Mission and Focus
In our 99-year history, JLE-NS has contributed over $3.2 million to the community through projects and programs. Over the past several years, net proceeds from our fundraisers have supported our League’s focus area of Advancing Employment and Supporting Families. Our goal is to improve local issues that impact Chicago’s Northern Suburbs, including:
* Economic Self-Sufficiency
It is difficult for low-income women to enter the workforce without key resources – specifically interview- and work-appropriate clothing for themselves and diapers for their children. Our Fitting Futures program and Diaper Drive have helped to fill these gaps so that women in need can find a job, maintain employment and provide for themselves and their families.
* Healthy, Happy Families
Parenthood is stressful enough, but low-income women and families face additional challenges. Without access to key resources, information and supplies, these families and their children are often at risk. JLE-NS supports these families through programs such as the Baby Steps baby shower and Diaper Drive. These initiatives are geared to provide needed tools and materials to help low-income parents raise happy and healthy children. This, in turn, results in less stress on the families, a stronger bond between parents and children, and positively affects child development.
* Domestic violence
JLE-NS helped found Mary Lou’s Place, a domestic violence shelter in Evanston that serves over 550 women and children annually. We continue to support this organization and, in recent years, we renovated the first floor of the shelter, providing a safer and cleaner environment for these families to help them achieve self-sufficiency. In addition, JLE-NS has supported other North Shore area shelters with monetary grants.
* Secondary education
The rising cost of secondary education makes it difficult, if not impossible, for some families to afford college. JLE-NS eases this burden by providing scholarships to deserving attendees of area schools who are in need of financial assistance. Past recipients have included students at Evanston Township High School, New Trier High School, Oakton Community College and National Louis University.
* Additional causes
There are hundreds of non-profit organizations that are dependent upon donations to provide necessary services to our community. JLE-NS helps support these causes through grant donations.