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Highlighting Helping Hands: Junior Service League of Rome

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What is the purpose of your organization?

Junior Service League of Rome is an organization of women that exists to foster interest in the social, economic, educational, cultural and civic conditions of the community and to make efficient their volunteer service. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable

How is your organization financially supported?

Primary financial support is provided through various fundraisers that we organize and participate in, like our annual poinsettia sale each October and our biennial Garden Tour and Follies productions. Additionally, members pay annual dues that support all internal and administrative functions of Junior Service League. We are further supported by a strong sustainer base through annual member giving, as well as strong support of our activities.

What do you enjoy most acting as part of this organization?

Our members report that the most rewarding part of their membership experience is working with community organizations. Each year, our members give thousands of hours of community service working with nearly a dozen organizations. Members get to foster relationships with organizations that often last beyond their years in JSL, and many of our members will continue to work with these groups, join boards, and even begin new community service organizations after leaving League.

What is your organization's biggest challenge?

Our biggest challenge is being able to do enough to meet the needs in our community.

We supply school supplies through our main giving project –  League 4 Learning – to all Rome City and Floyd County elementary and middle schools. Each year we purchase over $15,000 in supplies (much of this purchased at discounts and at cost, allowing our money to be stretched even further). Even so, we know there is greater need.

Additionally, we get funding and placement requests from other organizations who rely on the ladies of JSL to fulfill their volunteer needs. The need in our community is great, and it is always our challenge to do as much as we can while not stretching ourselves too thin.

In what capacity does JSL use volunteers?

Our members volunteer throughout our League year through local service projects and through chosen external placements. JSL members have manned the Habitat for Humanity resale store, helped out with Rome’s YMCA summer programs, delivered meals for Harbor House board meetings and helped out at Chieftains Museum.

Is there training available?

For new members to JSL we offer a “provisional” year, which allows new members opportunity to get to know the organization as well as find where they might fit into the organization. For the volunteer placements for our members, each of the partnering organizations offers training.

How does one become a new member?

Admission to our league is by recommendation from one (1) sponsoring and two (2) endorsing members who have worked with the candidate and can attest to her commitment to volunteerism and community service. Successful completion of one provisional year results in admission to active status. Completion of five years of active service merits sustainer status.

Candidates must be at least 24 years of age as of January 1 of the year of proposal to membership, a legal resident of –  or employed in –  Floyd County for at least six months prior to January 1 of the year of proposal, and a responsible and dependable person who possesses the potential and time to develop into an effective Junior Service League member.

Are there dues or fees? If so, how much?

There are annual dues that vary depending on activity status.

Is there something else you would like to say to our readers?

I feel that one of the wonderful things about JSL is that we fulfill a unique niche in the community. First, we are specifically a women’s organization focusing on the needs of women and children in the community. Secondly, we support a number of other organizations, allowing our members to discover places that they may want to focus their personal efforts after their time with JSL comes to an end. Finally, we are an organization that always attempts to help our community whenever we see a need arise.

In our 80 plus year history we have established scoliosis screenings, founded the Chieftains Museum, helped build the Ridge Ferry playground and the Field of Dreams at the Braves Stadium, and supported our community with millions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of hours. We have a long history in Rome and believe that we have a longer future ahead of us.

THE FACTS

Director: Holly Amerman, 2016-17 JSL President

In Rome/Floyd County: 82 years. JSL was founded in the fall of 1934

Number of Volunteers: 75 active and provisional members, and 120 plus sustainers

Meeting times: Members meet the third Tuesday of each month from September to May

Public Contact Telephone: 706-844-3576

Public Contact Email: jslofrome@gmail.com