Junior Auxiliary of Taney County’s Current Projects
The primary function of JATC is to provide service to the community focused on the needs of children and families. Using information from the community, JATC members assess local needs and develop service projects designed to match members’ interests and skills with identified needs.
Homework Helpers --This project provides homework help once a week throughout the year to children living at two extended stay motels in our area. Snacks and a simple activity is also provided for the children. In addition, once a month, book collections are exchanged as part of the Book Swap Stop Project started by Branson Elementary teachers. An article about this project was submitted to the NAJA Crownlet and was awarded a Tip of the Crown.
Emergency Education Fund --This project provides financial support for students at OTC who are facing an emergency situation that, if not addressed, will almost certainly force them to drop out of school.
Hug Baskets--This project provides a basket of necessary items to a needy applicant in the community. This applicant can be anyone who needs extra care. Occasionally, the Chapter will also do a group collection for needed items.
Prom Dress --This project provides new or gently worn prom dresses and accessories to high school girls who might not otherwise have an opportunity to enjoy their proms. Girls are identified through high school counselors and are allowed to choose dresses at designated times.
ScholarCare --This project is designed to provide support and encouragement to a student who may be experiencing his/her first time away from home. Selection of a student is based on the applicants' essays demonstrating their need for continuing support from JATC. In addition to a $750 scholarship, renewable annually based on satisfactory college achievement, JATC members send notes, small gifts, and emails throughout the school year. We currently have three (3) ScholarCare recipients: Shana Topka, Branson, Year 4 with us; and Kaitlyn Johnson, Hollister, Year 2 with us, and Sophia Meltke, Bradleyville, Year 1 with us. We are proud to announce that Ashley Shockey, Branson, just finished her 4th year with us and graduated from Truman State in Kirksville, MO, with a Bachelor of Science in Biology.
Bella Kiracofe looks in awe at Santa during the 2018 Santa’s Gift House.
JATC would like to extend a special thank you to the following for their extra help with our Santa’s Gift House project: Branson United Methodist Church, Tanger Shopping Mall, Lowe’s, Liberty Exposition Services, Inc., L&J Plumbing, and AJ Elite Nails and Spa.
After a threat of snow and sleet the weather decided to cooperate, and the holiday season started early at the ninth annual Santa’s Gift House hosted by the Junior Auxiliary of Taney County (JATC). On December 8, Santa’s Gift House provided over 200 of the community’s children with an opportunity to experience the joy of giving gifts during the holidays. They “shopped” with the help of 40 JATC elves and selected up to four items for 50 cents per item that they will give as holiday gifts to their loved ones. These high-quality gifts included wine glass globes, stress balls, multi-colored pictures, cocoa mugs, aquariums, castles in a jar, hammers that said, “You nailed it!”, peanut mugs, jewelry, knitted scarves and hats, decorative plaques, note cards, pottery, marshmallow shooters, towels for that dad that loves to BBQ, and lots more. This year on December 12, we will extend Santa’s Gift House to include approximately 75 Bradleyville students and 45 Mark Twain students
Scholarships for Taney County
This project provides a $750 scholarship to a graduating senior at each of the four county high schools (Branson, Bradleyville, Forsyth, and Hollister), awarded on the basis of demonstrated initiative and commitment to community volunteer activities. Congratulations to the recipients of our 2018-2019 scholarships: Kourtney Shipley, Bradleyville; Tawny Denzer, Branson; , Collin Gwin, Forsyth; Madison Hatfield, Hollister.
Pictured at right: Madison Hatfield from Hollister High School receives her scholarship award from JATC member Linda Lewis
School Supplies --This project provides supplemental school supplies to elementary schools in January or February for distribution to students on an as-needed basis. This year supplies were delivered to Bradleyville, Kirbyville, Mark Twain, and Taneyville. Teachers at these schools also received $40 gift cards to purchase supplies for their individual classrooms.
This project provides new stuffed animals for children who are brought to the emergency room and/or admitted to Cox Hospital in Branson. At times this project will provide stuffed animals to Police, Sheriff, Fire, Emergence Responders, and/or any other organization in Taney County that needs to provide comfort for kids in a stressful situation.February is our "Tender Critters" drive month. In 2019, Binswanger Glass, Central Bank, Branson Bank, CoxHealth Fitness Center, St. Joseph's Anglican Church, Branson United Methodist Church, Kimberling City Church of Christ, Victory Chiropractic, and Legends in Concert Theatre are acting as drop off points to collect animals. Vietnam Veterans of America (Chapters 913 and 1119), Taneycomo Chapter National Daughters of the American Revolution, and PEO, Chapter IB also donated critters. Last year the community provided almost 600 animals for our project during this February drive.
Women's Crisis Center Support --This project provides birthday parties for children who are living at the Women's Crisis Center of Taney County, an organization that provides care to women and children who are experiencing domestic violence/abuse. In addition, weekly “Empowering the Little Dreamers”, a two hour program gives the kids a chance to have a good time with special activities while moms attend counseling.
JA member Cathy Brown enjoys tea with one of the “Little Dreamers”.
Many JATC projects have been sustained over time. These include:
Santa's Gift House
Newer projects include
Halloween Grape Stomp
Learners Today, Leaders Tomorrow
Women’s Crisis Center “Empowering the Little Dreamers”
OTC Emergency Education Fund
The Heart of the Arts
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