Junior League of Oklahoma City Aims to Help Women Become Leaders

Between June 1, 2017, and May 31, 2018, the Junior League of Oklahoma City members volunteered more than 5,000 hours in the greater Oklahoma City community, totaling a value of more than $120,000. From teaching children at the Boys & Girls Club of America how to cook healthy dinners and making the OKC Zoo playground more accessible to all children to working with the visually impaired clients of New View OKC, the women of Junior League of Oklahoma City are living up to their mission of “Women Building a Better OKC.”

“We are an organization that develops the potential of women by training them to become better leaders so they can give back to their community,” JLOC President Sam Campbell says. “With a Junior League membership, women receive training. When they first join, they get training about the organizations, learn skills like meeting facilitation and parliamentary procedure and how to volunteer. One of the things that our members wanted was more professional development, so we developed the Leadership Institute, which focuses on topics like business etiquette, how to negotiate for a raise and other topics that make women better people and better at their job.”

The Junior Service League of Oklahoma City was founded in March 1927 and affiliated with the Association of Junior Leagues of America in 1928 to become the Junior League of Oklahoma City. Serving the community is the primary goal of the Junior League of Oklahoma City, and the League partners with numerous nonprofit agencies.

Since 1927, the Junior League has contributed more than a million volunteer hours to the Oklahoma City community. In the 2015–2016 year alone, JLOC Active Members serving in the community contributed 3,400 hours of volunteer service, with a total market value of $73,100. Volunteer service hours do not include projects completed by Provisional and Sustaining Members, either.

“We craft unique volunteer experiences for our members, and many of these projects have a budget,” said Campbell. “We have 1,400 members, and last fiscal year alone, we had more than 5,000 volunteer hours, not including the 5,000 extra hours we did at the zoo.”

The Oklahoma City Zoo is a longtime partner of JLOC, and for the organization’s 75th birthday in 2003, the organization organized the community effort to build the zoo’s playground. Fifteen years later for JLOC’s 90th birthday in 2018, the members organized the effort to update the playground to make it more accessible to children of all abilities.

But that’s not all JLOC does. The JLOC hosts the Mistletoe Market every November, a holiday shopping extravaganza held annually in Oklahoma City; the Speaker in the City event, which brings  keynote speakers to Oklahoma City to discuss health topics important to the community; and Legacy & Legends, JLOC’s signature event that honors women who have gone above and beyond in the community service.

“Molly Ringwald is our Speaker in the City on March 24 at the Farmer’s Market,” Sam says. 

In 2014, JLOC also embarked on a new initiative to focus on the health-related needs of Oklahoma City. The JLOC Annual Campaign is one of JLOC’s fundraising efforts, alongside our annual fundraising events Mistletoe Market and Speaker in the City, and goes to benefit community projects.

“We always welcome women who want to build a better OKC,” she says.

For more information or to join JLOC, visit JLOC.org.