As members of the JLT, we are challenged to live the mission. We joined this organization because we believe in its values, because we want to make a difference and because we want to connect with others who feel the same way. Here are some ways our committees and projects help our volunteers to live the mission.
The Junior League of Tampa cookbooks are, first and foremost, fundraisers. Without these funds, we could not achieve our mission. Since 2002, when Volume 1 in The Junior League of Tampa Culinary Collection, The Life of the Party, debuted, the total revenue generated from the sale of the Culinary Collection and our two other cookbooks exceeds $750,000 with net profits totaling more than $300,000. One thing worth noting is that 100% of the net proceeds are put directly into The Junior League of Tampa’s community projects and programs. We do not subtract administrative expenses since these are covered by our members’ dues.
Developing the Potential of Women and Training our Volunteers: Serving on the Cookbook Committee or the New Cookbook Development Committee develops the potential of women and trains volunteers by providing invaluable leadership and business training. Our volunteers are responsible for all aspects of sales and distribution of our cookbooks. Additionally, marketing of the cookbooks in the Culinary Collection builds wonderful marketing and public relations skills. With a Cookbook Committee of 40 members each year and a New Cookbook Development Committee every other year of 8-10 members, many JLT Actives have had the opportunity to participate in the series development. The current committee will oversee the launch of Capture the Coast, and includes subcommittees for PR (including our expansion into social media), wholesale sales, member sales, cooking demos, the Debut Party and the Cookbook booth at our Holiday Gift Market this November.
Improving Communities: The Junior League of Tampa has identified the following focus areas for our projects: improving the lives of children in the foster care system, providing educational programs that promote literacy and offer cultural enrichment and increasing access to basic needs services for disadvantaged children. Our fundraisers, including our cookbooks, together raise approximately $250,000-$300,000 for these programs each year.
In our 2010-2011 volunteer year, The Junior League of Tampa will fund and staff eleven community projects and provide additional funding to non-profit organizations through our enabling grants. A few of the projects which highlight our focus areas are Love Bundles, Children’s Literacy and Food 4 Kids. In partnership with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department Child Protection Investigation Division, our Love Bundles project provides children removed from their homes by the Sheriff’s office with special backpacks containing essential developmental items and immediate basic needs. Virtually every child removed from his or her custodial parent due to abuse or neglect receives a Love Bundle within the first 24 hours of removal. Children’s Literacy provides volunteers to read aloud to kindergarten students in Title 1 schools, giving children of low income families age-appropriate books to take home, and providing the children and teachers with other classroom aides to enhance their love of reading. Food 4 Kids, a partnership with America’s Second Harvest of Tampa Bay, provides children enrolled in the Kids’ Café program at Wilbert Davis/Belmont Heights Boys and Girls Club with a bag full of food that is nutritionally adequate for the children to eat over weekends and holidays when the meals they typically receive at school and at the club are not available.
To learn more about all of the Community Projects The Junior League of Tampa participates in, click here.
In 2009, the Cookbook Committee created the tag line, “Helping Families Taste the Best of Life,” and this truly is what The Junior League of Tampa cookbooks are all about.