Galentine’s Day Social

Join members of the Junior League of Topeka on Saturday, February 19 from 10 a.m. – noon at Ash Boutique, 921 S. Kansas in Topeka. Socialize, shop and learn about the Junior League! Brunch hors d’ouvres will be available along with mimosas (for 21 and over only). In coordination, Junior League members will be collecting gently worn professional women’s clothing for the Center for Safety & Empowerment.

Do You Know the Red Flags?

Would you know if someone right in front of you was trapped in a trafficking situation? Know the signs.

Online Safety Helps Prevent Human Trafficking

Technology is one tool Traffickers use to target and groom victims of human trafficking. But teaching our kids safe Internet practices in an age appropriate way can be challenging and overwhelming. That’s where Into the Cloud™ can help! Into the Cloud™ is The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s online safety program geared toward children ages 10 and under. 

This online, animated show, uses information and data from CyberTipline reports, and focuses the content of each episode on a different topic related to online safety, “from strategies for handling cyberbullying to recognizing and reporting unsafe/inappropriate interactions and content.”  

In addition to the animated series you can find talking points and questions to guide conversations with the kids in your life. There are also resources for educators to help with consistent information on a more widespread level. So if you work with kids, take some time to check out the show together! 

December General Membership Meeting

Members of the Junior League of Topeka came together Saturday, December 5, for their December General Membership Meeting. The morning was kicked off with a presentation by Mary Boland to show stress relieving yoga stretches and lead into brunch, a presentation by Becca Spielman about the YWCA’s work followed by trivia. During the meeting, Junior League members donated books, toys and art supplies for the children’s rooms at the Center for Safety & Empowerment.

Junior League of Topeka members at the December 2021 General Membership Meeting
Brie Engelken-Parks, President, Junior League of Topeka, presents Becca Spielman, Program Director at the YWCA’s Center for Safety & Empowerment (CSE), with books, art supplies and toys for the children’s rooms at the CSE.

YWCA Supply Drive

Members of the Junior League of Topeka are collecting Books, Art Supplies and Toys for the YWCA’s Center for Safety & Empowerment guests.
To donate contact the Junior League at email@jltopeka.org.

We’re Thankful for You!

This Thanksgiving we’re thankful for your support!  

Thanks to your continued encouragement and support for the Junior League of Topeka, we were able to continue our work of connecting women, cultivating leadership and working together to bring lasting community impact despite the challenges we’ve faced the past 18 months. Over the last year—despite being in a worldwide pandemic—we have successfully:

– Donated $5,000 and urgently needed supplies, to the YWCA which establish a children’s room at their shelters,
– Executed the Little Black Dress Poverty Awareness Campaign and a month long Child Sex Trafficking Awareness and Prevention Campaign,
– Provided leadership training for 1500 students from area high schools through the Capital Impact Leadership Summit,
– Donated 460 pounds of food to Project Topeka,
– Donated 120 towels to Operation Clean and Healthy by the Topeka Rescue Mission,
– Donated 15,000 school supply items to The Boys & Girls Club of Topeka,
– Packaged 2,000 STEAM kits for Kansas Children’s Discovery Center
– Donated 120 winter care kits to the Topeka Rescue Mission
– Painted Florence Crittenton Services to prepare new spaces for independent at-risk teens, 
– Donated more than 2,000 period packs to help fight period poverty in Topeka, 
– Donated more than $7,000 to Community Action, Inc. designated for the Diaper Depot
– Donated snacks and fidget gear to SENT Topeka & Ross Elementary’s Trust Based Relational Intervention Program, 
– Commissioned a local artist to paint a mural at the Boys and Girls Club of Topeka’s Teen Center in support of positive mental health, 
– Donated baked goods for Silverbackks Silver Sundays program, 
– Filled all Blessing Boxes in Topeka with non-perishable foods and Community Resource Pamphlets, 
– Created and donated a years’ worth of training manuals for CASA advocates, and 
– Provided eight training opportunities including the 21 Day Racial Equity Challenge and the Day on the Hill Advocacy Training. 
Next week is Giving Tuesday!
On Tuesday, November 30, people all around the world will join together for a common purpose: to celebrate and encourage giving back. It unleashes the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and their world – just like the women of the Junior League have been doing for the past 85 years. 

