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Past Projects

Past Projects

2012 – 2013 Done In A Day (DIAD) Projects

Children’s First
For this DIAD, we worked as a team to write and prepare course outlines for an eight week nutrition program for Children’s First.  This program was geared towards parents and presented topics that would allow the parents to remember and reflect on what they have learned about nutrition, exercise, and self-image and how that plays out into their parenting and nutrition choices with their children.  It also encouraged ways for parents to communicate with their children about nutrition, exercise, and self-image in fun and healthy ways!

Ready, Set, Grow!
This project was in partnership with the United Way of Sarasota and we distributed 100 bicycle helmets to young children (provided by our own certified bicycle helmet fitter, Janet Feliciano) as well providing instructions to parents and children on brain injury prevention through bicycle safety.  A Kids In The Kitchen booth was also led by the Nutrition DIAD Committee.

Sixteen Hands Horse Sanctuary Project
This project planted shade trees in four pastures to offer shade to 25 rescued horses who had a pasture to peruse through, but no shade trees under which to rest.
Habitat For Humanity, South Sarasota DIAD Sustainer Project
The Habitat for Humanity “ReStore” store sells fashion, furniture, building supplies, books, etc., to help raise funds to build homes. They handle hundreds of transactions a day and will physically show the power of partnerships. The Sustainers organized the Christmas Room at this Habitat for Humanity in South County.  See the Sustainer article for more information!

Cozy Kids Holiday Season
This DIAM took place at our GMM in partnership with Schoolhouse Link.  We collected pajamas, slippers, and gift cards for sheltered children and then distributed to youth taken into shelter and in need of these items during the holiday season.
Salvation Army
In this DIAD, members transformed the Salvation Army “kid comfortable” waiting area to create a more child friendly atmosphere while their parents come for appointments in the emergency financial assistance offices.
Mothers Helping Mothers
Mothers Helping Mothers provides children’s clothing and small household items, free of charge.  JLS sorted through donations and stocked shelves at store front.  In addition, we purchased diapers and socks, items which are always in need of being supplied.
At the Safe Place and Rape Crisis Center (SPARCC), Venice Outreach Office, we transformed a small room into an inviting children’s counseling office.  This room serves not only as the children’s counseling office but also as a play room when parents have appointments with advocates.  We also added updates to the adult counseling office.
Sarasota Manatee Jewish Housing Council
At the Sarasota-Manatee Jewish Housing Council, JLS provided a two-day DIAD which renovated the kitchen area and patio area into a 1950’s style kitchen. These areas will provide role-play and sensory based activity areas which will allow the opportunity for dementia residents to feel safe, active and less anxious through familiar looking environments taken from an era that is the most remembered.
Florida Center for Early Childhood
This lovely project was successfully completed with in-kind donations from Hazelton Nurseries.  The beautification of the Children’s Calming Garden helped to make it an enjoyable space for children to enjoy!
A Children’s Garden
Completed in early spring, our Sustainers added whimsy to the Faerie Garden to encourage children’s imaginations.  See the Sustainer section for more information!
Humane Society of Sarasota County
This DIAM took place at our April GMM, in partnership with the Humane Society of Sarasota.  In a matter of just a few minutes, we organized and stuffed over 100 take home bags for new adoptive animal parents which included informational brochures and a new toy.

2011 – 2012 Done In A Day (DIAD) Projects

Children First
A primary objective of Children First is to assist low-income families achieve self-sufficiency and the right skill set for successful parenting.  Their Health Literacy Training program accomplishes just that by teaching parents how to effectively meet the health care needs of their children.  On Tuesday, October 25, 2011 members partnered up to stuff bags full of medical supplies, including digital thermometers purchased by the league.  A special thanks to Vanguard Pharmacy of Bradenton for assisting with the bulk purchase of thermometers at a discount!

Habitat for Humanity
On Saturday, October 22, 2011 several members teamed up with long-time volunteers of Habitat for Humanity to dig trenches at 1827 Worrington Street which will soon be home to Antoinette Davis and her 3 year old son.  And boy did we get a workout!  With the support of organizations including Junior League, the Habitat for Humanity Sarasota has built 191 homes across Sarasota County since 1985.

Sarasota Manatee Jewish Housing Council, Anchin Pavilion
The digging didn’t stop at Habitat for Humanity!  Members showed their green thumb by giving new life to the garden for the Memory Support Wing of Anchin Pavilion, run by Sarasota-Manatee Jewish Housing Council on Sunday, December 11, 2011.  The revitalization included planting several new plants and the removal of dead ones.  A special thanks to Laurel from Florida Native Plants, Inc. of Sarasota for her guidance in selecting only the best for the residents of Anchin Pavilion.

