Junior Welfare Association was established after eleven women listened to a luncheon speaker discuss social conditions in Decatur. That was August 1938. The twenty-seven charter members pledged to improve the economic, educational, and social conditions of the community through financial assistance and volunteer service.
That same August, they undertook both their first fundraising project, a style show, and their first service project, a picnic for the local orphanage. By 1942, they had grown to seventy members contributing over 8000 hours of service to the community. Today there are more than 100 Provisional and Active Members and approximately 250 Patroness Members. Our area of service now covers Decatur and Macon County.
After 80 years, Junior Welfare remains strongly committed to the goals set forth by its founders. Continuation of our ongoing service projects and individual commitments to community groups and organizations affords us the opportunity to meet these goals.
A tree stands as the symbol of strength and growth. Our JWA logo exemplifies the 80 years of growth within our organization and the benefits it provides to the community; deeply rooted in the talents and efforts of its members, unified by a common purpose, and branching into fruition through friendship and service.
HOW WE HELP THE COMMUNITY
JWA helps the community by providing grants to organizations that we feel align with our mission. Our goal is to help the community grow and become a better place to live. To do this the women of JWA spend the fall and spring committed to volunteering and fundraising, so that in the spring scholarships and grants can be awarded to students and organizations that apply. Please see the Scholarship & Grant tabs to apply!
THE DEBORAH COLLIER MEMORIAL FUND: The Deborah Collier Memorial Shoe Fund provides shoes for the needy children in Macon County. This project utilizes school district personnel in the identification of children who qualify. This cooperative relationship has nurtured a mutual respect between our organization and the Macon County school systems. In 2005, it was brought to our attention that over 800 children and families are homeless. We have learned that many of these children are not in school because they do not have many of the 'basics' that many of us take for granted: shoes, socks, underwear. Our shoe fund will now include these basic needs for homeless children. The Deborah Collier Memorial Fund also works with area schools to identify young women who need appropriate fitting and supportive foundation garments for athletics.