Dear Friends and League Supporters:
Welcome to the Junior League of the Oranges & Short Hills (JLOSH) 2021-2022 League year! I am privileged to be serving in my second year as its President and am excited for the year ahead. Since its founding in 1913, JLOSH has been dedicated to supporting families and their children residing in East Orange, Orange, West Orange, South Orange, Maplewood, Millburn, Livingston, Springfield and Short Hills. Our long history of service and our commitment to volunteerism and leadership development has led to JLOSH being a critical partner to many community organizations in our service area. I am proud of our League and its many accomplishments and look forward to the impact we can make together.
We recognize and understand that the past twenty months have fundamentally altered our lives. We continue to live in unprecedented times. The impacts of COVID-19 have profoundly changed us, our economy and the inequities of systemic injustice continue to effect the social and emotional health of our communities and all of us. But it is within these times when we must come together as a united League committed to understanding our members and our communities and ask: how can we best serve and support?
How can we best leverage our mission and create a shared vision for our League that supports the cultivation of our individual leadership potential while fostering a culture that values diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging? I am hopeful that all our work and initiatives this year can be guided by four important strategic questions:
I am hopeful that if we intentionally and continuously overlay these principals to our League’s work, we will guide our mission and membership towards a League united and committed to empathetic volunteerism and service.
Today, with nearly 200 League members, we continue to support and address the challenges that face our communities through our effective leadership, volunteerism and service. We also stand alongside a network of more than 140,000 women in 291 Junior Leagues within the United States, Canada, Mexico and the United Kingdom who all share the same mission. Collectively, we constitute one of the largest and most effective volunteer organizations in the world.
Though the needs of our communities have changed over time, our commitment to supporting greater justice and equity within them is unwavering. This year, we will continue our focus of addressing the essential needs of children in our communities. We will work closely with our network of community partners to help close gaps in food insecurity and create greater access to clothing, school supplies and personal care products for school-aged children living within our service area.
The continued constraints and realities of COVID-19 will certainly impact how we volunteer and serve. We anticipate that much of our programming, fundraising, meetings and service will be re-imagined for the safety of our members and our community partners. We plan to offer as many in-person and hybrid experiences as practicable allowing our entire membership the opportunity to participate in ways they are most comfortable.
We also continue to be enormously grateful to our sponsors, supporters and the many friends who align with our mission. Without this continued support, JLOSH could not provide community grants to organizations serving families in our communities or support the training and personal development interests of our members. I am also grateful and appreciative of the dynamic women serving on this year’s Board of Directors. The strength of our diversity, experiences and values will guide our governance and the strategic execution of our mission. Our history, legacy and staunch commitment to community motivates me; I invite you to join me and all of our members as we move towards a more united and impactful League. We are better together!
Yours in service,