Welcome from the President

The Junior League of Grand Rapids is a volunteer-run nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. For 93 years we have improved the lives of women and children, investing in their physical health and education through volunteer projects, fundraising, advocacy, and leadership.

The Junior League of Grand Rapids has impacted many facets of the Grand Rapids community since 1925 when we provided $6,500 to furnish the Maternity Department at Butterworth Hospital. Since the 1920s we have provided funding, volunteers and support to many organizations including Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital, Grand Rapids Symphony, Grand Rapids Art Museum, Public Museum of Grand Rapids, Goodwill of Greater Grand Rapids, Festival of the Arts, Blandford Nature Center, WGVC TV35 (now WGVU TV), West Michigan Environmental Action Council, John Ball Zoo, YWCA West Central Michigan Women’s Shelter, Heartside Food Cooperative, Women’s Resource Center, West Michigan Gleaners Food Bank (now Feeding America West Michigan), YWCA Sexual Abuse Prevention Program, Very Special Arts, Ronald McDonald House, Children’s Workshop, CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate), Healthy Start, Even Start and Safe Kids, Explore with Reading, Gilda’s Club, Habitat for Humanity, St. John’s Home, Degage Ministries, Grand Rapids Youth Commonwealth (now Boys & Girls Club of Grand Rapids). You can learn more about some of the highlights of our community support at https://www.juniorleaguegr.com/past-projects/

As part of the Association of Junior Leagues International, we collectively support women and families throughout the world in 292 communities throughout Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom and the United States, including West Michigan. You can learn more about AJLI and the global initiatives in supporting women and families and empowering our members to improve our communities at https://www.ajli.org

Your support of the Junior League of Grand Rapids enables us to bring Kids in the Kitchen to targeted Grand Rapids Public Schools annually as a hands-on initiative that educates children and families on nutrition and health; provide over 600 weekend meals for the 2017-2018 school year through our Backpack Buddies partnership we launched in 2016 with the YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids and River City Scholars Charter Academy for their after school program; and to launch new Wellness Adventure Yards with community partners. In June 2017, we held a community build with the Grand Rapids Child Discovery Center to install our second Junior League Wellness Adventure Yard (JL W.A.Y.).  The JL W.A.Y. project is an outreach effort to improve children’s physical health by providing safe and engaging play areas for children. You are also supporting the empowerment of women as leaders and trained volunteers.

I invite you to join us as a donor, corporate sponsor, community partner or member. We are a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and we are proud that our community fundraising efforts directly benefit the Grand Rapids community. Our ongoing commitment to Grand Rapids for more than 90 years in establishing and supporting community projects as well as honoring our community partnerships demonstrates our passion and enthusiasm for the community in which we live, work and raise our families.

I am honored to lead this dynamic organization as the 93rd President of the Junior League of Grand Rapids. On behalf of our active and sustaining members along with our Board of Directors, I enthusiastically welcome you to explore our website and learn about the exciting ways the Junior League of Grand Rapids is continuing to make an impact on our community.

Kate McCarthy

Junior League of Grand Rapids President 2017-2018