Pelham Service Fair 2018

Written by Amy Rios Crochet Artist/SAHM

I don’t know if you have heard of the Junior League or not.  But I grew up with the Junior League in my town.  They did so many wonderful things for the community and I secretly wanted to be a member, those ladies had their hands in everything; though I never knew how to become one.  Then one of my friends posted in a group I am in on Facebook that the Junior League of Pelham was having its invitational meeting for prospective members and to email her so she could put you on the guest list.  I got excited right away.  I really wanted to join, but I was working on my campaign, I was running for Town Clerk.  I had no idea what went into being in Junior League, but I assumed there would be some time commitment involved and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to spread myself that thin.  I googled the Junior League to see what information I could read and I was amazed by what I saw and I instantly wanted to join.  The following is taken directly from the Association of Junior Leagues International website.

OUR MISSION – The Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc. (AJLI) is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable.

OUR VISION – The Junior League: Women Around the World as Catalysts for Lasting Community Change.

OUR COMMITMENT TO DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION – The Junior League welcomes all women who value our Mission. We are committed to inclusive environments of diverse individuals, organizations and communities.

OUR PURPOSE – The purpose of The Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc. is to add value to its member Leagues in their fulfillment of The Junior League Mission.

So I went to the invitational meeting and I instantly liked what I was hearing.  Apparently every year, each woman gets a different role on a different project to expand her skills.  She is given as much help as she needs from the women that have done it before her and then when she has finished her year, she helps the next woman.

For your first year, you are considered a Provisional and you are part of the Provisional Class (all the women that sign up with you are part of that class).  After your first year you are an Active Member for a minimum of five years.  Then you become a Sustainer.  Once you are in the League, you are in for life.

There was an all day event called Super Sunday in which the Membership Committee talked to us and the President described what they wanted us to work on for our Provisional Class Project.  I had no idea that Martin Luther King Day was actually a day of service and was a day on and not a day off.  Apparently over the past few years there had been some people asking in our community Facebook group what local volunteer opportunities there were and what people could do for the day.  The Junior League of Pelham wanted to do something in honor of Martin Luther King Day and were leaving it up to us to determine what it would be.  We were told that there had to be two co-chairs, a treasurer and a public relations team.  I volunteered to be on the PR team because I was doing PR for the campaign so I figured I would just build off what I was already doing.  Ironically, the woman I was running with also joined the League with me and decided to be Treasurer – apparently both of us like to be busy.  We were then split up into three groups and were told to brain storm.  By the end of the day we had started to have a good idea of what we wanted to do and the committee seemed really receptive of our idea.   We split our class up into five different subcommittees and we planned on meeting in a few days.  After that we were off to the races.

What was our idea?  – The Pelham Service Fair

It will be like a job fair or a college fair but for local volunteer opportunities.  We have contacted a number of  local organizations and they will set up tables and have specific volunteer opportunities for our guests.  Guests are encouraged to commit to the number of community service hours for the coming year that they feel comfortable with.  COME.CONNECT.COMMIT is our slogan.  The high school students have to do a certain amount of hours of community service to graduate and the school has a list of organizations that the students can work with.  We are hoping that this becomes an annual tradition in our town.  This is the press release that will be in the papers next week.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day – Pelham Service Fair: Come. Commit. Connect.

Monday January 15, 2018 the Junior League of Pelham will hold the first ever Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Pelham Service Fair. The goal is to promote civic engagement, volunteer service and ongoing citizen action.

Come: The Pelham Art Center, 155 Fifth Avenue, Pelham, NY 10803 on Monday January 15, 2018

Connect: Learn more about local non-profit organizations and the work they do to benefit our community.

Commit:  Individually or as a family, you will have the opportunity to sign up for a specific project or service hours for the upcoming year.

Volunteering has a positive impact on the community and it is good for you, the volunteer.  Through volunteering you can learn new skills, make new friends and discover new interests.  President Reagan made Martin Luther King Jr. Day a federal holiday in November 1983. The day was first observed in 1986.  In 1994 Congress passed the King Holiday and Service Act, transforming the holiday into a day of service.  The day has since become “A day on, not a day off”. As Dr. King Jr. once said himself “Life’s most urgent question is, ‘what are you doing for others?’”.

Many members of the community have been looking for ways to volunteer but don’t know where to begin.  Come and find out about the many wonderful charities that do a lot of great work in Westchester.  The event will be a one-stop destination for the whole family.  Attendees are encouraged to sign up with the charity of their choosing and commit to as many service hours as they want for the rest of the year.  Many of the participating organizations are on the list of approved volunteer organizations though Pelham high school.  There will be engaging activities available for children ages three and up as well as food and refreshments.  Please come and help us kick off a year of service!

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If you are in Westchester NY, please stop by and see what you can do for the community.  Community Service is just as good for you as it is for the community.  You can learn new skills, meet new people and have new experiences that you otherwise wouldn’t have had.  We look forward to seeing you.

I would love to hear what your experiences are with the Junior League or about different volunteer experiences you have had.  Please leave me a comment below.



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