The Junior League of Boston Turns 110!
On April 10th, the Junior League of Boston celebrates the completion of its 110th year of service to the greater Boston community. The roots of the Junior League of Boston go back to a group of sewing circles, which joined to form the Sewing Circle League in 1906. According to our first annual report, the intention of the Sewing Circle League was to “interest young women of Boston in the social and industrial problems of the city, and to help them study conditions and find their own work.”
At the time, there was clearly a demand for this type of organization, and the report further indicated that, “Our supply of workers is not equal to the demand, for we have had from different social organizations all over the city a great many more invitations, for even our most inexperienced volunteers, than we can possibly fulfil.” The Sewing Circle League continued to grow, and, in 1916, became the Junior League of Boston. Since then, JL Boston has evolved and adapted as the needs of the community it serves have changed. During the 1930’s, for example, JL Boston raised money for relief funds and unemployment assistance. As the United States entered World War II, JL Boston members assisted with the war efforts. In the 1970’s JL Boston established and managed a child abuse center for the Massachusetts Welfare Department, while in the 1980’s and 1990’s, JL Boston focused on empowering women and promoting the arts.
Today, JL Boston members serve on 19 community service projects. During 2014-2015 volunteers dedicated more than 20,000 hours with a clear belief that we are making a difference in our community (Junior League of Boston Annual Report, 2014-2015). Although the mission of JL Boston has evolved with time, for 110 years we have remained committed to serving the needs of the greater Boston community.
In the First Annual report of the Sewing Circle League, then president Sarah Lawrence wrote “The Sewing Circle League was organized last year only as an experiment. Will all those who are in favor of having it continue please say ‘aye’?” One hundred and ten years later, it is safe to say that the experiment has been an overwhelming success. Here’s to another 110 years!