The Junior League of Chicago has a serious commitment to ChicagoCAC and helping children and families have a little fun. Last month, their Child Enrichment Committee held a dinner for families and hosted a summer kick-off where they provided a taco truck for lunch, a balloon artist, and other games and activities, plus they cleaned up and planted new flowers in our Hope and Healing garden. We’re so grateful for their continued commitment to ChicagoCAC, and we talked to JLC’s Cristina M. Galvan to find out what keeps them coming back.
How did you first get involved with ChicagoCAC? How long have you been connected?
The JLC began volunteering with ChicagoCAC in 2016. One of our first volunteer events was volunteering at the annual Holiday Party! Every year since 2017, we have dedicated a group of volunteers to serve ChicagoCAC.
Tell us about the history and mission of the Junior League. How can people join?
The Junior League of Chicago is made up of women from all walks of life bound by a single goal: to improve the health and well-being of women, children, and families in our city through effective action and leadership of well-trained volunteers. For more than a century, the Junior League has empowered women to lead. JLC partners with community organizations, non-profits, and schools, allowing them to better achieve their missions.
Each year, the JLC donates over 125,000 volunteer hours to community agencies and programs that support three pillars: meeting essential needs, violence prevention & awareness, and literacy. This work empowers underserved families—especially women and girls—through hands-on mentoring, advocacy and education.
The JLC welcomes all women who value our mission. We are committed to inclusive environments of diverse individuals, organizations, and communities. You can find more info about joining us here.
What aspect of ChicagoCAC’s work or mission appeals to the group?
The number one issue Chicagoland families face is exposure to violence (in its many forms). We are proud to partner with ChicagoCAC to help break the cycle of child abuse because they understand how important it is to tackle theses issues through multiple avenues: mental health services, partnerships with law enforcement, as well as policy and awareness programs.
What’s been the most inspiring outcome or project that your connection with ChicagoCAC has created?
Seeing the joy our programming sparks! The JLC hosts family fun events onsite throughout the year for families to enjoy while visiting ChicagoCAC for services. Our family fun events include crafts, games, and pizza and our recent outdoor Summer Kick Off included a food truck, balloon artist, games, ice cream, and tie-dye shirts! The JLC has a tradition of organizing sugar cookie decorating at the Holiday Party every year. The past two years we kept the tradition alive with hundreds of take home sugar cookie decorating kits assembled by our volunteers. It’s a favorite project among our members. The JLC looks forward to keeping these traditions going and continuing to find new ways to support ChicagoCAC!
What would you say to someone who’s considering ChicagoCAC as a cause to support?
Join us! It takes a community. Together we can support ChicagoCAC in protecting the safety, well-being, and futures of Chicago’s children. With multiple avenues to volunteer, there is a space for everyone.
Anything else you want to add or want people to know?
This year, JLC is celebrating 110 years of serving women and children in Chicago. We’ve set a bold goal to have our membership participate in 110 community service events across the city to deepen our impact.