How One Woman Made a Difference

At The Junior League, we spend a lot of time thinking about the power of volunteer groups. But sometimes, it’s awe-inspiring to look at what one a single determined woman can do.

Take Lorri Unumb, a member of the Junior League of Columbia, SC. In 2005, as the mother of a 4-year-old boy in South Carolina recently diagnosed with severe autism, she took up the challenge to get her medical insurance company to cover the cost of treatments for her son, Ryan…

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What Happens When You’re Too Old for Santa Claus…and Foster Care?

There are approximately 500,000 young Americans in foster care around the country, according to the most recent federal AFCARS data. While most returned to their birth families, went to live with other family members or were adopted, the 14% who age out or otherwise drop out of foster care may find that the biggest challenge in leaving the system is survival.

“Statistics prove that the physical, emotional and social outcomes for ‘aged-out’ foster kids is often bad—bad for the kids and bad for the community that often has no way of dealing with them,” said Debbie Robinson, President of The Association of Junior Leagues International, which represents 292 individual Junior Leagues in four countries. “For all of the money, time and effort we devote to keeping kids in foster care, unfortunately they are too often left on their own when they ‘graduate.’”

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The CRC @ 20

CRC. It’s not one of those acronyms that rolls off your tongue. But the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) – which, 20 years ago this month, became the first legally binding international convention to affirm human rights for all children – really did make a difference.

Looking back on this landmark action, we also see the value in small steps made by volunteer advocacy groups like The Junior League in advance of big steps made by international bodies like United Nations, with the CRC, or governmental organizations. Because, as we see it, passionate volunteer groups – wherever they are – can set the stage for policy solutions to tough issues.

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