The coronavirus has changed everything. What we initially thought would be a brief shut down and quick return to normal life, now has us transforming much of our organization for the 2020-2021 League year.
As a volunteer run nonprofit, we have always thrived with face to face meetings, hosting large scale community outreach projects, and bringing together thousands to raise funds. Our leadership has embraced the need to pivot as they work to innovate and fulfill our Mission, while standing by three core commitments. At The Junior League of Tampa, we are committed to caring, to collaboration, and to community.
Committed to Caring
COVID-19 has magnified the need in our community. Rather than putting our projects and programs on hold, we are rewriting and reimagining our models to serve our community safely. Our Diaper Bank and Love Bundles teams have shifted from large group to multiple small group packings to ensure items are still going out into the community. Our Kids in the Kitchen volunteers are working to innovate with fun, virtual lessons. Our MILO committee is working to expand its lending library network, ensuring books are accessible to children around Hillsborough County. We are committed to caring for our community in a new and safe way.
Committed to Collaboration
Collaboration has always been at the heart of JLT’s work, and is more important than ever. We are redefining normal, finding new ways to work together as an organization and with the community. Our community leadership is in constant communication with over 25 community partners. We are finding out their new needs, limitations, and how we can help them fill the service gap. Our fund development teams are connecting with sponsors and donors as we collectively reframe our goals for a new (and often digital) world. We are committed to continue collaborating with others who are passionate about serving Hillsborough County.
Committed to Community
COVID-19 has unfortunately brought disconnection and isolation to many. We are working to remain true to our organizational identity as a community builder. We, first and foremost, build a community for our members, a diverse group of women leaders who want to make an impact. We build community between different organizations, helping each harness their unique skills for common good. We build community by helping Tampa become a city where everyone feels empowered. This year we are trying new methods such as virtual connection to bring together group gatherings we would normally do in person. We are committed to creating community and a space where everyone is welcomed and valued.
This year will be challenging, and there are still many unanswered questions. But no matter what comes our way, The Junior League of Tampa will stand committed.