The Junior League of Omaha 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. Since 1919, the Junior League of Omaha has served the city of Omaha. Our membership has trained volunteers, provided civic leadership, raised funds and developed programs and services that have helped make Omaha great.
Since 1919, the Junior League of Omaha has provided hands-on training for its members and service to the community. From day nurseries and the formation of the Community Chest in the 1920s and 1930s, to producing Follies-style shows and starting the Joslyn Art Museum Volunteer Association in the 1940s and 1950s, to co-sponsoring and developing projects in the 1960s and 1970s including Haven Academy, Kaleidoscope and the Parent Assistance Line (PALs). Projects in the 1980s and 1990s increased learning opportunities for children through the Omaha Children's Museum, Ident-a-Kid, Healthy Kids-Ready by Six and the Campfire Boys and Girls program.
A Book of My Own hopes to ensure that all children in the Omaha area have a book of their own at home. We collect, sort and distribute new and gently-used books to at-risk children ages 0-14. This year, the project has distributed over 16,715 books to 30 community agencies. This brings the project's total to over 70,000 books given since its beginning. Community organizations, schools, churches and families have held book drives and then the League partners with agencies, including Completely KIDS, Kids Can, Boys and Girls Club and Girls Inc., to distribute the books.
Project Hope Pack collects and distributes age- and gender-appropriate backpacks full of necessities and comfort items to children who are unexpectedly removed from their homes as a result of a crisis situation. Our packs include items to cover a three- to five- day transition period and ease trauma and provide some comfort for a child as they move to a safe, yet unfamiliar, environment. The League partners with local child advocacy agencies, homeless shelters, community development agencies and churches that play a role in moving children out of crisis situations.
Done-in-a-Day is a series of concentrated projects that offer volunteers for community-based placements on a short-term basis. Volunteers are generally scheduled in three-hour shifts over a time span of half-a-day, one-day or two-day periods. As the Junior League of Omaha approaches its 100th Anniversary in 2019, Done-in-a-Day is working with partners from the League's history to connect to the past and celebrate the League's contributions to the Omaha community.
The Training Committee creates and executes a motivating and fulfilling training curriculum and experience for its members. The curriculum is designed to develop and build leadership skills, as well as broaden members' personal and professional development. Professional development includes topics such as conflict resolution, parliamentary procedure, public speaking, personality strengths and meeting management. Personal development includes topics such as self-defense, dinner and social etiquette, first-aid certification, financial management and wellness.
"Completely KIDS is grateful for the books that we have received from the Junior League through their A Book of my Own project. The majority of youth that we serve do not have very many books in their homes, and if they do have books they may not be at their reading level or in an area of interest to them. Through the A Book of My Own project, our youth were able to take home books that they wanted to read and that were at their reading level. This project really promotes reading which is an extremely important aspect of the academic success of the youth we serve!"
Amy Chisholm, Project Harmony
"The Junior League has been very good to Project Harmony and the children we serve. We look forward to the partnership and being able to offer the kids these wonderful backpacks to take to their new home. They come here with nothing and now will get to leave well prepared and feeling as if they have something of their own."