While the 2021-2022 League year continued to pose challenges in creating deep and engaging connections with the community, our members never faltered on their focus of providing support to women and children, specifically around literacy, health and food insecurity.
We accomplished what we set out to do! Our League members donated diapers and we both collected and read books to children in need. We continued to show that we care about children's well-being when we participated in Cardz for Kids, and we showed compassion with our Hearts of Hope.
We addressed women's health issues when we walked to bring awareness and raise funds for cancer and heart disease research, the two leading causes of death for women in the United States (1). In addition, we have acknowledged that the mental health crisis has heightened during the past few years and observed Mental Health Awareness Month in May and offering Mental Health First Aid training to our members to address what mental distress looks like and how to help someone in need.
Throughout the year we’ve continued to make Diversity, Equity & Inclusion a critical part of how we lead. Dr. TLC shared insights on racism and reminded us that we all share in the responsibility to be the change today that we want to see tomorrow. And we continued to honor those that came before us by participating in the MLK virtual series in January, as well as the Women United Celebration in February.
In addition to the work done with our DIAD programming, the League awarded two deserving women with the annual High School Voluntarism Award. All four finalists were exceptional candidates, and we were pleased to recognize two deserving students.
Lastly, we connected our focus areas to the inaugural Little Black Dress Initiative. This campaign raised awareness about poverty and food insecurity in our community via social media and more than $5,000 for League programming through peer-to-peer fundraising efforts. All in all, we had a successful year providing our League members with a mixture of DIADs that aligned with our focus areas and mission, supporting the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.
Gerri Lyons Bell
(1) CDC - https://www.cdc.gov/women/lcod/2017/all-races-origins/index.htm