11/1/14 – The Most Important Gift: Letter from the President

As part of our commitment to increase transparency and Member ownership, I shared a dashboard (below) at our November General Membership Meeting.  I’m thrilled about our progress toward filling 100% of volunteer shifts, the growing support from non-Members, and that by taking some calculated risks we are well ahead of our fundraising goals!  With spending on track and several exciting fundraisers stil ahead, we expect to end the year in excellent shape adding to our ability to give back to the community.

Financial health is great – it’s essential if 105 years from now JLP exists to prepare women for a lifetime of civic leadership.  But what really excites me is that this success is not just the result of hard work and dedication (though there’s certainly been a lot of that!).  I believe a big part of your success is due to the joyful, supportive, optimistic vision we are creating together.

It’s Sustainers, Actives, and Provisionals dancing together at the Harvest Soiree, non-Members squealing with delight over a silent auction, playing together and showing future generations of volunteers that service to others is one of life’s greatest joys.  It’s creating an envirionment that’s truly inclusive and safe to try new things..  It’s never being too busy to check in with each other as human beings before getting down to business.

It’s also the check for $5.51 we just received from a mother who participated in a Between the Lines reading who now donates a portion of the income from her job in prison back to the Junior League of Portland.  Our VP of Finance, Cynthia Bradley, said, “This may be the most important check we receive all year.”  I couldn’t agree more.

Five dollars may not fund a big program, pay for a conference, or buy lots of fancy equipment.  But it does challenge us to make darn sure we use those dollars wisely.

That check is proof that you are creating something other people want to be part of.  Your volunteerism shows the world that they can make a difference.  Thank you for representing joy and hope this holiday season!