Why I JL :: Why I Chose to Join Junior League of Lafayette

Why I JL :: Why I Chose to Join Junior League of Lafayette

Like most women, I lost myself after marriage and kids. I put my needs and goals on the back burner to care for my family. As my kids got older, we fell into a comfortable groove, but there was still a void. Pre-motherhood, I was an active person who often volunteered in the community. And I knew that was something that I wanted to get back to. I also wanted to expand my circle and spend time with women who had similar interests.

When I finally decided to branch out, I joined Junior League of Lafayette. This was something that I wanted to do for years but never got around to it. I have always loved what Junior League stood for, a group of powerhouse women who are working collectively to build better communities.

The organization’s mission is to advance women’s leadership for meaningful community impact through volunteer action, collaboration, and training. 1957, Junior League of Lafayette has been making a difference in our community by donating grant dollars and volunteer hours. All of this aligns directly with my values and my desire to make a difference in my community.

The health and development of women and children is a major focus. The diaper bank initiative was expanded into a new service of committees – Health Essentials Resources. Now, in addition to providing diapers to those in need, we also provide period products through our EmpowHER. program in an effort to combat period poverty. A contribution of $65,000 was made to Our Lady of Lourdes Women’s and Children’s Ronald McDonald House Family Suites. Happy Wheels Cart was also introduced to provide essential resources to patients and families of patients. The cart is stocked with snacks, toiletries, phone chargers and other essentials.

Junior League of Lafayette awards Collaborative Opportunity Grants to local non-profits in our area. These grants are used to help fund and provide volunteers the short-term projects of the non-profits. The League also hosts a Community Breakfast that is essentially a non-profit meet up to foster increased collaboration among organizations in our area and to celebrate the achievements of the organizations.

The League also promotes women’s leadership. This initiative is near and dear to my heart. Junior League of Lafayette is full of women who have been empowered and developed to be civic leaders. There are more than ten Junior League members placed on various non-profit boards in the community. The Spark Teen Board is a program Junior League of Lafayette implemented to instill a passion for volunteerism into high school junior and senior girls. The program also connects these young girls with community leaders and awards scholarships.

Touch-a-Truck :: A New Event in Acadiana

With all that we do, we also host events for the community! Everyone knows about our holiday market, Tinsel and Treasures. This year Junior League of Lafayette is introducing a new event to the community, Touch-a-Truck.

Touch a Truck will be 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 23 at Blackham Coliseum, with a quiet hour from 2 – 3p.m. The event will have all of the vehicles seen daily in our community. Kids will have an opportunity to touch and explore the vehicles. There will be a dig zone on site where little ones can dig for treasure. There will also be face painting and a petting zoo. This event is for the whole family as there will be a Dad Cave Zone where March Madness will be streamed. The band On Call will be there to keep everyone dancing. Food trucks will also be on site as well.

Joining Junior League of Lafayette has been pivotal for me. I have had the opportunity to fine tune my leadership skills that have helped further my career. I have had the opportunity to meet women from every walk of life and bond over our love of this great community. I have made lifelong friends that I may have never met. The thing I love the most is my daughters get to witness me volunteering and working in the community. And it empowers them to know that they too can be change agents in our community.

Torilyn Williams
Torilyn Williams is a Louisiana native, born and raised in New Orleans. She moved to Lafayette to attend UL Lafayette, where she graduated with a Bachelor’s in Applied Life Sciences. Tori is blessed to be the wife of her ambitious and hardworking husband, Damian. The devoted mom of Tatum Marie (6) and Aubrey Malia (5) and bonus mom to Damian Jr. (20). Tori has been working in the banking industry for over fifteen years. She is a member of Junior League Lafayette. Tori has a heart for volunteerism, she loves to give back to the community and mentor the youth. Tori is a die-hard New Orleans Saints fan. She is also a self-proclaimed foodie that loves to chronicle her food adventures on Instagram (@Dashofwilliams). Outside of work you can find Tori spending time with family and friends, traveling, trying new recipes, and working out. Tori is always down for a good meal with family or a shopping trip!

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