The Junior League of Memphis (JLM) has started, coordinated, or contributed to many of Memphis’ most notable nonprofit organizations. The number of community programs the JLM has been involved in over the years totals in the hundreds. We support a variety of needs, many of which are helping to revitalize Memphis neighborhoods. This year, JLM volunteers will volunteer more than 30,000 hours to the Memphis community. We are excited to announce our 2023 – 2024 Junior League of Memphis Community Programs:
- Baptist: Camp Good Grief
- Best Buddies
- Habitat for Humanity: Hands on with Habitat
- Memphis Tilth: Community Gardens
- REACH Memphis: Teen Mentoring
- Refugee Empowerment Program: Adult Acclimation
- Sweet Cheeks Diaper Ministry
- Community Assistance Fund
- G.R.O.W. Binghampton
- G.R.O.W. Pre-K Readiness
- Kids in the Kitchen
- Extra Hands
- Innovative Teaching Grants
2023 – 2024 Junior League of Memphis Community Programs:
Baptist: Camp Good Grief
The Junior League of Memphis has been involved with Camp Good Grief for many years and we’re excited to participate again. Volunteers assist the Baptist Kemmons Wilson Center for Good Grief in completing prep work before camp, undergo grief training prior to camp and then attend a three-day summer camp in June 2024 to assist children who are grieving the loss of a parent, sibling or other loved one.
Our partnership with Best Buddies Tennessee allows JLM members to build one-on-one relationships with adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We work together to plan monthly events, such as bowling, attending movies or concerts to assist and bond with buddies.
Habitat for Humanity: Hands on with Habitat
In this outdoor, hands-on program, JLM volunteers assist in the completion of a home build during the fall. In the spring, volunteers will work amongst their JLM team on smaller revitalization projects requested by Habitat. Throughout the year, JLM volunteers also have the opportunity to meet at the Habitat ReStore to re-purpose “unsellable items” into “sellable items.”
Memphis Tilth: Community Gardens
JLM volunteers work with the Memphis Tilth program to help establish and manage community gardens throughout Memphis. Volunteers clear land, build raised beds, help start seedlings, and assist with other needs around the gardens.
REACH Memphis: Teen Mentoring
JLM volunteers will work with a group of sophomore and junior high school students enrolled in the REACH Memphis Scholars to either help prepare sophomores for their first summer experience with REACH Memphis or assist with college prep group mentoring programs for juniors after they have completed their summer experience. Topics will be driven by JLM mentors and will include topics such as essay writing, tips on traveling alone, cultural diversity, budgeting, living with a roommate, summer program expectations, time management, social activities or other activities as agreed upon by the group.
Refugee Empowerment Program: Adult Acclimation
JLM volunteers will empower and educate adult refugees by teaching English as a second language, pre-GED classes, as well as basic math and citizenship preparedness. For adult refugees, learning English is one of the most important steps they must take upon arriving in the U.S. JLM volunteers work in small groups and directly interact with the refugees while helping with the provided ESL curriculum. This program serves as a full-circle movement for the Junior League, as the organization was originally founded with the idea of improving conditions for immigrants arriving in New York City in the early 1900s.
Sweet Cheeks Diaper Ministry
As one of only two diaper banks servicing the state of Tennessee, Sweet Cheeks Diaper Ministry helps meet the basic needs of families by providing diapers, wipes, formula, and other necessities for their babies and improving their quality of life. Volunteers help at “packing parties” and with getting the items to the families on distribution days.
Community Assistance Fund
The JLM sets aside funds for grants to nonprofit organizations that are deemed to have a significant positive impact on the community but would not meet the requirements to be one of our community programs. Click here for more info or to apply.
JLM volunteers organize weekly events for parents and children from the Binghampton neighborhood then serve a meal to the whole family. Planning includes programming for parents and three different ages of children and teens. An example of a G.R.O.W. Binghampton night might include an education session on financial literacy for parents, Kids in the Kitchen teaching teens to make a healthy meal, a paint class for 6-12 year-olds and a book with a craft for younger children. Some events are “family nights” which allow participants a community experiences such as performances from Ballet Memphis or STAX Academy Music Program.
G.R.O.W. Pre-K Readiness
JLM volunteers will partner with the pre-K and kindergarten teachers at Brewster Elementary School to choose books that go along with their current curriculum. JLM volunteers read to students then work one-on-one with the students to bring the book to life with a craft. The time invested by a JLM mentor prepare these young students for kindergarten and beyond.
Kids in the Kitchen
This JLM initiative partners with both JLM and non-JLM community programs to plan curriculum and bring nutrition education to children. Volunteers allow local children to experience healthy snack/meal options in an interactive fashion. Examples of programing include assisting with the Culinary Medicine program at Church Health, teaching teens at G.R.O.W. Binghampton to make healthy meals or interacting with children at MAM to expose them to unique fruits & vegetables.
JLM volunteers lend a hand in the community with any extra help needs for special events such as silent auctions, 5K runs, benefits and nonprofit events. Volunteers demonstrate the Junior League of Memphis’ commitment to the community and act as the face for the JLM through numerous evening and weekend volunteer opportunities. Extra Hands allows the JLM to participate with a variety of nonprofit organizations in our community. Are you in need of Extra Hands? Click here for more info or to apply.
Innovative Teaching Grants
Through the Innovative Teaching Grants application, teachers apply for grants from the JLM, which will enable them to implement original and creative learning experiences beyond the basic curriculum in school budgets. This volunteer team updates the application as needed, reviews applications, selects the teacher recipients and tracks how funds are used in the classroom. Click here for more info or to apply.