Junior League of Monroe Community Projects
The purpose for establishing the Community Endowment Fund was to give the JLM the ability to share its resources with other non-for-profit programs positively impacting our community. In the Spring of 2001, under the leadership of Terri Arthur (JLM President) a proposal to establish the Fund was approved by a vote of the general membership. Using the by-laws as their guide, a joint executive committee composed of leadership for the 2000-2001 and 2001-2002 league years voted in its first Board of Trustees to oversee the Community Endowment Fund. Inaugural members included:
Martha Ryan, JLM President
Lynn Duncan, JLM President-Elect
Debbie Cummins, JLM Treasurer and Trustee Chairman
Betty Jo Harris, JLM Past President
Mary Linda Huggins
Charles Marsala (Marsala Beverage)
Mike Neal (Monroe Chamber of Commerce)
Dawn Sager, JLM Assistant Treasurer and Ex-Officio Secretary
The Fund was started with an opening contribution of $250,000 from the JLM. The Trustees oversaw the growth of the fund for several years before being able to award their first Community Endowment Grant in 2005-2006. Each year the Board of Trustees accept grant applications from community not-for-profits and JLM committees. The number and dollar amount of the grants awarded are determined by the Trustees based on the growth of the Community Endowment Fund. After reviewing applications which meet the criteria as outlined in the by-laws, the Board of Trustees selects two to three applicants to make presentations to the JLM general membership. The membership then votes ultimately deciding the grant recipient(s). The awards are announced at the JLMs annual homecoming meeting—the Spring Dinner—in May.
Education Task Force
The Education Task Force strives to support and promote quality educational experiences in Ouachita Parish. Each year the committee awards $500 mini-grants to area teachers and funds ACT workshops to qualifying high school junior and seniors. Committee members also serve on the Scholars’ Banquet Task Force and play a vital role in honoring top graduates at the annual Ouachita Parish Scholars’ Banquet.
Families Can’t Wait
Through a partnership with Families Helping Families, the Families Can’t Wait Committee provides a hospital-based primary prevention plan for at-risk mothers. Volunteers provide education, support, and referrals for assistance. In addition to training, families receive calendars that outline first year milestones, car seats, and pack-and-play systems.
Tools for Literacy for Children (TLC)
The Tools for Literacy for Children (TLC) Committee focuses on the physical, emotional, and educational needs of elementary-age students at low socio-economic schools. TLC provides uniforms and school supplies for enrolled students, educational programs to promote exercise and healthy eating habits, and parent nights to encourage literacy and the awareness of vital area resources.
The Done-In-A-Day Committee organizes volunteer teams to assist local non-profit organizations with projects. By partnering with other area agencies and organizations, DIAD teams are able to strengthen community relationships and impact our community. Past DIAD projects include partnerships with the Ronald McDonald House, Habitat for Humanity, the Red Cross, Louisiana Purchase Garden and Zoo, and the Cinderella Project.
The provisional project is an opportunity for the provisional class to pick a part of our community that they feel passionate about and decide what they want to do to help. It is a great way to start volunteering for the league. The provisional class will vote on the project, and then develop an action plan of how to accomplish their goals. One class purchased and delivered fans to low-income elderly members of our community. Another class helped family promise collect household items to stock a kitchen and home for a homeless family that was getting a new house. Each project is unique and meaningful to a different group in our community.