Community Impact

JLP by the numbers

Since June 1, 2014 and as of Feb. 28, 2015

  • 7,153 volunteer hours (documented)
  • 42 community service events
  • 327 volunteer shifts offered, 263 filled
  • 830 undergarments donated to survivors of human trafficking
  • 600 current members

What we're doing to stop human trafficking

Recognizing a need for a more collaborative, strategic approach to the issue of human trafficking in the Portland metro area, JLP hosted a collective impact conference, Connect PDX, connecting organizations and leaders working on the issue.

JLP produced a documentary, Waiting for the Light, to fill an urgent need in education and prevention tools.  The project was funded by a grant from the Junior League of Portland endowment fund and was released to the public for free streaming and through a series of public screenings at the Clinton Theater, the Mission Theater, and Hollywood Theater complete with a panel of experts to answer questions from the public.  

Learning about the role of social media and online tools in recruiting and trafficking victims, we launched a campaign on Instagram using the hashtags #WaitingForTheLight and #JLPDX with photos of traffic lights to raise awareness and encourage people to view and share the film.

In order to continue raising awareness and fill urgent needs for survivors of human trafficking, each year on January 11, National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, we launch a month-long Delicates Drive with collection sites throughout the Portland metro area.  When victims are first rescued, their underware are taken as evidence.  Undergarments remain among the least donated but most needed items.  Local organizations who provide immediate and long-term care do not have the capability to supply survivors, many of women are children, with these essential items.  Gift cards are also incredibly helpful in meeting these needs and helping survivors prepare for court appearances or to rebuild their lives.  

Our next tactic for addressing the issue of human trafficking is to launch an advocacy campaign to support legislation and local policy designed to stop the commercial sexual exploitation of minors (CSEC) in particular.  Stay tuned for additional ways to help!

Building literacy and lifelong learning

For parents separated from their children for extended periods of time, due to incarceration or military deployment, reading to their children every day simply isn't an option.  The Junior League of Portland program, Between the Lines, records parents reading to their children and then provides children with a CD or DVD and a new copy of a book of their own.  In addition to promoting literacy, the all important parent-child bond is preserved and strengthened through the opportunity to hear mommy or daddy's voice on a daily basis.

Unfortunately, many children don't possess a book they can call their own.  JLP volunteers regularly refurbish gently used books to like new condition for the Children's Book Bank in order to provide low-income children with their very own books giving them a sense of pride and identify as voracious and engaged readers.  During a recent meeting, JLP Members refurbished 560 books and prepared holiday bundles for over 50 local children and families.

When young readers see their own culture, family, and language reflected in the pages of books, their chances of developing a love for reading greatly improve.  Through a grant from the Junior League of Portland endowment fund, we support the "Story Like Mine" campaign for the Children's Book Bank to provide more culturally representative books to low-income children.

Promoting health and wellness

Healthy habits lead to healthy communities.  At a recent meeting, JLP Members watched the documentary Fed Up to learn more about the role of food in our society.  During a General Membership Meeting, over 100 JLP Members watched Jamie Oliver's TED talk about nutrition and learned more about ways to improve the health and wellness of our children.

Access to healthy food and physical activity is not only a health issue, but a social justice issue that affects children's ability to focus, learn, and thrive socially and academically.  Stay tuned for more news on our work in low-income school districts to educate children and their families about healthy, affordable food options and physical activity.

We believe that all children deserve access to safe and inclusive spaces for active play.  Harper's Playground is a truly unique space designed to welcome everyone regardless of physical ability.  As one of only a few pesticide free public play spaces, Harper's Playground requires frequent weeding and maintenance so JLP Members volunteer at regular park clean-up's.  Through a grant from the JLP endowment fund, a 3-dimensional, tactile sign and map of the park will be constructed to welcome everyone to the space.

Upcoming Events

Wednesday, April 15

Committee Placement Fair

April 16-18
AJLI Annual Conference

Tuesday, April 21 
Recruitment Open House

Wednesday, April 22
General Membership/Annual Meeting 
*Quorum needed*