Junior League of the Oranges and Short Hills Celebrates 100 years
The organization kicks off its Centennial year.
The Junior League of the Oranges and Short Hills (JLOSH) kicked off its Centennial year with a luncheon honoring 100 years of service to the community, and looking forward to many more to come.
JLOSH began as the Junior League of the Oranges in 1913 and merged in 1958 with the Junior Service League of Short Hills, which had been in existence since 1931. It was the eleventh Junior League created in the US, and is the oldest in New Jersey. Today it is a small but effective part of a charitable and educational organization comprised of more than 155,000 women in 293 Junior Leagues throughout Canada, Mexico, the UK and the US.
Speaking at the luncheon, at the Club at Orange Lawn in South Orange, JLOSH President Kate Lee said: "Over the years we have made a lasting impact in our community. JLOSH was instrumental in founding, developing or critically supporting the local Red Cross, the Millburn-Short Hills Volunteer First Aid Squad, New Eyes for the Needy, the Cora Hartshorn Arboretum, Eastlea Group Home and Isaiah House.
"We have refurbished schools, libraries and day care, foster care and transitional housing facilities; assisted with soup kitchens and community food banks; educated children about the importance of healthy eating and exercise; and collected and distributed essential items such as school supplies, pajamas, holiday gifts, books, baby care products and Thanksgiving meal baskets.
"Our tradition of serving our community continues today. We have tremendous poverty in our service area. Nearly 20 percent of children in Essex County live below the federal poverty level and rely on school meal programs and food stamps to fulfill basic nutritional needs. Our focus now is helping children who live without good nutrition and the basics that our children take for granted."
Every year, JLOSH volunteers donate 7,000 hours of their time to improving the lives of women and children. In the last 20 years, Kate Lee said it has given over $380,000 for community improvements and will continue to support the local area with grants, donations and hands-on volunteer work.
But what really sets the Junior League apart from other service organizations is the training it offers its members, she said. "We actively promote leadership training for our members, which enables them to be highly effective in their volunteering. Many go on to set up other projects or sit on the board of nonprofits."
To mark the Centennial, JLOSH received a Resolution saluting the League from the NJ Senate and Assembly, while NJ Governor Chris Christie commended its continued community presence, saying: "JLOSH has helped generations of women achieve the highest levels of community service. The members have founded dozens of programs ranging from healthcare, civic improvement, education and other worthy causes too numerous to list. The League should be proud of its rich history of service."