Please consider making a donation to the Junior League of Topeka to continue supporting women building better communities. 
DONATE NOW
Thank you, today and always, for your contributions with and support of the Junior League of Topeka

Member Spotlight

Tracy Tucker

Tracy Tucker
Junior League of Topeka
2021-2022 Project Coordinator

How long have you been involved with League?
I joined in the fall of 2015, at the urging of my manager at the time.

What have you been involved with since joining the Junior League of Topeka?
I’ve spent the strong majority of my League time on the Community Impact Council.  Two of those years, I was Project Co-Chair when we had Diaper Depot.  I’m now Project Coordinator and help manage our communications such as the weekly eblast!

Where did you grow up?
I grew up outside the itty-bitty town of Sylvan Grove, KS.  I moved to Topeka to attend Washburn University, and haven’t left!

What do you do for a living?
I’ve been in Marketing at Kansas Lottery for nearly five years.  Before that, I was at Prairie Band Casino & Resort for 12 years.

What do you love most about League?
I love being able to give back to the community in a tangible way.  It’s also been great meeting the lovely ladies of Junior League of Topeka, as well as people in the community.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to join Junior League of Topeka?
Do it! Whatever it is you may be looking for, it can surely be found in the Junior League of Topeka.  Just want some social time with the gals? It’s here.  Looking to network professionally?  Lots of contacts.  Seeking fulfillment by helping others?  Absolutely available.  

What are you involved in outside of League?
I’m currently on the board for USD 501 Parents As Teachers, and am looking forward to spending more time working with a couple groups at church.  Our daughters are surely going to be getting more active, so I’m sure the chauffer lifestyle will be reinvigorated soon. 

Tell me something else about you?
I grew up on a farm, and love getting back as often as I can, which is never enough.  Since our yard is not conducive to hoof stock, we did “allow” Santa to bring the girls each a rabbit last Christmas, in hopes to instill some life lessons.  Those two rabbits have multiplied, though.  If anyone would like one, just let me know!  

Partner Spotlight: CASA of Shawnee County

The daughters of Brie Parks, 2021-2022 President, helping decorate cookies for the 2021 CASA Homes for the Holidays.

CASA is an organization that utilizes volunteers to advocate for the best interest of children and youth who are involved in the court system. In 1985, the Junior League of Topeka conducted a survey to determine the need for an organization like CASA and found children in Shawnee County could benefit from advocates. This lead to the Junior League of Topeka providing funding and volunteers to help establish CASA of Shawnee County.

Today, members of the Junior League of Topeka continue to show their support in a variety of ways, most recently by donating and compiling training manuals for future Advocates and by baking cookies for their CASA Homes for the Holidays event.


Junior League Members Fighting Food Insecurity

It was so great joining together last month with other Junior League of Topeka members to support our community by packing boxes of food at Harvesters!

Interested in learning more about membership with the Junior League of Topeka? Email membership@jltopeka.org

Junior League of Topeka donates $5,000 to the YWCA of Northeast Kansas

To close out the Junior League of Topeka’s 3rd Annual Little Black Dress Initiative we presented the YWCA of Northeast Kansas with a $5,000 donation to help establish a children’s space in their emergency shelters. In addition to the donation, members also collected urgently needed items for YWCA residents.

“This week, members and friends of the Junior League of Topeka have joined together as advocates by wearing one black dress – the same black dress – for five days in a row to illustrate how limited resources affect daily life, and to raise funds to support the Junior League of Topeka and their projects to address key factors of poverty and community instability,” says Brie Engelken-Parks, President of the Junior League of Topeka. “This social experience shines light on how a lack of resources limits a individuals’ opportunities.” 

By wearing a sticker or button that read “Ask me about my Dress,” LBDI advocates invited and welcomed dialogue among colleagues, friends, and strangers to raise awareness about generational poverty while they shared their journey’s on social media.

Click here for the full story! 

Photo courtesy of WIBW