Sustaining Grace: a Decade in Junior League

I am proud to have spent the last ten years in The Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc. (AJLI) - an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. After a decade, I have made the decision to become a Sustainer - the equivalent of retiring, but still retaining the connection to JL. It takes quite a while to become eligible for Sustainer status, and I'm proud to have stayed active this long.

I blogged two years ago - Junior League: What do you DO? - explaining what *actually happens* in JL. I began my JL career in 2003 with my provisional year in JLGNF (Junior League of Gwinnett & North Fulton Counties) when we lived outside of Atlanta; I was also a member of JLKD (Junior League of Kane & DuPage Counties) during the time we lived outside Chicago, before transferring to JLA (Junior League of Albany, Georgia).

I have made some of the sweetest friends and had the happiest, most fulfilling connections through JL...

My decision to go Sustainer was kind of a default: the closest JL here is actually JL Houston. It's HUGE; and after all this time, I really don't want to just be a number among thousands. I've met a few other JL ladies who have also been transferred here to the suburbs from other states, and there's been some talk of perhaps founding a new JL chapter for this area, just as The Woodlands & North Houston have done, (and as JLGNF serves northeastern Atlanta suburbs.) B/c I have enough years of service, I was able to go Sustainer instead of Non-Resident Active of JLA while we look into that possibility, I retain my connection to JL, and I'm able to reactivate at any point, if I do wish to get involved with starting something new here. It would be a monumental undertaking, but this area is booming with transfers, and if we can get enough support, it may actually happen! For now, though, I'm happy and proud to have attained Sustainer status. :-)


  1. I have considered joining the Jr. League of New Orleans, but it is REALLLY big and sort of exclusive, and honestly, I don't know that I would have time to do all of the tasks they require with working full time and being a momma! If you were in my chapter, though, I'd totally join! :)

  2. We would have an absolute BALL together!!! :-D
    I will agree, it *IS* challenging to get all the requirements done when you are a working mommy. A big contingent of my provisional class all got pregnant together (literally 9 of us! We told people not to drink the water at our provisional meetings! :-D) and even just having the babies w/ most of us being SAHMs was intense... But it *was* awesome! :-) Seriously, I'm w/ you in that the mega-Leagues are not very appealing. Each of my 3 were b/t ~150 and ~300 members; I always had a placement where I was front & center, I got to know everyone, & everyone knew me. Those connections are what has made JL so precious to me; the thought of being one of a couple thousand just sounds...sad? I guess I'd like to hear from ladies who are in huge JLs, what their experiences have been, and if they end up mostly just working in a subgroup with the same people all the time.

  3. I joined the Society of Women Engineers in 2003, the same year that you joined JL! I love that our professional section has "only" a few hundred members (we're actually one of the biggest sections in the country)'s big enough in size to get volunteers to support all of our events and volunteer work, but not so huge that the bureaucracy outpaces the impact. I can't even fathom what it would be like to be in an organization's local section with a few thousand people. I'm totally with you that I'd be happier in a relatively smaller group of people.


Post a Comment