I am honored and excited to serve as the President of JLOSH for the 2019-2020 league year. For more than a century, JLOSH has been dedicated to improving life in our service areas that are now consisting of East Orange, Livingston, Maplewood, Millburn, Orange, Short Hills, South Orange, Springfield and West Orange. I am proud that we have amassed an archive of tangible results, and I look forward to another fulfilling year ahead.
JLOSH is a non-profit organization of 200+ women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. We are also part of a powerful network of more than 140,000 women in 291 communities in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Mexico who share the same mission. Collectively, we constitute one of the largest and most effective volunteer organizations in the world. We welcome all women who value our mission, and we are committed to inclusive environments of diverse individuals, organizations and communities.
Though the needs of our community have evolved over time, our commitment to improving it has never wavered. As our league enters its 107th year of service, we will continue to focus on addressing the basic needs of low-income children in our service areas. We will work on closing the gap on food insecurity, essential clothing needs, school supply gaps and basic hygiene needs of school-aged children living in poverty. We believe that when these basic needs are met with the necessary supplies and educational resources, low-income children can focus their energy on succeeding in school.
Our Community Council has been working hard over the summer to put together both tried-and-true and brand new community service events throughout the year. For example, we have joined the Healthy Orange Coalition to work with other organizations such as Montclair State University, Drew University and World Wide Orphans to ensure that community residents in need are aware of available resources. We will continue to work with our community partners and our past grant winners. We will also be forging new partnerships and providing additional opportunities for our members to get involved in the community and volunteer.
Fundraising events are vital to our ability to continue providing amazing opportunities to our members to make a meaningful impact in the communities we serve. To that end, our Fundraising Council is already in full swing planning this year’s events, including The Little Black Dress Initiative in December 2019 when our members will be raising funds by wearing the same black dress for 5 days to show the effects of poverty on a woman’s daily activities. We are contemplating a late winter/early Spring gala, and we plan to offer a variety of small social fundraising events.
Consistent with our mission to develop the potential of women, we are thrilled to offer dynamic training opportunities to our members and the community at large this year. For example, we will have a fundraising training during our October 2019 general membership meeting,, Vicki Clark as a guest speaker in November 2019, and the return of Super Saturday in January 2020.
I would like to thank our generous sponsors for their continued support, the many friends who support our mission by participating in our fundraising events and partners of JLOSH who add such value to our organization. I would also like to thank the amazing group of women who are serving on our Board of Directors this year. I am proud of our exceptional legacy, and I invite all of you to join us on our journey toward a stronger League and community.