Do you remember when you were little and things just got done? You didn’t know how that homework ended up in your backpack, but it was there. You didn’t take a second to think about how when you woke up there was breakfast and when you came home, there was dinner. It was just done.
Life is like that. We go through our day to day not paying attention to how things change and grow around us. We know they are changing and growing. We know things are different. But how? There’s got to be someone working in the background, right?
The Junior League of Billings is that person (person’s) in the background. Maybe we’re not making you breakfast and dinner every day but hey, we’re here!
Established in 1954, the Junior League of Billings is a non-profit organization committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and to improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. With 50 active members and over 100 sustaining members, the JLB has had a huge hand in doing just that by creating and establishing new facilities and services in the Billings area and providing training opportunities for the women in our community. Comprised of women from all ages and walks of life, the JLB is truly committed to making Billings a better place. They take a hard look at our community – the ups and downs – and determine what our greatest needs are. This is done by meeting with other community organizations and businesses as well as surveying community members. The JLB then takes that information and determines how they can best address the need in the community. Over the years, the needs have changed, of course, and the kinds of services provided by the JLB have changed to reflect that.
Are you familiar with Tumbleweed? The runaway shelter for homeless teens?
How about the Wise Wonder’s Children’s Museum?
Rose Park playground?
These are all well-known facilities in our community – all established with the assistance of the Junior League of Billings.
The JLB also provides volunteers for other organizations in the community. They’ve hosted the annual Early Childhood Development holiday party every year since 2011 and they’ve also provided dozens of meals for the MRM Men’s Shelter and the Ronald McDonald House. And let’s not forget the coats and diapers they’ve donated or the toys sorted, the t-shirts folded. The list goes on and on.
Most recently, the JLB has taken on the “Free Laundry Project”. After surveying the community, they found that laundry was a huge need. The women of the Junior League of Billings took the time to research solutions to this problem and came up with the free laundry project. Addressing the issue of kids not having clean clothes at school or families having to choose whether to pay their electric bill or do their laundry, this project is dedicated to making sure that no one has to choose between bills and clean clothes. This event is held on one Saturday of each month where the women of the JLB volunteer to put coins in the machines for our community members. While the JLB is currently discussing how to grow this event, we know that this is a service that has been a long time need for the Billings community.
The Junior League of Billings is dedicated to helping our community but they couldn’t do that without developing the women within the organization as well. Whether it’s strengths training, fundraising, board involvement or leadership conferences, the JLB knows that improving the community starts by improving ourselves.
Are you a community member looking for help from the Junior League of Billings? How about a member of the community looking to grow and do good work in your community? Please reach out to us! We’d love to tell your more about our wonderful organization and answer any questions you may have.
Also, keep an eye out for future blogs to learn more about the projects the JLB has been a part of.
(You can learn more about JLB and view our accomplishments on our website: www.juniorleagueofbillings.org)
By Kelsey Bryson