Annual Junior Charity League of Concord Fundraiser Celebrates 31 Years with Another Unique Design
This year’s Easter gnome is the latest in a long line of unique designs for the Junior Charity League (JCL) of Concord’s annual fundraiser. The JCL has hand-painted wooden eggs for the past 31 years, and since 1992, no two years have ever had the same design.
- From Easter bunnies, spring chickens, a patriotic tribute in 2002 to this year’s Easter gnome, these adorable wooden eggs have become a collector’s item in Cabarrus County and only a rare few people have a complete set.
Longtime volunteer and staff member, Chrissy Hayes, has been painting eggs for more than a decade and explained the process:
- From base coat to design work, top coat, and personalization the whole operation takes between 6–8 weeks to complete. Each egg is hand-painted, which means no two are ever identical and can be personalized with a first name and the year, by Janet (Dearmon) Schmitt, a league member.
How Can You Place an Order?
Visit their website before March 10, 2023, for more details or to place an order.
What Programs Does the JCL Support?
🚑 🧑🚒 In 1967, the JCL introduced Safety Town, a program that is still held yearly in Cabarrus County, to educate rising kindergarteners about age-appropriate safety issues.
- During this free half-day camp, police officers, firefighters, and volunteers from the Red Cross teach bus, gun, and fire safety, just to name a few.
🧥 👟 However, the JCL’s primary service program is the Mariam C. Schramm Clothing Room, which opened in 1973 and is named after the JCL’s first president. It serves economically disadvantaged children in Cabarrus County and Kannapolis City Schools.
- During school visits, volunteers are on hand to help students choose appropriate sizes, distribute toiletries, and watch the smiles happen in person.
School counselors and social workers can schedule visits from mid-September through January for children in need. The JCL’s first Clothing Room was housed in a trailer behind the Glenn Center in Concord. The current Clothing Room is located in Locke Mill, and thanks to a generous grant, will be undergoing a much-needed remodel later this year.
- Chrissy shared, “in the early days of the League, local school principals, including former Mayor Scott Pagett, would identify students who needed clothing items and drive the kids to JC Penney personally to help the children pick out clothes. The League would then in turn pay for the clothes.”
This summer, the JCL is planning a 50-Year Community Celebration to commemorate the anniversary.
In addition to Safety Town and The Clothing Room, the JCL offers a Student Eyeglass Program. Each year, they partner with the Cabarrus Health Alliance and school nurses to provide eye exams and glasses to students in Cabarrus County. This program assists approximately 50 children who might otherwise go without eye care.
History of the JCL in Concord
The Junior Charity League of Concord was founded by Jenn Winslow Coltrane in 1930 to serve hungry children in local schools by providing soup, crackers, and milk during the depression. And since 1930 the JCL has remained committed to its goal to serve local children and make an impact in the Concord, Kannapolis, and Cabarrus County communities.
Become a Part of the JCL
There is always something going on at the JCL! If they are not working hard at raising funds and awareness, they are serving students in the Clothing Room. There is truly something for everyone to do to support the JCL. So, how can you get involved?
- Volunteer to work at a League event
- Collect donations for the clothing room
- Organize a fundraiser or donation drive with your local church or community organization
The JCL can also always use donations like these immediate needs:
- Shampoo (15 oz bottles)
- Toothpaste / Individual Toothbrushes (4–6 oz)
- New Coats (boys’ and girls’ size medium or large)
- Brand NEW Tennis Shoes
The JCL is also always looking for new members. If you are looking to connect with other women and serve your community, you can inquire about membership on their website.
You can learn more about the JCL events and programs on Facebook, Instagram, or on their website!
Planning to visit? Tell ’em Cabarrus Weekly sent ya!