her experiences with the League during it’s 60th anniversary, and her hard work commemorating our past “It has been a wonderful experience to help our League celebrate it’s rich history through researching our archives and highlighting past projects and community initiatives. Our volunteers have made, and continue to make, a difference!”