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Over six years ago, the Junior League of Birmingham (JLB) began making plans to celebrate 100 years of service to the Magic City. They wanted to leave a permanent impact and partner with an organization that’s leaving a similar legacy of light and hope: One Place Metro Alabama Family Justice Center. If you aren’t familiar with One Place and the JLB’s Community of Lights campaign, you need to be. Keep reading to see why this campaign is so important + see how you can get involved.
One Place supports survivors of domestic violence
The team at One Place does the essential work of supporting victims and survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault throughout the greater Birmingham community. Their services include legal assistance, counseling, housing placement and much more.
Want to know why their work is so necessary? In the greater Birmingham community, over 5,000 cases of domestic assault are reported each year. Domestic violence has a long-term impact on our community and One Place supports each survivor who might not know what options are available.
The JLB is committed to raising at least $1.25 million to give One Place a permanent home so they can keep doing this important work. Plus, their new home will be a reminder of the 100 years the JLB has been active in Birmingham. The JLB is raising this money through a 5-year campaign, Community of Lights.
Instead of relying on large donations from just a few donors, 20 Torchbearers each year (or 21 in 2021) work toward a goal of raising at least $10,000 each.
How? I’m glad you asked. It’s all about community. Each Torchbearer goes out in their own communities and engages their individual networks to achieve their fundraising goals.
Working together leads to an impact
JLB wanted to engage the citizens of Birmingham in a new way. The Community of Lights model went from a unique idea to a model that other Junior Leagues and organizations in Birmingham follow today.
At the end of their individual campaigns, Torchbearers pass their torch to someone new for the following year—creating a wider impact. These Torchbearers aren’t only members of the JLB—anyone can be chosen to be a part of this campaign. They have a variety of backgrounds and experiences, but they all have one thing in common: dedication to the work the Junior League and One Place are doing and to Birmingham as a whole.
So far, the campaign has engaged 101 Torchbearers and over 6,000 individual donors through the JLB’s online fundraising platform. That’s a major impact.
“Until you engage all of those lights, you can never do anything significant in the city… These problems have to be solved at a macro level. For this to be successful, all of us need to light our light and join in.”Lindsey Tanner, Chair of the Community of Lights
The project engages community members + spreads awareness of One Place
The Community of Lights model does more than raise funds for One Place—it creates a network of community leaders and donors while spreading awareness about One Place’s resources.
Each time a Torchbearer shares information about the Community of Lights, one more person might be learning about One Place’s advocacy for the first time. This awareness + fundraising means that the impact spreads even farther.
“People can participate in all levels. We’ve gotten checks for $10 and we’ve gotten checks for $100 and all of them matter. Each and every donation is an important light.”Lindsey Tanner
“Just like the lights of each individual home can brighten a city, each contribution to the campaign works to make a change.”
At the end of this five-year campaign, the JLB will celebrate its 100th anniversary by giving the $1.25 million donation to One Place. Every donation, no matter how much, adds up.
Making a lasting impact—100 years of the JLB
Not many organizations can say they’ve been benefiting their community for as long as the JLB has. Whether you’re a member of the JLB or this is your first time donating, you become part of an organization that’s making a true difference in our city.
“It’s exciting to be a part of something that’s been so significant for 100 years. The work that the Junior League has done over the last 100 years has been different, the needs of the community have been different, but what has been consistent is that the Junior League plugs in, works hard and through the work, solves the tough issues facing our community.”Toni Leeth
The deadline to donate to One Place Metro Family Justice Center via a Torchbearer is Thursday, May 6th. Meet all of this year’s torchbearers and learn more about the campaign on JLB’s website and Facebook.