FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jenna Laube firstname.lastname@example.org (937) 831-6045
Junior League of Baltimore Celebrates 105 Years; Transforms Community Impact Model
Legacy voluntarism organization solidifes partnerships for lasting impact
Baltimore, MD (October 31, 2017) – On September 26, 2017, the Junior League of Baltimore (JLB) officially announced formal partnerships with Asylee Women Enterprise, House of Ruth Maryland, and the Women’s Housing Coalition during a special assembly held at JLB headquarters. As new JLB community partners, all three local nonprofit organizations will receive the dedicated support of the JLB’s trained volunteers to provide service as well as personal and professional development programming.
This announcement comes on the heels of the JLB’s recent transition from a project-based to an impact-based community service model, as well as the launch of its new community impact focus – “Women Building Women: helping women and girls unlock their potential through personal and professional development.” Through focusing its efforts on short- and long-term projects with its new community partners, the JLB looks forward to having a maximum impact on women’s lives in Baltimore City.
“I am so proud and honored that [the community partners] have decided to work with the JLB as we continue to work toward improving our community,” said JLB President Ashley Chalmers.
“These are true partners in every sense, and we are so thrilled to work alongside these amazing organizations to leave a lasting, positive change in our city. I cannot imagine a more appropriate way to celebrate 105 years of service in Baltimore.”
JLB looks forward to working with its new community partners to provide Baltimore with a second century of voluntarism through service:
- Asylee Women Enterprise provides transitional housing, education, social services, and companionship to asylum seekers.
- House of Ruth Maryland is a seminal and preeminent leader in the fight to end domestic violence and provides emergency shelter and a variety of victim services, as well as rehabilitation programs for abusers.
- The Women’s Housing Coalition provides safe and affordable housing and support services to homeless low-income women and families in Baltimore City.
For further information regarding the partnerships and rollout and launch of JLB’s impact-based community service model, please reference the accompanying Addendum.
Press Release Addendum
Legacy voluntarism organization solidifes partnerships for lasting impact
Baltimore, MD (October 31, 2017) – On September 26, 2017, the Junior League of Baltimore (JLB) officially announced formal partnerships with three local nonprofit organizations: Asylee
Women Enterprise, House of Ruth Maryland, and the Women’s Housing Coalition. A special assembly was held to celebrate the commencement of the partnerships. The JLB Community Impact Council and leaders from each partner organization presented collaboratively to the membership.
Three years ago, the JLB decided to transition from a project-based community service model to an impact-based community service model. Baltimore was one of 25 Junior Leagues across the United States, Mexico, Canada, and the United Kingdom to undergo a formal Community Impact Transformation Rollout. The mutually determined framework for these partnerships is particularly structured to directly benefit the future of the Baltimore community, the community partners, members of the JLB, and the League itself. The Junior League, in its 105th year, has observed a change in the nonprofit landscape in Baltimore. The overhaul of community efforts will enable the JLB to be strategically positioned to provide Baltimore with a second century of voluntarism through service.
In the first year of the Rollout, JLB researched over 20 possible impact areas. The top six impact areas included Women’s Support and Empowerment; Economic Development and Food Access; Health Resources and Care; Education and Student Mentoring; Family Support Services and Care; and Environmental Action and Education. Members of the Community Impact Council met with community stakeholders and non-profit leaders to match the JLB’s regional scope with member resources and community needs. Member and community surveys were conducted, and over 60 potential partner organizations were reviewed.
The following year, the extensive research was analyzed and evaluated. JLB voted, resulting in its official impact focus: Women Building Women: helping women and girls unlock their potential through personal and professional development. “This particular impact focus area resonated with Junior League members because of its connection to the Mission of the organization to promote voluntarism, develop the potential of women, and improve the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. The theme of women building women enables the JLB to improve Baltimore by capitalizing on the unique skillsets of its membership – a group of highly educated, professional women,” said Ashley Chalmers, JLB President. The JLB reworked their entire infrastructure to align with the new theme by developing committees focusing on voluntarism through service, personal programming, and professional development, created to specifically support the new impact focus. A new five year Strategic Plan was also introduced to align with the focus.
In the third and final year of the community overhaul, JLB identified three organizations with complementary ideals and objectives, with whom long term partnerships would be established. These new relationships have been strategically positioned for the long-term (three to five years) to maximize their impact in Baltimore.
Asylee Women Enterprise (AWE) provides transitional housing and companionship to asylum seekers. Program Director Laura Wagner is one of four staff members for the organization, which is primarily fueled by volunteers and community partners. “One common misconception is that these women need to learn how to be American, but that’s not true. They need to learn how to be in the American context. The more awareness we can build around who’s here, why they’re here, and what they can offer, the better,” Ms. Wagner told League members at the
September 26th event. “This will make Baltimore a genuinely welcoming city.” The JLB has a long history of being champions for diversity and inclusion and will offer AWE participants skill exchange workshops, mentorship, job shadowing, and networking events.
The Women’s Housing Coalition (WHC) is an organization with ten members whose mission is to provide safe and affordable housing and support services to homeless low-income women and families in Baltimore City. Program Director Alexandra Wykowski spoke passionately at the partnership announcement: “Housing is a right. You have to have somewhere to lay your head so you feel safe. We are so excited for you to help us make impact for years to come.” WHC services are tailored to individual situations and specific goals, and the JLB will assist in helping women develop the skills and tools needed for long-term housing stability. Planned impact opportunities include marketing and website support, job skill training, social events, childcare, and the development of a “Ready to Go” program.
House of Ruth Maryland (HRM) is a seminal and preeminent leader in the fight to end domestic violence. They provide emergency shelter and multifarious victim services, as well as rehabilitation for abusers. “We need the public’s help to get this out there, and these partnerships mean so much to us,” said Andrew Primrose, Director of Development. The JLB has a long history of partnering with HRM. The JLB will offer pro bono legal work, seminars, training and support opportunities, and seasonally-themed days of service.
Memorandums of Understanding are in process with each nonprofit organization, and the JLB will imminently begin implementing both short- and long-term projects for maximum community impact.
About the Junior League of Baltimore
The Junior League of Baltimore (JLB) is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. The JLB values the power of voluntarism, the diverse community in which we live, the talents, commitment, and contribution of our members, and our history of community impact and involvement. Since 1912, the JLB and its members have been improving the Baltimore community with service projects and impact- focused voluntarism. For additional information visit www.jlbalt.org. You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.