Sometimes a meeting is just a meeting, but in September thirty-five members of the Junior Auxiliary for Taney County (JATC) had the opportunity to learn more about the county where they provide charitable services, and to meet with another non-profit group that is helping with one of JATC’s projects. Pat Davis, the Director of Christian Action Ministries (CAM), spoke at the Membership Meeting and helped members better understand the issue of hunger in Taney County and the services provided by CAM. Most members were not aware that 25% of Taney County children go to bed at night hungry, and CAM provided for more than 542,000 meals in 2013. Members will use the information they learn from other organizations like CAM to help them develop new projects that will meet the community’s needs each year. In addition, members responded to the presentation with personal donations of $200 in cash for purchase of food as well as canned goods.
That same evening, representatives of the Vietnam Veterans Association brought bags of new stuffed animals they had collected on behalf of JATC’s Tender Critters program. Along with animals donated by members throughout the year, JATC members will take these toys to Cox Branson to give to children who are brought to the Emergency Room or admitted to the hospital. This is an example of the kind of cooperation with other organizations that is a hallmark of many Junior Auxiliary projects.
Currently, JA members fund and provide volunteer support for twelve projects, which include Santa’s Gift House, Journey, Prom Dress, Book Swap Stop, Scholarships, ScholarCare, College Readiness, and support for the Women’s Crisis Center. They continue to provide financial support for the Backpack Program, which they had begun with Hollister School District in 2007. More information on JA and these projects can be found at the Junior Auxiliary website, JATCMO.org.
JATC is part of the National Association of Junior Auxiliaries (NAJA), a non-profit organization founded in 1941 with headquarters in Greenville, Mississippi. NAJA has more than 15,500 active, associate and life members in 98 chapters located in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee. Their slogan is “Care Today-Character Tomorrow”. The Taney County chapter, JATC, was established by a group of caring, enthusiastic women in 1997 and continues to grow and thrive throughout Taney County. Approximately 50 members contribute more than 4,000 volunteer hours and raise thousands of dollars annually as they strive to improve the mental, physical, social and emotional well-being of children in Taney County.
Published: Branson Daily Independent, Oct 3-4, 2014; Branson Tri-Lakes News, Oct 11, 2014; Hometown Radio News, Oct 19, 2014