The Junior League of Minneapolis is committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving the community.

Since 1923, the Junior League of Minneapolis has played a pivotal role in the Minneapolis community. Each year, we train and empower hundreds of women in the areas of volunteerism and leadership to become the civic leaders of our community and our world. As a result, the Junior League of Minneapolis serves as a needed source of well-trained volunteers and acts as a catalyst for positive change through alliances with many other non-profit organizations in our community.

In 2011, the JLM made a strategic decision to focus its community volunteer and advocacy efforts on the achievement gap. Specifically, the JLM provides projects and serves aimed at eliminating many of the underlying causes of the achievement gap that are hindering the learning process for area students.

The JLM’s current community projects include:

Backpack Buddies: Backpack Buddies’ mission is to reduce the effects of childhood hunger by providing nutritious, easy-to-prepare food over the weekend to children in food-insecure homes in the greater Twin Cities area. The JLM provides backpacks of food to students in grades 1-5 at Andersen United Community School in Minneapolis. Approximately 98% of students there qualify for free or reduced-price lunch.

Between the Lines: The goal of Between the Lines is to strengthen the bond between a child and his/her parent or caregiver during an extended separation. Volunteers primarily focus on women housed at the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Shakopee, Minn., where inmates who have completed parenting classes are able to participate. They help inmates select a children's book from the traveling library and record them reading to their child. The recordings are then sent to the child on a CD along with a new copy of the book and a personal note written by the inmate. Between the Lines also started supporting children whose parent(s) are being deployed through Minnesota's Beyond the Yellow Ribbon's Family Preparation Academies. Soldiers are able to record their reading, a message and write a card to their child.

Helping Hands: Helping Hands supports the JLM mission of improving the community by meeting short-term needs and providing JLM members with diverse opportunities for hands-on volunteer experiences through our strategic partners, including Bridging, Second Harvest Heartland, Free Arts Minnesota and Greater Minneapolis Crisis Nursery. In addition, Helping Hands organizes JLM Impact Days, where the JLM leverages the full power of its membership to showcase the JLM's dedication to community service.

H.O.M.E.S: H.O.M.E.S (Hands On Math, Engineering and Science)focuses on educating and encouraging parents of elementary-aged student to see science, math and technology as fun and approachable subjects. H.O.M.E.S is set up to help parents and students in after-school and summer STEM programs in addition to multiple science fairs throughout the year.

LeagueAires: The LeagueAires are trained volunteers who have been sponsored by the Junior League of Minneapolis since 1966. The group’s purpose is to bring the joy of music to the elderly, mentally or physically challenged children and adults, and to disadvantaged children, as well as to continue training volunteers in the fundamentals of therapeutic music.

Wallin Scholarship: Each year since 2002, the Junior League of Minneapolis provides a scholarship through the Wallin Scholarship Program to a female high school senior who has been selected on the basis of academic rigor and commitment to the community.

In addition to its own projects and services, the JLM partners with organizations in the Minneapolis community already working to narrow the achievement gap. The JLM provides womanpower and networking opportunities so these programs can reach their full potential. The JLM also implements advocacy efforts aimed at educating its members, the public and local and state governments regarding the many issues that contribute to the achievement gap. Through these efforts, the JLM trains its members to become active citizens dedicated to narrowing the achievement gap in their own neighborhoods, schools and businesses.

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