I joined Junior League of Wichita in 2016. Friends convinced me it’d be worthwhile. The League’s focus on child abuse prevention and awareness also aligned well with other non-profits I’d worked with in the past. So I was excited to spend my first active year on the Child Advocacy Committee.
The Child Advocacy Committee organizes a fundraiser during Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month in April called Trash Bag Handbag.
Children moving through child protective services and foster care often don’t have the time or resources to pack their things in real bags — shoving clothing, toiletries and loved items into a trash bag instead.
Trash Bag Handbag calls for Junior League of Wichita members and supporters to switch out their backpacks, handbags and purses with blue trash sacks to raise awareness about this issue in our community and funds to solve the problem. Money raised purchases clothing, comfort items and real bags.
I used the same blue trash sack throughout the week, replacing my purse and the bag I use to carry my boxing equipment. It burst just before the last day of the fundraiser, and I had to double bag to keep carrying it.
Oh, yeah, I started boxing. That’s another blog post, and that’s Jen!
Jen is the executive director of ICT SOS working alongside other organizations charged with protecting young people at the Child Advocacy Center in Wichita. Money raised during Trash Bag Handbag goes directly to these organizations.
We raised about $7,000 this year.
- Selling custom cocktails at the League’s April general member meeting.
- Collecting donations on our website from our ambassadors, including Wichita columnist and reporter Bonnie Bing, Susan Estes and USD 259 Superintendent Dr. Alicia Thompson. Junior League of Wichita President Laura Roddy also played puppeteer with Joann from the League’s elementary school puppet show.
- Taking donations on-air during a KAKE News live phone-a-thon.
- Exchanging headshots for donations at The Studio, a favorite near monthly charity event of mine.
- Throwing a wrap party at Newport with our ambassadors.
It takes a lot of work to raise $7,000. Thanks to all those who donated, participated and raised awareness. See you next year. I’m on the Child Advocacy Committee again.