Our Community Projects
The Junior League of Columbus serves the community by providing volunteers and funds for community projects throughout the Greater Columbus community. Through fully or partially funded projects, volunteer assistance, or “quick impact” projects, the Junior League of Columbus collaborates with community members to make a positive and lasting impact in the lives of individuals. Today we have four main projects: Adopt-a-Backpack For Children, Kids in the Kitchen, Kelton House Museum and Gardens, Bargain Box, and the State Public Affairs Committee. Select one to learn more.
The Adopt-a-Backpack for Children (ABC) Project began in 1999, and has donated over 45,000 brand new backpacks since starting and donated over 5,000 backpacks filled with school supplies to children in need throughout Central Ohio last year. A variety of events are put on throughout the year to raise money for the project, and in August children from around Columbus are given backpacks for the brand new school year.
Kids in the Kitchen is a League-wide initiative that was implemented by the Association of Junior Leagues International (AJLI) to help local communities address the urgent issues surrounding childhood obesity and poor nutrition. JLC members and chefs from area restaurants participate in a variety of educational and hands on activities promoting healthy eating. JLC members are included in a variety of planning and event day activities including coordinating lessons and demonstrations, community partnerships, educational materials, volunteers, and PR/marketing efforts.
The Kelton House Museum & Garden, located in the Town Street Historic District, interprets urban life and the decorative arts in Columbus, Ohio during the second half of the 19th century, largely through the collection of the Sophia and Fernando Cortez Kelton family. Reflecting the culturally diverse nature of the past and the present, the Museum preserves and develops its facility and collection, interprets local history, educates the community, and trains volunteers. The Museum provides a tangible representation of the mission of the Junior League of Columbus, Inc and was adopted by the Junior League of Columbus, Inc. Board of Directors, January, 1993.
Founded in 1949, Bargain Box is Columbus’ oldest fundraiser. This annual sale of new and gently used merchandise, held the first weekend of October, has cumulatively generated over $1.75 million. Many families attend every year to purchase school clothes for their children or gifts for the holidays. This is now a community project of the Junior League of Columbus, whose proceeds provide funding for other community programs of the JLC.
The purpose of the non-partisan SPAC is to monitor the legislative process and laws in Ohio and to address issues and concerns in our collective state community. We also support communication in the area of public affairs among the more than 3,300 Ohio Junior League volunteers and provide advocacy training and education on important issues. While many individual Leagues are active with local advocacy, SPAC brings delegates from all member Leagues together to harness their voices and drive statewide change. The State Public Affairs Committee of The Junior Leagues of Ohio impacts the lives of Ohioans through volunteer actions supporting three pillars: education, reciprocity of ideas, and advocacy. We envision becoming a collective voice to further The Junior League Mission. We strive to educate members of our diverse communities on issues and to advocate for courses of action that positively affect our communities.