Karen Miller touched many lives during the course of her own, too short life.

Of course, there was her work with the Junior League of Evanston-North Shore (of which she was president from 2001-2002) and The Association of Junior Leagues International (four years on the Governance Committee and three years on the Board of Directors). And Karen was also a tireless volunteer to many other nonprofit organizations in Illinois. But Karen’s knack for making voluntarism vital and relevant came alive in 2006, when she met Jennifer Sapitro, a college student who applied to JLE-NS for a scholarship so that she could go to Kenya to work in an orphanage.

After her six-week trip to Kenya, Jen returned to the League to share photos and stories as well as how much the trip had inspired her to continue to get more involved with the urban poor in Nairobi. She returned to Kenya for good the following year and founded Uweza Foundation in 2008. Karen and Jen continued their long relationship, which culminated in the creation of the Uweza Bright Futures Program, a partnership between JLE-NS and Uweza which enables young women in one of the poorest neighborhoods in Nairobi to start their own small businesses.

Karen died in June.

She deeply loved her family and cherished her friendships and will be missed by many.

In lieu of flowers, donations to Uweza Foundation would be greatly appreciated. www.uwezakenya.org