The Junior Charity League of Concord
The Junior Charity League of Concord, a 501(c)(3) organization, was formed in 1930 to feed hungry school children during the Depression, and has evolved into an organization dedicated to providing new school clothes to the neediest of students in Cabarrus County and Kannapolis City Schools. We currently have 94 active volunteer members, and over 400 sustaining members (women who have completed at least 5 years of active service.)
The League has a long relationship with Speedway Children's Charities (SCC) and has benefited greatly from their generosity. The financial support from SCC allows our organization to provide assistance to nearly twice the number of children who would receive help otherwise. On behalf of the children helped, the League is very grateful to SCC and feels very fortunate to be one of the many organizations that benefit from their generosity. League members look forward each year to assisting with the Annual Speedway Children's Charities Annual Gala.
The Mariam C. Schramm Clothing Room, our largest service project, has been an ongoing project of the Junior Charity League of Concord since 1973. This project was pursued because it fits perfectly with our organization's mission of serving underprivileged children in our community. We are able to directly impact the quality of life for these impoverished and at-risk children. No other organization or agency provides this invaluable service in our community. The League provided new school clothes to 1,261 children during the 2008-2009 school year, a 23% increase from last year!
The League works with Guidance Counselors at Cabarrus County Schools and Kannapolis City Schools to identify the children who are most in need. The League allocates Clothing Room visits among the schools based on the number of students receiving free and reduced-price lunches. Our volunteers work one-on-one with each child who comes to the Clothing Room to "shop" for his/her new school clothes.
Our goal is to provide new school clothes to the bottom 10% of the students who receive free and reduced-price lunches at Cabarrus County and Kannapolis City Schools. A staggering 67% of the students at Kannapolis City Schools are free and reduced-price lunch recipients. At Cabarrus County Schools, that percentage is smaller at 33%, but there is a substantial and growing need in our community. Furthermore, our goals are to provide clothes that are stylish, comfortable and well-made for approximately $100 per child, and to increase the students' self-esteem, allowing them to fit-in with their peers and be successful in school.
According to the school Guidance Counselors, the children are very excited to be able to visit the Clothing Room. For many of them, it is the first time they have had any new clothes. Additionally, the students have a marked improvement in their self-confidence when they wear their new clothes to school.