Generous Organizations Partner with Junior Auxiliary for "Tender Critters"

Junior Auxiliary of Taney County (JATC) Tender Critters Committee was overwhelmed with the generosity of the Vietnam Veterans Association Chapters 913 and 1119 as well as the American Legion Post 220 and Taneycomo Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution as they presented more than 150 “Tender Critters” that their members had collected for the Cox Medical Center-Branson Emergency Room.  JATC members deliver the stuffed animals each week to the staff so they can give them to children who visit the ER or need to stay in the hospital.  Last year 1791 critters were distributed to children and so far this year JATC has delivered 1125 critters to the ER.   
 “Tender Critters” is one of the longest running projects for JATC, with members donating new stuffed animals at each of their monthly meetings.  This collection is a year-round effort and JATC invites members of the community to help brighten a child’s day by donating a “tender critter”. JATC also welcomes businesses, churches and other groups to hold ongoing collection efforts throughout the year.  It’s a small effort that can make a big impact on a child’s time in the hospital.  
Tender Critters is one of many service projects that JATC members provide to the community.  Others include Santa’s Gift House; College Scholarships for a seniors at all four Taney County public high schools; Prom Dresses for girls in need; Heart of the Arts supporting arts activities for clients of the Developmental Center; financial and labor support for the Women’s Crisis Center; School Supplies “refreshment” in January for elementary schools; and  Homework Helpers for children who live in extended-stay motels.  
More information on JATC can be found on the Junior Auxiliary website JATCMO.ORG, their Facebook page, Junior Auxiliary of Taney County or via email at  
Members raise money for these projects through one major event - a fun Trivia Challenge with dinner, live entertainment, a raffle and a Silent Auction held in the spring each year. This    year    the    17th    Annual    Trivia    Challenge    and    Silent    Auction    were    held    at    the    Radisson    Hotel    in    Branson    on    March    25,    2017.        Nearly    $20,000    was    raised,    all    of    which    is    reinvested    in    our    community.            

 Also, JATC raises money from other events such as Belk’s Charity Days, Schwan’s Cares, AmazonSmile, Give Ozarks Day, Mr. G’s Annual JATC Days, the Branson Women’s Expo, grants and individual donations.  Generous local businesses also donate to JATC’s various events including Doug Baker State Farm Insurance, Ozark Mountain Ear Nose & Throat, Mr. G’s Pizza, Binswanger Glass, Chateau on the Lake, Big Cedar, State Park Marina, 417 Fundraising, Usborne Books, Central Bank, Dale Sanders American Family Insurance and Branson Bank. 
JATC is more than a nonprofit organization, it’s a group of women united by a single cause and dedicated to helping the children of Taney County.  That’s the magic of JATC.  It was chartered by a group of caring, enthusiastic women in 1998 and continues to grow and thrive throughout Taney County.  Approximately 50 members annually contribute more than 4,000 volunteer hours as they strive to improve the mental, physical, social and emotional well-being of children in Taney County.  
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 TodayCharacter Tomorrow”. 

Published: Branson Daily Independent, Sunday, August 6, 2017