Each year, the Impact Committee of the Junior League of Tulsa (JLT) provides assistance to hundreds of women, children, and families by partnering with local nonprofits to assist with done-in-a-day projects. Now in its 10th year of existence, the committee and its 34 members are dedicated to making a difference in the community.
“We engage in a variety of volunteer services,” Impact Committee chair Jenny Barrett says. “Sometimes it’s providing volunteers to complete simple tasks like serving food or sorting donations. Other times it’s planning and facilitating entire events.”
Each summer, JLT accepts volunteer assistance applications from local 501(c)(3) organizations in the Tulsa area. These applications are reviewed at the end of the summer, and potential projects are then scored with an Impact project rubric. Once scored, the Impact chair, vice chairs, Community Programs vice president, and Community Council vice president select which projects the Impact Committee will complete during the upcoming League year.
“We aim to select projects according to what fits best with our predetermined guidelines and with JLT’s mission and values,” Barrett says.
Throughout the 2015–16 League year, Impact is tackling 27 different projects, which range from volunteering at the Down Syndrome Association of Tulsa’s Buddy Walk to sorting donations at Emergency Infant Services and from hosting a holiday party at the Resonance Center for Women to hosting an after-school Valentine party for Youth at Heart.
“It’s so rewarding to work hands-on with all of these organizations and to really see where the money that JLT raises is going and see the positive impact we have on the Tulsa community,” Barrett says.
Additionally, Impact allows JLT the opportunity to identify needs in the community that could turn into long-term projects. “Impact helps JLT build relationships with nonprofits in the community,” Barrett says. “We get to know them and could potentially recognize larger-scale projects that the League could partner with the organization to achieve.”
Even for League members not serving on the Impact Committee, there are opportunities to participate in Impact projects. In April, Impact will be organizing a League-wide event with Youth at Heart, an organization that provides after-school and summer programs for low-income youth in Tulsa. League members will have the opportunity to bowl and socialize with Youth at Heart children.
“We’ve done bowling with Youth at Heart the last several years,” Barrett says. “It’s always been a very rewarding experience for all League members involved.” More information about the event will be provided to JLT members in the upcoming months.