The Junior League of Kansas City, Missouri: women building better communities.
By Mina Steen, Sustaining Member
It has long been my belief that the Junior League offers women a unique avenue of personal development, community understanding, and friendship. This avenue is present for every member, as it suits her, for her entire life. I cannot think of any other organization that offers so much for so little.
I do not know of any other organization that so greatly benefits the community at-large. We do this through our multi-year projects, our grants, and our short-term provision of volunteers. However, our members also find the League a springboard for effective voluntarism the rest of their lives. It is what JL members contribute over time, in their own areas of passion, which amazes me. This is what underscores for me the League’s, most significant, true worth.
Joining the League at the age of 22 – I found this source of new learning and of skill development through experience to be really rewarding. In truth, I was making up for lost time having not really made the most of my formal education. In addition to immersion in such topics as grant writing, board development, fundraising, and facilitation – League involvement shed new, and full, light on the community in which I was raised. I have loved that through the years. I have done my best to give back, with gratitude, for all that I have learned and enjoyed.
There is a country song where the wife asks the husband what would he be doing if he had not met her? He mentions eating more fried chicken and doing more deep sea fishing – but concludes that if he had not met her, he would still be looking for someone like her. I think it is a funny and sweet song. But it came to mind as I considered what I would have done had I not joined the League? I might have had a lot more leisure time and I might have done a lot more shopping. But, I certainly would not have made some of my life’s dearest friendships, nor learned some of my most valuable lessons. And, yes, I would very likely still be out looking for something like it!