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Junior League Helps Westchester Women's Shelter

Junior League of Central Westchester Partnered with the White Plains Samaritan House Women’s Shelter to Enhance the Lives of Residents

The Junior League of Central Westchester’s (JLCW) Fall 2012 new member class partnered with the Samaritan House Women’s Shelter, which is part of the Grace Church Community Center (GCCC).

This shelter provides transitional and emergency housing for up to 19 homeless women. Comprehensive services include individualized treatment for those who suffer from substance abuse, domestic violence or HIV/AIDs. The partnership of these two non-profit organizations provided a wonderful opportunity to better the lives of women in the community of White Plains by enhancing the living space at the shelter and creating kits to help transition residents into housing.

As part of the new member class project, the JLCW collaborated with the Samaritan House on three projects.  First, the members redecorated and revitalized the living room located at the Samaritan House, by adding wall art, curtains, rugs, a flat screen TV and other forms of entertainment for the women. 

The new JLCW members secured donated paint from Wallauer’s Paint and Design Center, located in Scarsdale, and spent an afternoon painting the walls.  The members diligently collected items for welcome wagon move-in kits from local businesses and active members of the JLCW. These kits contain items for the residents when they transition out of the shelter, into more permanent housing. Often, the women of the shelter do not have basic necessities for their new homes, which is why the kits are so important. The kits include such things as linens, dishes, cutlery, cleaning products and toiletries.

Also, new members presented the revitalized living room as well as the move-in kits at a brunch on December 15, 2012.  The event was for residents and staff of the Samaritan House as well as new and active JLCW members.

GCCC Coordinator for Volunteers and Community Relations, Emily Gallagher stated that, "the Junior League's commitment to our less fortunate neighbors is truly awe-inspiring. We are so grateful for the hard work and dedication of the JLCW and look forward to partnering with them for years to come."

In the Fall and Spring of each year, the JLCW holds informational coffees for women interested in membership. JLCW members join as a class and meet with current JLCW members to learn more about projects and the organization. Each new member class organizes its own volunteer project, which is to be completed by the end of their training session.

“This was a great way to learn about the community,” explains new member Lisa Ferree. “I really appreciate the work that GCCC does for the women at the shelter and I am so impressed by how the local businesses support the effort of JLCW and their community.” 

About Grace Church Community Center (GCCC)
 GCCC is a non-sectarian, community-based non-profit organization whose mission is to assist Westchester County’s neediest and most at-risk residents, especially those who are under-served by other resources.  GCCC is one of the largest social services agencies in Westchester County and has been providing shelter and support for individuals and families for over 30 years.  The agency operates eight critical community programs, including the Samaritan House Women’s Shelter (“Samaritan House”). 

Additional Information can be found at www.jlcentralwestchester.org.

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