May 1, as in years past, was the beginning of a new year for the Junior League of Milwaukee. We have looked forward to the new year and the energy it brings to our organization. This year, however, has us facing uncertainty.
As with all other organizations, COVID-19 and the related restrictions affect the JLM. Our first concerns are the health and safety of our members. That includes not only physical health but also their mental health and well-being.
The Board of Directors implemented a restriction on in-person JLM activities through August 1. This is consistent with the City of Milwaukee’s current safer-at-home restrictions as well as anticipated ongoing restrictions on in-person group activities. This decision also aligns with the widespread cancellation of large-group gatherings throughout Milwaukee over the summer.
We will monitor state and local guidelines and advice from public health authorities to determine when we can safely resume our in-person activities. In addition to our members’ health and safety, we will also consider the effect of any of our activities, whether traditional or altered for this environment, will have on our community partners and how they are changing their own services, operations, and volunteer interactions.
The JLM is still fully functioning as a vibrant organization. While how we engage with each other and the community will look different, we will continue our mission to develop effective and well-trained women volunteers and serve our community. The Board of Directors and Management Team has begun holding their monthly meetings virtually. All committees will continue to meet (virtually, for now) and will develop alternative programming and contingency plans for activities later in the JLM year.
To Our Members, we continue to look for new and creative ways to engage with you. We are all isolated to different degrees and managing so many different issues as the result of this pandemic. Please look out for and help each other however you can on an individual level, and we will do the same as an organization. We remain strong, resilient, and caring women, and without question, the JLM will survive this.
To our Community Partners, please continue to reach out to us and let us know how we as an organization and our members as individuals can support you. For more than 100 years, the Junior League of Milwaukee has been a driver of change in the Greater Milwaukee area. Today, we are 500+ members strong, united in the mission of developing women, promoting voluntarism and improving our community to tackle Milwaukee’s most urgent and pressing needs. This mission remains unchanged in the face of our community’s current events.