By R. Hans Miller | Information Editor
The Fort Bend Junior Service League has been busy this yr, stated Colleen Fox, president of the volunteer group. From final month’s Sugar Plum Market held on the Stafford Heart to occasions with the Fort Bend Teen Service League to assist its sister nonprofit contribute to the neighborhood, the ladies of the all-female nonprofit have had their arms full this yr.
“We’re doing principally a corporation of the month each month the place we attempt to deal with a corporation or a necessity in our neighborhood,” Fox stated. “So, we simply completed November and November was for the East Fort Bend Human Needs Ministry, so we did a meals drive for them.”
Doing tasks for different space nonprofits is an idea the founders of the FBJSL adopted when it was based in 2000, Fox stated. The ladies’s group works collectively to determine nonprofits or wants locally that they will then attempt to help or meet, respectively, she stated. Annually, the group opinions their place statements – much like the values statements of a company – then identifies organizations which might be working to satisfy these values. The group then volunteers with the organizations recognized or raises funds for these organizations all year long. With the COVID-19 pandemic hitting the Fort Bend neighborhood laborious this yr, most of the 501(C)(3) or comparable organizations have seen a critically elevated want from their shopper base whereas concurrently not having the ability to increase as a lot funding as they usually would, Fox stated.
“No matter these positioning statements are yearly is what we maintain within the forefront of our minds,” Fox stated. “We now have a committee known as the Beneficiary Overview Committee. They’re those who acquired the functions for our neighborhood help funds – grants. … That may be a grant (space nonprofits) can get one time a yr as much as $5,000.”
The grant funding and different donations are arrange via fundraising actions FBJSL conducts all year long, Fox stated. Since its founding, she stated, the group has raised greater than $4.5 million for native causes and even just a few particular causes outdoors of Fort Bend County.
“After Hurricane Laura, we did one thing a bit completely different,” Fox stated. “Usually, we deal with Fort Bend County, however (so many people have been helped by Louisianans after Hurricane Harvey) and we acquired a lot assist from the Cajun Navy and the oldsters over within the Lake Charles Space.”
As a present of appreciation, FBJSL gathered donations for victims of Hurricane Laura and despatched them to the Lake Charles space to assist out as a manner of thanking them for his or her Harvey-related help.
Volunteering is essential as nicely, Fox stated. The women of FBJSL volunteer with PJ’s Playhouse, Texana or different nonprofits within the space. Being locally offering service hours is essential to the group, she stated.
“We make it fairly simple to volunteer,” Fox stated. “It’s consumer pleasant. There’s a calendar of various locations and completely different occasions that we have now the place you possibly can simply go forward and entry it and determine what works into your schedule.”
Fox stated FBJSL vets every group and makes positive that the volunteering is structured so members know what’s anticipated after they present up.
One of many issues Fox likes most is how a lot the members of FBJSL get again from their contributions.
“Alongside the best way, one of many advantages is I’ve made some lifelong mates,” Fox stated. “That’s not likely why I joined, I joined as a result of I used to be new to the world and wished to know extra in regards to the neighborhood and meet some those who do some good.”