Members of the Junior League of San Joaquin County.Courtesy
December 02, 2012 12:00 AM
Editor's note: The Giving Spirit has been an annual
feature in The Record during the holiday season for almost two decades.
The stories focus on local nonprofit groups and other
agencies that help those in need in our community. Over the years, the series
has taken on several forms.
This year, we're doing something different. We asked
nonprofit leaders to tell the story of their agency's work in their own words.
History: A group of dedicated women, joined
together as the Junior Auxiliary, renamed later as Junior Aid of Stockton,
distinguished itself as the organization most responsive to the community's
needs. In 1927, it founded the Stockton Day Nursery to address the critical need
for child daycare. When there was no longer a need for the nursery, Junior Aid
then opened one of the first foster homes in the county to house non-delinquent
In 1934, Janet Ditz started a sewing project, the longest
continuing project in the organization's history. Junior Aid held an annual
raffle sale of a purchased doll with an exquisite collection of doll clothes
created by members raising more than $100,000 over 30 years to fund youth camp
In 1949, Junior Aid provided funds to establish a
rheumatic fever wing at St. Joseph's Hospital.
Junior Aid has given grants totaling more than $2.5
million to a wide variety of charitable organizations. These agencies include
the Oak Park Senior Center, Crippled Children's Society, the UOP Speech and
Hearing Clinic, St. Joseph's Hospital (with a donation of $5,000 for its first
heart monitoring system), the Women's Center, the Child Abuse Prevention Center,
Stockton Homeless Shelter and TLC.
Mission: Junior League of San Joaquin County is an
organization of women committed to promoting volunteerism, developing the
potential of women, and improving communities through the effective action and
leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and
charitable. To date, Junior League has raised and awarded more than $2.5 million
in grants to local nonprofit organizations that direct resources to the issues
of homelessness, child abuse, and improving the lives of women and children in
San Joaquin County. Grant recipients are chosen based upon their alignment with
our mission, focus area, community service and enrichment goals. Junior Aid and
Junior League members have donated more than 1,000,000 volunteer hours in the
In 2009, Junior Aid affiliated with AJLI and became
Junior League of San Joaquin County, joining an international organization of
291 leagues. Junior League of San Joaquin County has adopted the mission
statement of all Junior Leagues with the goal of improving communities.
For the past three years, the League has implemented
direct service programs to raise the literacy level in its adopted
kindergarten-to-eighth grade schools.
The League has provided more than 3,000 backpacks,
supplies and books to students in need through its "Tools for Schools" program.
The League has created training programs for members to be effective volunteers,
and has become a source of leaders in government, private enterprise and the
nonprofit community. As its history has shown, Junior League will continue to be
a catalyst for lasting community change.
Please join the Junior League of San Joaquin County in
celebrating 85 years of service as the jewel of the community.
Pittman students hold up their 'Ready to Learn"
Backpacks from Junior League of San Joaquin County on the first day of
school - August 14, 2012 The Junior League of San Joaquin County, formerly
Junior Aid of Stockton,
completed its 4th Annual Backpack Distribution August 14. This year,
Junior League's "Ready to Learn" program was expanded to three schools -
Pittman Charter School, Wagner Holt and Washington School.