Women Building a Better Community: The Junior League of Lancaster Celebrates 100 Years

Founded in 1923, The Junior League of Lancaster unites women dedicated to volunteering, community improvement, and personal development.

Founded in 1923, The Junior League of Lancaster unites women dedicated to volunteering, community improvement, and personal development. In the past century, their impact has touched every aspect of the community, providing a secure space for women of diverse backgrounds to learn, grow, and serve together. Their mission is to advance women’s leadership for meaningful community impact through volunteer action, collaboration, and training.

Women Who Lead

Throughout its history, The Junior League of Lancaster has been attentive to the community’s needs, responding with well-crafted strategies for change. In 2021, the organization identified nutrition accessibility as a new focus area and initiated a comprehensive community program to enhance nutritional security in Lancaster. The aim is to positively impact the health and wellness of families by addressing nutrition, food security, and availability in an equitable and accessible manner. Through partnerships with community agencies, the league is actively working to bridge the gap between community needs and available resources.

100 Years of Impact

1923: The Junior League of Lancaster (JLL) is established, introducing free kindergarten to the community.

1930s: JLL is instrumental in the purchase and preservation of Wheatland.

1940s: JLL purchases and preserves Historic Rock Ford and begins hosting free puppet shows for Lancaster youth.

1950s: JLL operates a Hearing Conservation Center Clinic and founds the Thrift Corner.

1960s: JLL donates $32,000 to the Fulton Theatre.

1970s: JLL donates books to Lancaster County Libraries and sponsors a radio station for the blind.

1980s: JLL donates $60,000 to restore the Demuth Museum, co-founds Leadership Lancaster with the Chamber of Commerce, and founds the Hands On House.

1990s: JLL hosts Armstrong House Tours to benefit S. June Smith Center & Lancaster Day Care Center and founds an Environmental Library at Lancaster Central Park.

2000s: JLL adds an outdoor classroom at the Hands On House, establishes the Run4Luck, and builds a home with Habitat for Humanity.

2010s: JLL hosts the Girls in Business competition and funds the Girls Code Club. Partnership with Reach Out and Read begins and 1.5 tons of food is donated through Feed the Need.

2020s: JLL supports COVID-19 frontline workers at LGH, begins Cornhole Classic fundraiser, and adopts Nutrition Accessibility Focus Area.

2023: JLL celebrates 100 years!

For the Community

The Junior League of Lancaster has also been instrumental in many other projects and with partner organization over the years, including:

  • Boys Club Projects
  • Art Goes to School Project
  • Community Opportunities Fund Established
  • Local Chapter of National Committee for the Prevention of Child Abuse
  • Project LEAD (Leadership Education and Development)
  • TAPP (Teenage Pregnancy and Prevention Project)
  • New Directions Employment and Counseling Center Project
  • DUI Project (Alcohol Awareness)
  • Voter Assistance for People with Disabilities
  • Adult Literacy Council Project
  • Children’s Literacy Project
  •  Voices Against Violence Youth Conference
  •  Deb’s House Crisis Nursery
  • Asset Builders
  • Aaron’s Acres Respite Care Project
  • Sunflower Project
  • Rain Garden Initiative

If you’re eager to apply your skills and talents, develop leadership potential, and directly contribute to making a difference in the Lancaster community, while forming connections with a diverse group of committed women, they invite you to join.

Interested? JLL welcomes all women 21 years and older—email info@jllancaster.org or visit jllancaster.org for more information.

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