equaled $1,278.87. Charlotte Junior League members were also active on other community boards, such as the Alexander Children’s Home, Thompson Orphanage and the YWCA. The Charlotte Junior League also sent a member delegate to sit on the Cooperative Nurses Association Board. This presence in the community gave the League not only a louder voice, but also increased support.
As We Move Forward,
Support was exactly what the League received, collecting donations from the local newspapers, merchants, drugstores, dairies, laundries and individuals. A fiveroom cottage was also donated rent-free for one year. The Junior League Baby Home became the organization’s first large-scale project in the community on April 24, 1926, with the formal, public opening on May 18. This was the primary commitment of the League during the first two years of its establishment. The CRIER was first published during the 1927-1928 year and was aptly named after the crying babies in the Junior League Baby Home.
In March of that first year, the League took in a provisional class of 18 members and three transfers. Eight volunteer hours were required of both the active and provisional members; however, due to both the importance of the project and their small membership base, the women worked many more easily exceeded the requirement.
By Betsey Dillon
As the Junior League of Charlotte, Inc (JLC) builds up to its 90th year anniversary, take a look back at several major accomplishments since its beginning in 1926.
“The Junior League Committees have functioned splendidly. The responsiveness and enthusiasm of the girls has been very gratifying, and their help and understanding has overcome many tedious moments and has made my service a very great pleasure and privilege,” wrote Cluett.
It is fitting that the first year of the Junior League of Charlotte, Inc. (JLC) was marked with ambitious initiatives. The fortitude and commitment embodied by its first members are the standards by which the JLC is known today.
In January of 1926, 30 philanthropic women formed the JLC out of what was previously known as the Welfare League. The new Junior League joined the Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc. (AJLI) with $843.41 from the treasury of the Welfare League. Then-President, Catherine Garrett Morehead Cluett, said in her yearly report, “We felt very grateful, very humble and very willing to work and wait to find a real place to fill and call our own in the community.” While most of the funds collected the first year were from public donation, the League also held several fundraisers to establish the Baby Home. Members organized rummage sales and a dance. Members also participated in a fundraiser with the Charlotte Polo Team, from which the League retained the proceeds of all ticket sales from the Charlotte-Harvard Polo game, totaling $154. The funds raised the
The Junior League Baby Home became the organization’s first large-scale project in the community on April 24, 1926, with the formal, public opening held on May 18. This was the primary commitment of the League during the first two years of its establishment. The CRIER was first published during the 1927-1928 year and was aptly named after the crying babies in the Junior League Baby Home.
In March of its first year, the League took in a provisional class of 18 members and three transfers. Eight volunteer hours were required of both active and provisional members; however, due to both the importance of the project and the small membership base, most women easily exceeded the hourly requirement.
In 1935, the Baby Home closed its doors. Adoption cases were being taken over by the welfare department, government aid was given to dependent children and babies were left in their own homes whenever possible or placed in foster homes. In total, the JLC contributed $37,000 to the project. The building was rented for a few years and then sold, with the proceeds being put back into welfare service.
To meet the needs of the League’s fundraising efforts, the Thrift Shop (now the WearHouse) was introduced in 1936 in uptown Charlotte. The Thrift Shop offered the community an affordable place to shop, as well as valuable training opportunities for JLC members. In its first six months of business, the store reported gross receipts of $1,737 and net profits of $640. Today, the WearHouse is League’s longest running fundraiser.
The Old North State Cookbook was first published in 1942. It was sold for $2.06 and was delivered by bicycle to save gas money. In The CRIER, JLC members jest that the James K. Polk Fruit Cake on page 13 weighs 16 pounds when baked. The cookbooks brought in nearly $2,900 for the organization.
The Magazine of the Junior League of Charlotte