Reasons Members Love Our League

As we celebrate our 90th anniversary, our members tell us what the Junior League of Raleigh means to them. Read on to find out how our organization has been a force for change in the community, and an impact in JLR members’ lives for 90 years. 

“Educating generations of women on the importance of philanthropy and community engagement and creating lifelong volunteers dedicated to the betterment of Wake County (or wherever they may land). For me, that connection and engagement is the JLR’s impact on our community over the last 90 years. Whether as a nonprofit board member, a placement volunteer, a fundraiser donor, or a concerned citizen, JLR members know how to make a difference in our community!” – Lanier McRee


“The Junior League has been a place of connection and experiential training for me for the past ten years. Through numerous training opportunities and events, I have become a better leader and have learned to never stop growing.” – Michele DeFoe


“Knowing that I am making a difference in a child’s life.” – Jenn Dunn Maier


“The Junior League of Raleigh has empowered me to be a better leader in my community. The leadership workshops have helped me be a better communicator and understand the viewpoints of others.” – Tamika Cheek


“JLR feeds my soul. In all the hustle and craziness of my job and the rest of my life, serving my community and coming together with like-minded women gives me a place to reset and give back and there is truly nothing else in my life like it.” – Caitlin Howison


“When our community partners are experiencing the worst of situations, our League members don’t hesitate, they act quickly! Whether it’s a need for school supplies, Christmas gifts for InterAct, deliveries for BackPack buddies, or extra bottled water post-hurricane for the Food Bank, our members are always acting with the intention of bettering the lives of others. It’s an honor to serve in an organization with a heart as big as Wake County.”- Lizzy Thier


“Our volunteers not only affect the community through Active placements, but they then go on to be some of the best, most well-regarded volunteers for nonprofits, faith communities, schools and other civic organizations in Raleigh. JLR members take what they’ve learned in the League and help advance other good causes in our community. Our volunteers are plentiful in board roles and as nonprofit leaders, and their Junior League training always shows!” – Marisa Bryant


“JLR allows women with no experience but with a true passion to serve, the opportunity to become leaders in the community, and to improve the circumstances of those in need.” – Selene Brent


“When I first moved to Raleigh in October 2018, transferring from another League, I arrived just in time for the Friendsgiving Celebration that was planned by the Transfer committee. At the event, the team and hostess were so warm and welcoming that I immediately started feeling less like a new Transfer. That first impression of the JLR was confirmation that I had found my new League home!” – Paulette Evans


“I think the JLR has impacted my life by welcoming me into a new city that I didn’t know much about and quickly realizing how we support other organizations with our efforts and volunteers.” – Nancy Ventura


“The impact of the Junior League of Raleigh ripples throughout Wake County. The power of our partnerships enables us to reach a wide variety of Wake County residents. We have supported underfunded and underserved facets of our community. Our members continue to broaden our reach and support within our community to further our league’s mission.” – Brooke Schmidt


“The friends I have made!” – Andrea Fox


“The JLR has been a great example of what community is and how it comes together for the greater good of us all! Congratulations for the visionary leadership and stewardship JLR has gifted to all in the Raleigh, NC community!” – Pamela Jamison


“Friends who are there through highs and lows, thick and thin.” – Whitney Von Hamm


“The JLR has created connections and a community – member to member, member to community organization, member to Wake County resident. It’s those connections that are very important and life-changing for so many people.” – Maggie Bizzell


“The Junior League is the best training organization I know of for young women in the country.  The impact of the League and its members is amazing in every community they serve!” – Martha Leak


“By sending out trained volunteers to work directly with our community partners!” -Randi Ligon


“The opportunities for members to lead and impact change in our community.” – Amy Davis


“JLR’s impact extends outside of the community groups we directly volunteer with. We train leaders who represent the League all over Wake County and beyond by serving as board members, volunteers and employees at a multitude of nonprofits.” – Sarah Wheeler


“Establishing the Julia Jones Daniels Center for Community Leadership. (Our headquarters on Hillsborough St.) It is a legacy that will last for generations.” – Rebecca Ayers


“I think about all the relationships I’ve made in the community and with other members. The League builds a stronger community by bringing people together whose paths would never cross, to work together for a positive change.” – Jenny Anderson


“We are an organization that has changed with the times. We’ve gone from creating a baby hospital to an outdoor truck playground! We never stop evolving.” – Astra Ball


“It has given me access to a network of like-minded women who love helping others. We see a need or problem in our community and we work together to be a part of the solution.” – Tarsha Burroughs


“I’m grateful for the friendships and relationships that I’ve developed through the Junior League of Raleigh. The League has enhanced my personal and professional experiences. I’m especially grateful during this pandemic crisis to have a support group within the League to lean on for support and guidance. Cheers to 90 more!” – Bernette Stivers


“The extensive training provided me with numerous opportunities for key leadership positions in Raleigh, Wake County and North Carolina, working with many diverse populations in support of improving our community. The relationships developed with other league members throughout my membership are priceless! These women are my extended family.” – Dianne Davidian


“JLR connected me with the community in a way I couldn’t have accessed on my own, even working in local media. Seeing the impact of our community work and hearing from community leaders has helped shape the Raleigh I know now!” – Sarah Day Owen Wiskirchen


“Provided a safe place for victims of domestic violence. This includes food, shelter, tutoring for kids, healthcare; etc. The families are never kicked out of the shelter thus allowing them time to get to a good place where they don’t feel forced back into the old environment.” – Melissa Cade


“The Junior League gave my Mom an outlet for volunteerism and when I watched her work at the Bargain Box or organized sidewalk clean ups, I was seeing her in a new light other than being a stay at home mom, basically doing everything for me. Now I am inspired by the women alongside me in the League now, doing the same and even more. We are working moms, young professionals, and stay at home moms too – all still looking to give back, help our community and connect with other women. It is amazing how the League, and women in general, have grown, evolved and are just amazing members of society. So thankful for the JLR!” – Kate Mullis


“JLR provides an excellent opportunity for transfers to learn about our awesome community and get involved!” – Kristina Turner Bennett


“The League has helped me develop professionally and personally thanks to the team work of dedicated members who helped me on this journey.” – Dorothea Bitler


“The League has provided multiple opportunities for me to grow as a community volunteer by creating a space to gain additional skills in leadership development and training alongside some of the best in Wake County.” – Brandi Davis


“Laying the roots for SAFEchild has made long lasting positive impacts in the community.” – Liz Clapp


“The Junior League of Raleigh has made Christmases more cheery for the Kids at Heritage Park for over a decade. For years, our volunteers have set up gifts and brought kids into the center to shop, wrap and celebrate the holidays. While I know the kids enjoy this tradition, it’s something that I looked forward to year after year as a volunteer.” – Kate Burnie


“By training an army of women leaders in our community to advocate for causes near and dear to their hearts.” – Melanie Townsend


“As a member of the Junior League of Raleigh, I’ve been able to volunteer my time and talents with a wide variety of organizations… From getting my boots dirty at Helping Horse Therapeutic Riding Program while helping children stay safe and engaged during their weekly therapy, to providing our membership with information about municipal elections through the Government Relations & Public Affairs team. I love the opportunity to change it up every year, while expanding my network of friendships!” – Megan Riley


“The Junior League has made impacts on so many lives across Wake County in the past 90 years. Those impacts can be seen by the numerous organizations the League supports, either today or years past when those organizations were just a thought or in their infancy. JLR also has made lasting impact on so many as new friendships have formed and skill sets learned throughout training and service.”  – Stacie Walker