When I said “yes” to becoming the president of the Junior League of High Point, I wasn’t expecting to lead through a pandemic. When I joined our organization in 2012, I didn’t even consider myself presidential material. Yet, in the words of one of my childhood heroes, Bob Ross, “things that just happen are sometimes more beautiful than things you really sit and plan.”
The successes of the past year have far outweighed its challenges. We paid off the debt on our headquarters, the Briles House, and we also implemented a new-to-us holiday greenery fundraiser. The addition of fresh garland and wreaths to our annual poinsettia sale grants us the opportunity to double our annual fundraising goal this coming fall. We’ve made a strategic decision to forego an additional fundraiser in the coming spring which allows us to focus the remainder of the League year on community impact and membership development.
Our mission is to promote voluntarism, develop the potential of women, and improve the community. The spelling of voluntarism is very important here. It’s not volunteerism with two e’s. Volunteers are people who do work without getting paid. Voluntarism, with an “a”, is bigger than that. It’s the conscious choice we make when we give freely of ourselves without being asked. Each of our members made that choice during a year when it would have been easy to step away.
In the non-profit world, we often hear people mention time, talent, and treasure or wisdom, wealth, and work. It’s a catchy way of saying there are many ways we can give in the spirit of voluntarism. We give time and work when planning General Membership Meetings. We give talent and wisdom when we serve on committees. We give treasure and wealth when we sell poinsettias and donate to community partners. And while we’ll never receive a paycheck for it, what we will receive is worth so much more. For me, the greatest reward has been the opportunity to step outside of my comfort zone and achieve things I never thought were possible, all the while having the unwavering support of the women who have come before me and those who will follow in my footsteps.
The year ahead will be different, there’s no way around it. But this gives us an opportunity to be creative and purposeful in the way we develop programs as we learn to connect in ways we never thought possible. None of this would be possible without you – our members. It is your commitment, your value of service above self, and your desire to make a positive impact that allows the Junior League to thrive. I am honored and humbled to represent this group of women.
President, 2020 - 2022