During our 80th decade, the League continues to improve the membership experience for all members, increase training opportunities throughout the year, and address critical community needs by partnering with area nonprofit agencies to reduce the duplication of nonprofit services in an effort to better serve the Central Savannah River Area (CSRA).
Under the direction of President Paula Jackson Herz in 2010, the League implemented a new nominating system comprised of a candidate-initiated self-submission application that is still being used in 2017. The Junior League of Augusta was selected to serve as an AJLI Learning Team (ALT) on Governance and Management and the Board of Directors approved a Member Benefit Package for Sustainers. Over 95,000 minutes were spent reading to children through the Arts Reading community project, 817 hours were served in direct, hands-on volunteer hours and $15,500 was awarded in community grants to local schools and nonprofit agencies.
With the strong work of the Community Research/Project Appraisal Committee four (4) new community projects were implemented during the 2011-2012 presidential year of Elizabeth Donsbach: Between the Lines to combat literacy and connect children with Active Duty military parents oversees from Fort Gordon; Girls the Run partnership with the Boys and Girls Club; Georgia Health Sciences University’s Occupational Therapy Social Adjustment Collaborative Program; and Every Little Bottom Counts serving several area nonprofits. JLA hosted Junior Leagues from throughout the state of Georgia at the Fall SPAC Conference and held CSRA’s first Junior League of Augusta Holiday Market at the Augusta Marriott Hotel and Convention Center, which was recognized the Augusta Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau as bringing in an estimated $40,432 in visitor spending to the Augusta area.
In 2012, President Kari Baker guided the Junior League of Augusta as it embraced its legislative arm by hosting the 12th District Congressional Forum. A new partnership with the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Augusta was formed committing $20,000 to the new house, and traditions continued as Attic Sale celebrated 60 years and Tea-Time at the Masters® celebrated it’s 35th Anniversary.
During Kari Bakers second term as President in 2013, the Junior League of Augusta celebrated it’s 85th Anniversary and continued mastering the possibilities by hosting the AJLI Area III Conference. Additionally, the League awarded $36,o00 in grant money, volunteered over 990 hours with 20 different area nonprofit agencies and formed a partnership with Ed Turner and the Number 9 in a new fundraising effort to raise money for Child Enrichment, Inc and the JLA community programming.
Continuing to grow our community relationships and inner League development in 2014, the presidential year of Susan MacEwen was a year of new beginnings. A JLA blog was launched to complement a newly designed League Links, the Leagues first health fair was held in conjunction with Attic Sale to provide patrons with health and dental screenings from area healthcare providers, and the Junior League Ronald McDonald House Committee was formed to provide monthly volunteers and family activities. After four years of participating with the AJLI Learning Team, the governance transition was completed, allowing the Board of Directors to focus on organizational sustainability and creating a Management Team to run the Leagues day to day operations to ensure organizational accountability.
In 2015, President Valorie Hock collaborated with other Georgia Junior League Presidents to launch the Little Black Dress Initiative. Through this campaign, the JLA partnered with Safe Homes of Augusta raising $8,422 and awareness on poverty resulting from situations of domestic violence and how this can have a generational effect. Continuing to grow and prosper in community programming and funding, the JLA participated in the United Way Community Needs Assessment, volunteered 455 hours with 17 different area nonprofit organizations and provided over $38,000 in grant funding. Improving member leadership skills and engagement, 13 members were sent to AJLI training throughout the year, inner league trainings were developed and membership had the opportunity to participate in a poll to determine a community focus to give direction for new community projects.
Using the membership poll as guidance, the JLA adapted a new focus during the 2016 presidential year of Julie Kneuker: The Junior League of Augusta, Georgia is to focus on the generational poverty of women and children throughout the Central Savannah River Area. Building off the community focus, a new partnership was formed with IceBox Ministries to develop a mentor program that will begin this upcoming year. Additionally, over 2,800 children were impacted through our Award for Classroom Enrichment, Field Trip Funding and Kids in the Kitchen program. Continuing advocacy efforts and working with the State Public Affairs Committee (SPAC), JLA members were kept informed and trained on legislative bills affecting women and children and had League members in attendance at State Capitol Day in support of the Safe Harbor Act and Family Care Act.