Wednesday, May 20, 2009
i just got back from our awards and installation dinner for the Junior League of Long Beach. i almost always leave our meetings with such a sense of awe for the women in our community who so rarely get recognized, but make things happen - and by "things" i mean laws and community partnerships and projects and events and changing the lives of kids and parents. i found out that Jr League was responsible for the children's helmet law in CA among other laws - this year we have been trying to get a law passed that postpartum depression information be included in hospitals releasing women who have just had babies. i also found out that our league founded the Fire Safety House 17 years ago, which is now standard for 3rd grade students to visit to learn more about fire safety.
this year i was able to chair the project committee and it was an amazing year - partly because it was a transitional year where we attempted to find a new project - in doing so we did 3 new projects along with what we have always done with the Bethune Transitional Center. to my credit i did sign up for this BEFORE i knew i was pregnant...but to everyone's astonishment we were able to 1) paint murals in Holmes Elementary School's library and put on a literacy night for 200 students and parents that was the most successful parent night the school had seen 2) work with East LA Classics in putting on Beyond Borders, which sponsored a 5th grade class at Stevenson Elementary - the course was a literacy course that counted as language arts credit in which they wrote and acted in a series of 1 act plays that they wrote and stared in based on their true experiences 3) put on a series of classes for 5th grade girls at Stevenson Elementary called Especially Me, which focuses on young girls struggles with self-esteem, nutrition, body image, peer pressure and goal setting.
Not to mention we continued to work with Bethune and sponsored kids from the center to go to art camp at CSULB. also a canned food drive, holiday gift sponsorships, their holiday party and a year long "Meet the Masters" art program.
as you can imagine, we have had a busy year. i am going to be on the grants and partnership committee next year and look forward to learning how to write grants and also look forward to NOT having to have a leadership role :)
i have benefited so much from being a part of this organization - and nights like tonight help me to realize how much i have grown in this community and learned about Long Beach also!
part of what excited me so much about where our league is going is that when i signed up in 2004 i was the youngest member of our league and now there are so many young faces that want to see our league move in a great direction - it makes me excited to be a part of something that is going to continue to make a difference here! so...it is definitely NOT the end - Jr League is a year-long machine, but it was a great night to commemorate a great year!