As another year ends, I am taking time to look back and reflect on the past 12+ months. It is overwhelming to think of everything we have gone through as an organization and as individuals. We are all used to some form of change, but the changes we experienced this year may have been one of the biggest challenges we faced.
That is why, when looking back, I am in absolute awe of The Junior League of Tampa and our members. The hard work, commitment, and invaluable contributions to each other and our organization were integral to our progress and success.
This year, we have made impressive movement in our goals, constantly and rapidly growing against the backdrop of a changing environment. Despite all the challenges, you upheld your focus and let not one opportunity go. Instead, you took chances and evolved, as we have the past 95 years, to serve each other and the critical needs that were present in our community.
You diversified our fund development strategy to help maintain a healthy organization. You reimagined our fundraisers, projects, and programs to be able to continue to serve our community in new and unique ways. You made tough decisions regarding operations so we can continue to invest in our community and members.
While it is difficult to list all we accomplished together, there were so many amazing achievements; here are few of the items I am most proud of:
- Diaper Bank hit their Million Milestone with 1,000,000 diapers distributed in the community
- Strategic review and update to the Provisional Education course
- Hosting our first ever virtual Holiday Gift Market and Luminaries event
- Members participating in over 2,000 hours of trainings
- Transformed our nominating process to make it more inclusive of our members’ outside leadership experience
- Hosted multiple reimagined COVID safe events including drive through adoption celebrations, Family Food Fest, and book distributions
- Focused on operational excellence to maintain a healthy organization.
- Executed a new communications strategy
- Completed 50,000+ volunteer hours
However, the most important part of it all was the way you empowered each other. You led with empathy, lifted each other up, and helped your fellow members out. It was all about the human spirit and The Power of Us. You came together and made it happen. In an unprecedented time, that is the truly remarkable and awe-inspiring. It makes my heart sing, and I am so honored to be a part of it and see the amazing work strong, female leaders accomplish together.
Now that we are starting to get together and meet in person, I feel the energy changing. I feel immense joy and I am BEYOND excited for the future. There is so much goodness lined up for the next year, and I know that with you, JLT will maintain our organizational excellence, continue to be civic leaders in our community, and build lifelong membership and friendship.
The momentum and energy are here. The future is bright and that comes from the amazing commitment and invaluable contributions towards each other and our organization to reach their full potential.
Thank you for the most unbelievable and memorable time I have ever had or could imagine. I am forever changed. I wish you all the best in the new League year and for the years to come.
Cheers to you!
2020-2021 President, The Junior League of Tampa