President’s Message

Welcome to the Junior League of Eastern Fairfield County!

Since it’s founding in 1901 by New York City social activist Mary Harriman, the Junior League has evolved into one of the oldest, largest, and most effective women’s volunteer organizations in the world, encompassing more than 140,000 women in 291 Leagues in four countries.  For more than a century, the Junior League has been on the forefront of social reform, identifying problems – pollution, illiteracy, domestic violence, food insecurity – and finding solutions.

The Junior League of Eastern Fairfield County (JLEFC) was founded in 1920 by 47 women committed to improving the lives of those in greatest need in the Greater Bridgeport area.  We have demonstrated that commitment for 98 years, creating a legacy and a tradition that I know will continue for another century to come.  The 265 women of the JLEFC are driven by our mission of Promoting Voluntarism, Developing the Potential of Women and Improving our Community.

We have the distinction of being the very first League in Connecticut.  Our history is colorful and lasting, and the area we serve would not be the same without the tireless efforts of all our members.  Some of our League’s past projects are parts of organizations that continue to thrive in our community today!  Our League was involved in the formation of the Discovery Museum, the Beardsley Zoo and the School Volunteer Association, just to name a few.

Our organization is almost entirely run by volunteers.  Our members gain invaluable training and experience through the creation and implementation of our projects, which they subsequently bring to other organizations, businesses and non-profits.  This has always meant that our members are able to individually impact their communities beyond their League involvement, preparing them to become community and civic leaders as well.

Today, the JLEFC’s “Healthy Families, Healthy Futures” community projects impact School Readiness in the areas of literacy, healthy lifestyles and hunger, to better prepare children to succeed in later grades and subsequently, graduate from high school.  In 2018-2019, the League will continue to improve and enrich the Greater Bridgeport community through the following projects:

  • Leaguers Building Readers, where since its inception, we have placed over 55,000 books in the hands of at-risk children
  • Cook & Feed for Friends in Need, which provides 150 meals every other month to Operation Hope.
  • Volunteer-A-Thon, our newest project, that will involve volunteering consecutively for 26.2 hours across various community impact projects that support the Greater Bridgeport area
  • Neighborhood Impact, where through long-standing partnerships with Thomas Hooker School, we support their school readiness efforts
  • Healthy Futures Family 5K Run/Walk, the JLEFC held its inaugural Healthy Families 5K Run/Walk fundraiser at Beardsley Park in November of 2014. Funds raised at this event help support the mission of our League and our community outreach projects. The fifth annual run/walk will be held in the spring of 2019.

In addition to providing community impact and training opportunities for our Members, the League has always offered opportunities to create lifelong friendships, while working alongside other inspiring women who actively seek ways to become more engaged in their community.

Women of character creating lasting community change.  We are the women of the Junior League!

I invite you to learn more about the JLEFC at www.jlefc.org.

Sincerely,

Ashley Welker

President, JLEFC 2018-2019