Family Promise
Family Promise Sarasota is a transitional shelter program serving approximately 40 families in our community each year that have lost housing.  JLS members teamed up together on February 11th to tackle the painting of their Day Center and the Promise House, a 3 bedroom/2 bathroom house.  It’s amazing what a can of paint and a little elbow grease can do!

Girls Inc
On February 25th, JLS transformed a room at Girls Inc headquarters used for tutoring, a sick bay and the storage of donations into a more functional and organized environment.  Members cleaned out an endless number of drawers, built cabinets, and organized year’s worth of donations for the betterment of the girls and staff.  JLS also donated new toys for the girl’s prize bank, which was much in need of replenishing!

Fruitville Elementary School
On March 2nd the JLS sustainers read the Dr. Seuss book “The Lorax” to all 48 classrooms at Fruitville Elementary school.  This event was part of the annual “Read Across America” celebration helping to promote literacy.  It was an exciting and well-planned event by DeeDee Rice, the third-grade gifted program teacher and JL past-president.  The Cat-in-the-Hat even made a special appearance!  Thank you to both the active and sustainers who helped to raise $465.90 which covered the entire cost of the books donated to the school.

Salvation Army
The Salvation Army on 10th Street is the only homeless shelter in Sarasota and houses 200 each night.  On March 3rd, the JLS had the opportunity to redecorate the Women’s Rehabilitation Lounge and Stairwell, whose residents deserve a comforting place for recovery from drug and alcohol abuse.  A mural was created with powerful sayings collected from the women in the program and the 12 step AA principles painted on the risers in the stairwell to serve as a reminder of how far they have come and where they are going.  New homemade pillows, a rug, a bulletin board and lounge chairs pulled the space together beautifully.

Mothers Helping Mothers
Since 1990, Mothers Helping Mothers, an all volunteer organization, has been providing basic necessities such as clothing and baby items to families in need free of charge.  On March 24th, members sorted hundreds of donations and organized the MHM storefront where over 2,700 families are helped annually.   JLS bought new items including children’s underwear and socks for the families.  A special thanks to all members who contributed donations.  Donations can be made year-round.  Call 941-953-7572 for more details.

Here is an excerpt from Mary Lou Feldman, a MHM volunteer, giving her thanks to the league:

“You (Natalie Lewis) and the other members of Junior League did a fantastic job Saturday at Mothers Helping Mothers.  Everyone dug right in and we accomplished SO MUCH.  Many thanks to you and your group for giving up your precious Saturday morning to help out.  The clients who come in Tuesday morning will have a wonderful selection of items; and, the other volunteers will be so happy to see our “shop” looking so ship-shape!  Thanks also for the many new items you contributed, they will be very much appreciated.”

Children’s Garden & Art Center
JLS members served to connect kids with nature by revitalizing the butterfly and herb garden at the Children’s Garden and Art Center on March 25th.  The garden is not only aesthetically pleasing but it serves an educational purpose, teaching kids the metamorphosis process of a caterpillar to a butterfly.  The garden also captures the memory of the children who died in the Terezin concentration camp from 1941 to 1944, many of which created drawings of butterflies.

YMCA Y-Achievers Mentor Program
On March 31st, JLS supported the YMCA’s Y-Achievers workshop for approximately 30 local high school girls that have little resources but big ambition.  The Y-achievers program was created 22 years ago and is offered to any middle or high school student to assist them in pursuing their academic, athletic, professional, and personal goals.  During breakfast, workshop attendees enjoyed a presentation on professional skills such as first impressions, business etiquette, goals, written communication, and verbal communication.  Participants were in a lively Q&A session for a chance to win one of several gift cards for professional clothing at New York and Company.  JLS members also provided donations of gently used professional clothing and accessories to help the young ladies find a new professional outfit to compliment their new skills.

United Cerebral Palsy
To welcome UCP of Southwest Florida to their new home in Bradenton, JLS members revitalized the front entrance to the building with the removal and pruning of existing plans and replacement with new flowers and shrubs and even a small pond on April 7th.


2011 – 2012 Done In A Meeting (DIAM) Projects

Jewish Family & Children Service of Sarasota-Manatee
Our chapter initiated our very first Done in a Meeting at the November General Membership Meeting on November 15, 2011!  Our task was to create holiday and thinking of you greeting cards for isolated seniors in nursing facilities and senior residences to make them feel loved by the community.   Members also learned about the services offered by JFCS which provides comprehensive counseling and social services to numerous groups in need.

SPARCC (Safe Place and Rape Crisis Center)
At the General Membership Meeting on April 17th, we completed a collection for new underwear and sports bras for victims of sexual violence in honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.  Our very own Concetta Hollinger, Community Council Vice President, spoke on behalf of SPARCC and the importance of reporting sexual abuse and resources for help in our very own backyard.

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