Your Charitable Self: Junior League of Nashville

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Shelly Robertson Birdsong

Established in 1922, the mission of the Junior League of Nashville (JLN), has been to develop the potential of women and to impact the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. More than 1,600 members of JLN work diligently, with community partners, in the areas of literacy, human trafficking, and childhood obesity, work to envision, create, implement and sustain programs that help women and children overcome challenges and reach their full potential. These focus areas will drive JLN’s work through the celebration of its centennial in 2022. The Junior League of Nashville continues to invest in its
ninety-three year partnership with Monroe Carell, Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt to improve outcomes for children facing severe conditions.

Junior League, nationally, has impacted the lives of thousands of women and the communities they service. The League experience cultivates women into thoughtful and seasoned leaders and teaches them how to take on the toughest problems of the day and work collaboratively with all involved to arrive at pragmatic and sustainable solutions that have enhanced the quality of life in our culture.

By populating the pipeline of qualified leadership, they have enhanced the ability and expanded the capacity of agencies and institutions to care for the sick, the poor, the abused, the uneducated and the under-represented. This is the gift the women of the Junior League have given to their communities and it is the message they have imprinted upon the world.

Among the many reforms in which The Junior League has played a role, either in name or behind the scenes, are:

• Access to vaccinations for children.

• Education and provision of healthy food and nutrition for children.

• Securing the right to vote for women.

• Providing access to the arts.

• Advancing literacy for children and adults.

• Building awareness for the inadequacies of the justice system for adults and juveniles.

• Establishing museums for children.

• Legislation to secure safe drinking water.

• Awareness for the problem of alcohol abuse.

• Support for victims of domestic violence, human trafficking, and cyber bullying, and education of the public about the issue.

The Junior League of Nashville has made many contributions to the Nashville community in the last ninety-five years. Their focus has remained the same: helping women and children reach their full potential. Through the 100th anniversary in 2022, the Junior League of Nashville will focus on three issues:

• Human trafficking

• Literacy

• Childhood obesity, through their signature program, Kids in the Kitchen

The JLN aims to serve as a catalyst of lasting change in these areas and in their continued efforts in partnership with Monroe Carell, Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt to improve outcomes for children facing barriers that could prevent them from reaching their full potential. For more information about JLN, visit jlnashville.org or call 615.269.9393.

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