Junior League plays senior role in service

According to JLG President Kimberly Witherspoon, current areas of focus for the all-volunteer organization include human trafficking and economic mobility. Over the years, JLG members have provided foundational funding for Greenville institutions such as Roper Mountain Science Center, the Peace Center and Nicholtown Child and Family Collaborative, and they were founders of Pendleton Place.

“Many of our members make lifelong commitments to service by sustaining our organization with their time, talent and treasure for decades,” Witherspoon says. “Members in their 80s, 90s and beyond use leadership lessons learned in the league in service to the Greenville community, working with any number of nonprofit mainstays. They also serve as role models for newer members, which is one of the elements that makes JLG so special and so beneficial.”

The largest source of funding for JLG is the Nearly New Shop, which sells gently used clothing and housewares. Items may be dropped off from 10 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays at 118 Greenacre Road, and all donations are tax deductible. With advance notice, JLG volunteers can even pick up and transport items. The JLG is also associated with three other well-known letters: the LBD. Every year, the Little Black Dress Initiative garners significant donations for community causes. Members wear black dresses for five consecutive days to call attention to barriers poverty creates in the lives of women and to encourage friends, family and colleagues to support their efforts.

Looking ahead to 2023, Witherspoon says JLG’s 1,100-plus members will continue their mission to provide meaningful community impact through volunteer action, collaboration and training. In March, they will host the third annual Empowered Women of Greenville conference, a full-day event open to all women in the area. “The conference is about helping women thrive personally and professionally. We believe empowered women have a ripple effect on the community at large, and we want to keep that going as we look toward another year of developing female leaders, working collaboratively with our partner agencies and supporting job attainment efforts through our Nearly New Shop.”

The JLG is a great place to get to know the community and its needs if you’re new to Greenville and a wonderful way to become part of the tradition of leadership and service regardless of age or time in the Upstate. Membership in the Junior League is open to all women 21 and over, and applications are available on the organization’s website, jlgreenville.org