WHO WE ARE
Junior League of Evanston-North Shore, Inc. is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.
Founded in 1924 as the Junior League of Evanston, today the JLE-NS has approximately 350 Active and Sustaining members. We reach out to all women regardless of race, religion, ethnic or national origin who demonstrate an interest in and commitment to voluntarism.
WHAT WE DO
League members annually commit thousands of volunteer hours to improving our community. Members are prepared for responsible leadership through training. We research the community's needs and then initiate programs that meet those needs. Our current focus is on Advancing Employment and Supporting Families.
HOW WE DO IT
JLE-NS is made up of two leadership teams, a Policy Board and a Management Board. Our League is one of approximately 300 Junior Leagues comprising the Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc. (AJLI).
INVESTING IN OUR COMMUNITY
In our 85+ year history, the JLE-NS has contributed over $1.6 million to the community through projects and programs. The many important community projects that we support are made possible through fundraising events like our Designer Kitchens of the North Shore tour and our award winning cookbook, It’s A Shore Thing. In addition, we have operated a Thrift House for over 70 years. Thrift House is a resale shop located at 920 Chicago Avenue in Evanston, which supports our community projects while serving a diverse community. Over the past several years, net proceeds from our fundraisers have supported our League’s efforts to improve local issues that impact the North Shore, including:
- Fitting Futures. Started in 2009, the goal of Fitting Futures is to increase the potential for low-income women to achieve economic self-sufficiency. Many low-income women seeking employment are single mothers forced to choose between providing food and shelter for their children or having the right clothes to wear for a job interview. Our clients are referred to us from social service agencies and will be graduates of job training, job readiness, or job counseling offered by those agencies. The JLE-NS provides complimentary interview appropriate clothing and helps with clothing and accessory selection. These services deliver an essential that goes with every outfit: self-confidence that she is qualified and capable to get a job.
- Domestic violence. JLE-NS helped found Mary Lou’s Place, which is a domestic violence shelter in Evanston serving over 550 women and children annually. In recent years, we have renovated the first floor of the shelter, providing a safer and cleaner environment for these families to help them achieve self-sufficiency. We have also given community grants to other shelters on the North Shore.
- Childhood obesity. Our country, including the North Shore, has a growing awareness of the rising trend of childhood obesity. Over the last few years, JLE-NS has reached over 1000 North Shore families with our “Kids in the Kitchen” initiative, which empowers youth to make healthy lifestyle choices with the goal to reverse the growth of childhood obesity and its associated health issues.
- Secondary education. Even within our relatively affluent North Shore community, the rising cost of secondary education makes it difficult, if not impossible, for some families to afford. The JLE-NS provides scholarships to attendees of area schools, including Evanston Township High School, New Trier High School, Oakton Community College and National Louis University, who are in need of financial assistance.
- Other North Shore non-profits. There are hundreds of non-profit organizations providing necessary services to our community, who are dependent on donations to fund their programs. The JLE-NS provides community grants to area non-profits.
THRIFT HOUSE: Part of our organization since 1940, the JLE-NS Thrift House has been our League's oldest ongoing project and fundraiser. It is located at 920 Chicago Avenue in Evanston. Thrift House helps support our League and our community projects while serving a diverse community. JLE-NS' Thrift House also offers Voucher Programs to other non-profit organizations including Mary Lou's Place, a domestic violence shelter in Evanston, and the Youth Job Center of Evanston. The vouchers enable clients of our partner non-profits to shop at the Thrift House at no charge. League members and the public can donate gently used or new clothing, books, electronics and household items.
DESIGNER KITCHENS OF THE NORTH SHORE: The Junior League of Evanston North-Shore presents a spectacular tour of residential North Shore kitchens, created by celebrated kitchen designers. In addition to being inspired by these beautiful spaces, tour attendees will have the opportunity to speak with each designer as they discuss the latest kitchen trends. Scheduled for May 4, 2012, this tour is the perfect way to celebrate Mother's Day weekend! Please contact the Junior League of Evanston-North Shore office at email@example.com for sponsorship and ticket information, or for media requests. Click here for more information.
“IT’S A SHORE THING” COOKBOOK: Our magnificent cookbook titled It's a Shore Thing: Culinary Favorites from Chicago's North Shore has been endorsed as "The Official Cookbook of Chicago's North Shore" by Chicago's North Shore Convention and Visitors Bureau. The recipes are favorites of our members, local celebrities, and personalities with ties to the North Shore, and well-known restaurants. In additions to recipes and entertaining tips, the cookbook also includes an historical walk through the villages and townships that make up Chicago's North Shore. Click here to buy your own copy.