By Karen Hardin
“Do more than belong: Participate. Do more than care: Help. Do more than believe: Practice.
Do more than be fair: Be Kind. Do more than forgive: Forget. Do more than dream: Work.”
~ William Ward
The members of the Houston Junior Forum have done all the above and MORE! We just completed a year with more than 20,000 service hours at a value of over $500,000 in service to our community! Our annual fundraiser, Conversations from the Heart, raised a record $139,100 and netted $107,700 which was split with the Community Grants and College Scholarship Committees. Our Community Grants Committee awarded 18 grants to non-profits in our community and our College Scholarship Committee granted scholarships to 24 students who had attended the original HJF pre-school, The Community House Pre-School. The HJF Endowment Trustees also helped in these achievements with their generous grants to these two worthy committees and provided the funds to install the security alarm system at our HJF Resale Shop. The new fire alarm system was funded by approval of the Executive Committee. The Recruitment and Admissions Committee, along with the Membership Committee helped recruit and train 25 new members, for the third year in a row!
Houston Junior Forum President
In June, Cooky Mays opened her family home in Livingston, Council Hill, to the 2017-2018 Executive Committee for a two-day Retreat. Your Executive Committee has been hard at work since the May Installation, planning and preparing for a fabulous year! However, the members of the Executive Committee (“EC”) could not do their jobs without the support and efforts of the members of the Board of Directors (“BOD”). These ladies are charged with ensuring the day-to-day tasks of the HJF are carried out; everything from the logistics of our monthly General Meetings, the coordination of our many service opportunities, the execution of the social events, and the daily operation of our own Resale Shop.
The heart of the Houston Junior Forum is our volunteers who work at the Resale Shop, serve at the many service sites, and work on the committees that execute the visions of the EC and BOD. These committee members have worked diligently this summer to ensure the success of our organization. I urge the 2017-2018 Provisional Class to get involved with the many committee opportunities associated with Conversations from the Heart. Debbie Berner and her team will need YOUR help to make our February 9, 2018, fundraiser a tremendous success.
The Service Evaluation Committee has approved a wide variety of service sites for us to serve. There are opportunities to work “behind the scenes” as well as opportunities for “face-to-face” interactions with the children, women and seniors in our community. Whether it is a day of pricing and selling at our Resale Shop, packaging breakfast bags, making sandwiches, serving meals, stuffing envelopes, reading to a group of children, helping a woman select her first suit for a job interview, playing cards with a group of seniors, or helping a child select a pair of glasses, we cannot help but to be fulfilled. In addition to the service sites, we have over twenty-five committees for members to serve on. I encourage everyone to get involved, find your passion, and share the joy of service with others.
I want to thank you, the members of the Houston Junior Forum, for entrusting me to represent you and serve as your President this year. I assure you it is an honor and privilege which I take seriously. There is a legacy of wonderful ladies before me and I promise to strive to continue to honor your visions of the past while looking to the future to ensure the legacy of the Houston Junior Forum.