|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.
|Thank you, today and always, for your contributions with and support of the Junior League of Topeka. |
How one community project inspired a transformed community
By Erin Aldridge & Tawny Stottlemire
Throughout our history, Junior League of Topeka (JLT) projects have been a catalyst for change in our community. Ideas spark and gaps in service are filled through these programs and initiatives. The Diaper Depot’s impact is no different.
In the 2018-2019 League year, Diaper Depot ownership was transferred to Community Action. As a distribution partner for the program, the fit was natural and complemented their existing social service assistance programs.
Today, Community Action continues to serve between 150 and 200 children each month, by providing a free pack of 50, size-appropriate, diapers to parents from low-income households. The program is supported solely through community donations and grants.
But, gaps in services go far beyond just diapers.
Through the partnership with the National Diaper Bank Network, Community Action sourced ways to further meet the needs of the community. This lead to a partnership that created “The Period Pantry”. “The foundation of the two programs is very similar,”
said Tawny Stottlemire, Community Action’s Executive Director. “Diaper Depot and Period Pantry allow us to address two very pressing needs for lower income mothers and menstruators.” According to data released by the Alliance for Period Supplies, an affiliate of the National Diaper Bank Network, one in four women have struggled to purchase period supplies in the past year. “Menstruation supplies are a need,” says Stottlemire, “not a luxury.”
In 2020, JLT members supported various projects, including Community Action, around the community through the creation of Period Packs.
Thanks to Community Action’s access to warehouse space, even more options became available. “Community Action rents space in a local warehouse to store and prepare our monthly diaper distribution and quarterly Period Pantry work,” Stottlemire told JLT representatives. “Because we have some available warehouse space, we are also able to participate in a product donation program with our local Bed, Bath and Beyond store.”
According to Stottlemire, Bed, Bath and Beyond provides a monthly donation of store products that range from bed sheets and pillows to curtains, clocks and candles. Community Action uses the products to help families transitioning from homelessness to furnish their homes. “Our customers have been so very appreciative, and surprised,” said Stottlemire, “by not only securing their own housing in a place they can afford and feel safe but to also have a few comforts to make it feel like a home.”
To learn more about how you can benefit from any of these services visit www.wefightpoverty.org.
Going beyond the surface needs of our community, the Junior League of Topeka is committed to continuing to find and the fill gaps to create a better Topeka for all.