The Junior League of Birmingham will distribute more than $245,000 to Birmingham area charities this year, all aimed at improving the lives of women and children in the Birmingham area.
In 2012, the JLB’s Beeson Community Fund will go an extra step to support projects promoting systematic changes in addressing the health, safety, education and financial stability of women and children in the Birmingham area.
The 2011-12 Beeson Committee has selected six community projects to assist financially in the coming year. The total amount, $245,754.29, will be given to: Cornerstone Schools, $65,000 for athletic fields; Cahaba Valley Health Care, $27,975 to expand its dental program; Birmingham Education Foundation, $50,000 to fund a portion of the Parent University; Mitchell’s Place, $30,000 to purchase computer smart boards for classrooms; Junior League of Birmingham Storm Relief playground, $25,000; and the YWCA, $47,779.29 for the Court Advocate program.
“The Junior League of Birmingham has a long history of promoting all that is good in our region,” said Michael Froning, executive director of Parent University. “It is an honor to have Parent University counted among the programs worthy of their generosity and partnership. With this gift, and Birmingham City Schools’ support, we can begin the process of preparing each parent with the tools needed to transform our school system.”
As a result of several conversations with parents and community leaders across the region, Birmingham Education Foundation learned that many parents feel there is a lack of resources available to help them effectively navigate the school system and support and promote students’ academic success. Parent University fills that void by offering courses, workshops and phone applications to empower parents to be effective advocates in the movement to transform Birmingham City Schools.
In 2001, the JLB was named one of the 13 designated beneficiaries of Lucille Stewart Beeson of Birmingham’s trust.
“The Junior League of Birmingham and our volunteers have been a part of meeting the critical needs of our community for the past 89 years, and we will continue to look for ways to assist the greater Birmingham area with our trained volunteers and our financial resources,” said Liz Edwards, the league’s immediate past president and chairman of the Beeson Community Fund.
“Mrs. Beeson’s will states that these funds be ‘devoted to the benefit of mankind, the education of youth, the relief of human suffering and the propagation of the Christian religion,’ and we feel that this year’s grants will help us meet that goal,” Edwards said.
As one of the largest volunteer service organizations in Alabama, JLB volunteers contribute more than 50,000 hours of service annually in partnership with nonprofit, public and community-based organizations.
“The purpose of our organization is to improve the lives of women and children by working with community agencies to deliver services and assistance to those in need,” said Leigh Forstman, JLB president.
The Junior League of Birmingham is celebrating its 90th year of service to the Birmingham community this year.