Unexpected news has a way of leaving us speechless, but no amount of astonishment could keep us from sharing the reason why our October has been so special! As summer came to a close and The Junior League looked forward to the cooler autumn months, we were stopped in our tracks when our Instagram account (@JuniorLeague) was graced by a new and royal follower; none other than the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, @SussexRoyal! Pinch us, we must be dreaming!  

It’s important to mention that we truly value each and every one of our Instagram followers, but getting attention from Meghan Markle and Prince Harry is something to celebrate, especially considering the unique and exciting circumstances.    

Celebrating Forces for Change 

In September, Duchess Meghan Markle made an appearance as British Vogue’s guest editor, and in true Meghan Markle style, she used her platform to do good. In lieu of posing on the cover, the Duchess chose to feature 15 women selected as “Forces for Change” for their ongoing contributions to worldwide human rights, diversity, and mental health awareness efforts. These incredible women were so deserving of their time in the spotlight, and the subsequent attention it garnered for their respective causes.  

During Meghan Markle’s Vogue appearance, the Duke and Duchess announced their decision to pay recognition to 15 additional “Forces for Change” by following them (and only them!) on Instagram. To narrow down their list of noteworthy organizations, individuals and causes, the royal couple asked their extensive community of more than 9.7 Million accounts to suggest their favorites. The Junior League just happened to be one of those favorites!   

Getting the #RoyalTreatment  

As anyone might expect, we’re beyond thrilled to have been recognized by the Duke and Duchess as one of the “Forces for Change” in the month of October, 2019. Seeing @SussexRoyal join our list of followers was a moment we’ll never forget; especially because of what followed.  

As Meghan Markle and Prince Harry predicted, their plan to exclusively follow 15 organizations throughout October would shine a spotlight on some lesser-known grassroots efforts, all of which could benefit from this recognition. For The Junior League, our new royal follower triggered an influx of new interest, followers, and increased engagement for which we can’t begin to express our gratitude.  

In Good Company
Collaboration and community are two values we hold dear. As our Leagues work to address systemic societal issues, we know that we can’t achieve the impact we seek without partners like our fellow honorees. Our advocacy and service work addressing issues such as human trafficking, domestic violence, maternal mental health, and the effects of poverty on women multiplies when organizations around the world such as One25 Charity, RizeUp AustraliaLotus Petal Family Support, and School for Life Foundation are working in parallel. In that spirit, we’re happy to see these other causes and organizations also experiencing the benefits of exposure and endorsement.  

Being recognized as one of the “Forces for Change” in October gave us a unique opportunity to learn more about the other royally endorsed organizations. Trust us, they’re all worth a follow, and so are we! After all, If the Duke and Duchess are following us on Instagram, then you should too! We post regularly and always have plenty of news to share. Join us there at @JuniorLeague. We’ll be expecting you.  

If you haven’t already, take a look at the other accounts being recognized this month!  

Green Light Trust (@greenlighttrust) This environmental education charity helps people rebuild and refocus their lives through the power of nature. Learn more about their Forest School trainers at www.greenlighttrust.org/  

Sal’s Shoes (@salsshoes) This nonprofit organization helps match preloved children’s shoes with the little feet who need them. Learn more about their mission and how to get involved at www.salsshoes.com/  

The Black Mambas (@theblackmambas) This South African environmental organization is the world’s first all women anti-poaching initiative. Founded by Transfrontier Africa, The Black Mambas’ mission is to empower local communities and protect wildlife resources. Visit www.blackmambas.org/ for more information.  

One25 Charity (@one25_charity) This Bristol, UK charitable organization is helping local women escape street sex work, while supporting their fight against poverty violence, and addiction. Learn more at www.one25.org.uk/  

Surfers Not Street Children (@surfersnotstreetchildren) Since 1998, this Durban, South Africa based organization has helped at risk children discover a passion for surfing, partnered with mentorship and care. Check out www.surfnotstreets.org/  

Border Kindness (@borderkindness) This organization provides migrants, refugees, and the displaced with comprehensive services including food, shelter, clothing, and medical and legal services. Check out www.borderkindness.org for more information.  

St. Kilda Mums (@stkildamums) This nonprofit rehomes donated nursery equipment and clothing to babies and children across Victoria, AU. The organization’s mission is to reduce waste, share more, and care for every baby and child. Visit www.stkildamums.org/ to learn how you can help.  

The Retrade Project (@theretradeproject) This South African community recycling and upliftment initiative uses the bartering system to promote volunteering, low waste living, and environmental cleanup efforts. You can learn more at www.retradeproject.co.za/  

Ujamaa Children’s Home (@ujamaa_children) This unique home for vulnerable kids in Arusha Tarzania lives as a family with loving support, quality education, and lots of fun. Their website www.ujamaachildren.com/ has more information.  

RizeUp Australia (@rizeupaustralia) This Gold Coast, Queensland organization helps families whose lives have been devastated by domestic and family violence. The organization offers practical support and advocacy. Check out www.rizeup.com.au/ for more information. 

Lotus Petal Family Support (@lotus_petal_family_support) This mental health advocacy organization uses blogging, social media, and peer support groups to raise awareness for maternal mental health in Essex, UK. Visit www.lotuspetal.blog/ for their latest news. 

Trott Riding (@trott_riding) This Ontario, CA based organization has been offering therapeutic riding lessons for children and adults with disabilities for over 40 years. Visit www.cod.ckcufm.com/programs.60.43779.html for more details 

52 Lives (@52.lives) This award-winning charity changes lives every week, with help from almost 100,000 people. This organization also runs a School of Kindness.  

Wild Care Bay Area (@wildcarebayarea) This California, US charity organization advocates for wildlife with nature education, wildlife medicine, and community outreach. Visit www.discoverwildcare.org/  

School For Life Foundation (@schoolforlifefoundation) The vision of this Sydney, AU organization is to educate poverty out of existence by empowering communities to become sustainable through quality education and services. Check out www.schoolforlife.org/au/  

WellChild (@wellchild) This UK national charity helps give children and young people with serious illness the best chance to thrive, while remaining home with their families. For more information, visit www.wellchild.org.uk/