Current and Past Community Projects
Kids in the Kitchen is a League-wide initiative launched in 2006 by Junior Leagues in the US, Canada, Mexico and Great Britain. Since its inception, over 200 leagues have participated the past two years. The program is designed to create an impact in our communities around the issues of childhood obesity and poor nutrition.
Since the early 1970s, the number of overweight children age 12-19 in the United States has doubled, and the number of overweight children ages 6-11 has tripled. Today, more than 16% of young people ages 6-19 are overweight. Similar statistics are appearing in Mexico, Canada and Great Britain. By promoting family health through innovative programming, this program builds on a Junior League tradition, which started with our founder Mary Harriman. National sponsors for this program have included Bon Appetit, the Cartoon Network, USDA and American Diabetes Association.
The Junior League of Reno has done educational programs in the elementary schools, as well as partnered with National Women and Youth in Sports Day with UNR, to provide healthy eating demonstrations. Local sponsors have included Jennifer Bushman (“the Kitchen Coach”), the Reno Chapter of the American Heart Association and Scolari’s Food and Drug Stores.
Universally Accessible Playground – A universally accessible playground (UAP) is a play-ground designed to offer opportunities for children of all ages and abilities, and designed to allow able-bodied and individuals with disabilities the same freedom to enjoy the wonders a playground has to offer. Through community partnership and the generous support of sponsors and volunteers, the Junior League of Reno created Nevada’s first universally accessible playground; Inspiration Station at Dick Taylor Park and continues support accessible playgrounds and resources in the community such as the Marvin Picollo therapeutic playground and via grants.
Done-In-A-Day Projects – These are projects that are essentially “done-in-a-day” that will assist adults and children in our local community, in need of basic provisions. The Done in a Day Committee identifies community needs and structures two or three opportunities each year for League members to participate in helping to accomplish short-term projects, for example spending a day at a local Habitat for Humanity site.
Recent (and Past) Done in a Day Projects:
- Partnered with the Nevada Discovery Museum to present Kids in the Kitchen
- Nevada Discovery Museum Anniversary Celebration (cupcake decorating)
- Ronald McDonald House – provided meals to the families in residence – a monthly event
- Partnered with Step 2 Homes for the Holidays house tours
- Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure – volunteers for the event and a race team
- Share the Love Book Drive partnered with Theresa Shirley, librarian at Echo Loder Elementary
- Aly’s Prom Closet
- Children’s Cabinet Adopt at Family
- Bunco Social Fundraiser for Derby Day
- Inspiration Station Grand Opening Celebration
- Diaper Drive
- Advocacy for AB 76 – to prevent human trafficking in Nevada
- Evelyn Mount Community Outreach – volunteers for food distribution
- Grils Love Mail letters
- Family Shelter Food Donations
- Awaken House Yard Cleanup
Susan G. Komen Race For The Cure – Many of us have had a loved one, a friend or an acquaintance diagnosed with breast cancer. Even though they tell us that one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime, it’s still a shock when the women around you are in those numbers. Well there IS something we can do about it! Together, we will make a difference! We can support the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure®. Last year, with our support, $400,000 was raised and 75% of those funds will remain in northern Nevada providing vital funding for screening, diagnosis, treatment, education and quality of life programs for under-insured breast cancer patients. The other 25% will be used for the Komen national grants program that funds research to find a cure.
Healthy Kids – A Partnership with Tune In To Kids – In 2008, The Junior League of Reno partnered their 2008 Healthy Kids Fair with the Tune In To Kids Fair at Idlewild Park. This was a very exciting opportunity for our Healthy Kids Fair to reach over 8,000 children. JLR ran the Health & Fitness Tent, as well as featured our Kids In The Kitchen project with special host Jennifer Bushman, who conducted a healthy cooking demonstration of three recipes from the Kids in the Kitchen recipe book. At the Health & Fitness tent, children were able to paint pictures using vegetables and fruits as their paint brushes. The fair was an overwhelming success and JLR could not have done it without all our volunteers and participating exhibitors. It was a great opportunity to get the Junior League of Reno’s name out to over 10,000 people.