Junior Service League of Beaufort (JSLB)
December 2021 Issue
Part of Pink's "Making a Difference: 6 Women Who Care" Special Section
Photography by Cassidy Dunn Photography
Junior Service League of Beaufort (JSLB)
Mission: Support and enrich the lives of women, children and families in our community. Together we have a greater impact than we do individually.
Tell us about the Junior Service League of Beaufort. Who benefits from this program?
JSLB is a volunteer organization of women in the Beaufort community. Each member is responsible for completing volunteer service hours with organizations such as the Child Abuse Prevention Association (CAPA), Hopeful Horizons, Habitat for Humanity, etc. In addition to service hours, each member is also placed on a fundraising committee for the year. Other non-profit organizations can apply for funds via our formal grant process. Our fundraising dollars raised throughout the year are granted at our annual Jubilee event each spring. The grant process evaluates each request to ensure the funds support the JSLB mission.
Women, children and families in our community benefit the most form our grant distributions. However, the entire community can benefit from our fundraisers. For example, our Fall Fundraiser, Touch A Truck, is a family event where children of all ages can get up close and personal with many types of “trucks.”
What is your role in the organization, and how did you come to this role?
I’ve been a member of JSLB for the last five years, with my current role being President. Four of my five years have been spent serving on the Board of Directors in various roles: Membership Director, Service Director, President Elect and President.
I was born and raised in Iowa. I found myself calling Beaufort “home” when the Marine Corps stationed my husband at Parris Island in 2016. At the time, I was working remotely for my company in Iowa and joined JSLB in 2017 in hopes to make some friends, while learning more about my new home. At the end of my first year in JSLB, I was asked to be on the Board of Directors and the rest is history! I would have never imagined this would be the path I’d take, not to mention being President of the organization, but looking back I wouldn’t change any of it! JSLB not only allowed me to become connected with my community and make friends, but it also has allowed me to grow as a leader.
What brings you the most joy in being a part of this organization?
The most rewarding aspects of serving with JSLB are the lifelong friendships made with other members, while simultaneously having a profound impact on the community that my family and I now call our permanent home. Furthermore, serving on the Board of Directors allows you to see the full picture of how many lives JSLB is able to touch each year through service and grant distribution. Our mission statement ends with “Together we have a greater impact than we do individually.” This statement summarizes everything JSLB does. We work extremely hard and have to problem solve through many issues (as any business does) but in the end, seeing the impact JSLB has in the community makes it all worth it!
It’s the most wonderful time of the year to feel emotionally warm. Please share the best, most exciting, most joyous success story that has happened because of this organization?
I’m not sure how I can pick just one story! My first year in JSLB, my service assignment was with CAPA, and the night I signed up to volunteer, we decorated gingerbread houses. Three months later, while working at Prom Boutique, which is JSLB’s signature event where High School girls can pick out a prom dress for free, some of the same CAPA children from decorating gingerbread houses arrived at the event. While I was not the member to assist the girls with their dresses, they did recognize me before leaving and wanted to show me the beautiful dresses they picked out. The smiles and excitement on their faces is something I’ll never forget. That moment was extremely touching and eye-opening for me because something I considered simple (decorating gingerbread houses) was meaningful enough to these girls they remembered and recognized me three months later.
Tell us the most important thing people should know about JSLB:
JSLB has something for everyone. We are always looking to grow JSLB with new members and love seeing community members support us by attending our fundraising events. If you are looking to support us financially, sponsorship is a great opportunity. Or if you are another non-profit needing financial assistance and support our mission, we’d love for you to fill out a grant request. All of this information can be found on our website www.jslbeaufort.com.
How can people get involved or join JSLB?
If you like us on Facebook, you’ll be able to see details for our annual recruitment soirée which will happen in the February/March time frame. The soirée will give interested women a chance to speak with current JSLB members and learn more about the organization in detail.
Anything else you want to add?
I think it is important to highlight that JSLB members come from a wide variety of backgrounds. Some of our members are born and raised in Beaufort, others have relocated to Beaufort. We have a wide variety of professional backgrounds and an even wider variety of hobbies. But at the end of the day, we all come together for one common purpose—to give back to this wonderful community we all call home.