The Junior League of Charlottesville (JLC) offers a Community Partner program that consists of local non-profit agencies that have been selected as targeted recipients of the League’s volunteer hours and funds during a sustained, multi-year collaborative interaction. These partnerships are created and cultivated in an effort to maximize the effectiveness of both organizations’ outreach work within the community.
Boys & Girls Club
Beginning in 2014, we have had the honor of working with the Boys & Girls Club Learning Circles Program. In this Community Partners program, League members mentor a group of pre-teen girls 8-12 years old, helping build self-esteem and providing positive female role models. Members also develop and assist with program activities.
In 2017, Girl Scouts of Virginia Skyline (GSVSC) emailed our Community Vice President after conversations with the International Rescue Committee and International Neighbors. They identified a need to support girls in the English Language Learner Program at Greenbrier Elementary. With our mission of empowering women and girls in Charlottesville and the surrounding counties through mentorship, GSVSC thought the JLC would be a suitable partner to lead a grant-funded troop in the Charlottesville area. Since 2017, we have lead Outreach Troop 1495 and, in our first year, served 13 Girl Scout Brownies (2nd and 3rd grade) from Mexican immigrant and Nepalese refugee families.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, a group of our members met biweekly with the troop throughout the school year to share dinner, lead the girls in completing badge activities, and take the girls on periodic badge-focused field trips. This year, in compliance with social distancing recommendations, we have been doing monthly Badge-in-a-Bag drop-offs. At each visit, we briefly check in with each girl at her doorstep and deliver a bag with some healthy snacks and all the supplies needed to complete a Girl Scout badge at home.
Troop 1495 currently serves 18 Juniors, Cadettes, and Seniors (5th to 9th grade). Since its founding, twelve girls have been with the troop and have invited their sisters, cousins, and neighbors to join the troop and increase its impact.
Over the past few years, we have had the opportunity to partner with many other local organizations to help them earn some of their badges. Some examples include field trips to the PB and J Fund kitchen (Cooking badge), Wildrock (Outdoor Adventurer and Hiker badges), the Charlottesville Ballet’s Nutcracker (Dancer badge), James Monroe’s Highland (Outdoor Art badge), and Computers4Kids (Computer Expert badge). Throughout the project, GSVSC continues to be our greatest partner in ensuring a meaningful scouting experience. Annually, they provide grant funding supplemented by our League operational budget and offer exceptional opportunities like a chance for the girls to attend a weekend overnight camp in the Summer of 2019.
Working with Troop 1495 has allowed JLC members to provide friendship and valuable mentorship to young girls from underrepresented groups in our local community. We hope that providing this safe and supportive space also empowers the female caretakers of Troop members as they undertake their pursuits to establish themselves in the community.
Please direct all questions and comments pertaining to the JLC Community Partnerships Program to: firstname.lastname@example.org.