Jump in to support the NYJL at the Hampton Classic Horse Show

During the upcoming Hampton Classic Horse Show, NYJL volunteers will be keeping an eye on Callan Solem, one of the nation’s leading grand prix show jumping riders. This talented, award-winning equestrian has been paired with the NYJL for Jump for Charity, a program started last year to support charities in the community that are near to the hearts of Hampton Classic staff members.

The program pairs 10 riders with 10 select charities. The charity matched with the rider who has the best finish during the Douglas Elliman Grand Prix Qualifier, taking place on September 1, will receive a portion of the proceeds raised from the sale of Jump for Charity baseball hats. If all of the hats are sold, a total of $30,000 will be raised, which will be awarded to the top three winning charities. This year, the hats are being underwritten by Hampton Classic staff and Sea Shore Stables.

How can volunteers show their support and help the NYJL win money for our community programs? Buy an NYJL Jump for Charity baseball hat! Each hat will come autographed by Callan Solem and will have the NYJL and the Jump for Charity logo on it. Pre-purchased hats can be picked up at the Classic beginning August 27. Alternatively, hats can be shipped directly to you in September following the Classic.

Be sure to pick yours up while supplies last. Go Team Callan Solem!

Final hat design pending.

NYJL volunteers and Stanley Isaacs students journey through the world of art

On March 15, Stanley Isaacs students involved with the New York Junior League Artistic Journeys committee took a field trip to the Society of Illustrators Museum where Executive Director Anelle Miller gave them a tour of the museum’s ‘Will Eisner: The Centennial Celebration’ exhibit. The students saw over 150 pieces of original artwork from Eisner. Eisner was known as the champion of the graphic novel and his illustrated works inspired generations of cartoonists. Additionally, they saw personal items from Eisner’s career such as his studio drawing board and brushes, and they learned first-hand about the process involved in creating illustrated works.

Two weeks before that, Scooter Laforge, an artist and fashion designer known for his action paintings, murals and one-of-a kind clothing sold on Patricia Field’s website, visited the Stanley Isaacs/Artistic Journeys classroom as a guest speaker and helped lead the students in a lesson about wearable art. The students created a mix of action painting and graffiti designs on t-shirts using fabric paint. NYJL volunteer Maria Nunez, who is the head fashion designer at Marissa Noir, helped structure the lesson. “Scooter is a famous contemporary artist who has had his art exhibited all over the world and dresses many celebrities such as Madonna and Beyoncé. It was wonderful of him to show the Artistic Journeys kids that anything can be turned into art. Wearable art has the potential of reaching a broader audience,” said Nunez, who turns her paintings into textiles and then into garments for Marissa Noir.

The following month, NYJL volunteer Sarah Eaby, who works as a Client Strategy Coordinator at Christie’s auction house, arranged a private after-hours tour of Christie’s for the students. The children learned about the role of auction houses in the art world and viewed photographic works by photographers such as Ansel Adams, Man Ray and Alfred Stieglitz, all of which were up for auction. “Working at Christie’s combines my love of art and business, and it was great to be able to give a tour of Christie’s to the Artistic Journeys students, and show them firsthand one of the many possible career avenues available to them, where they can incorporate their passion for the arts. I loved watching my two worlds collide,” said Eaby.

Introducing children between the ages of 7-9 to creative arts and crafts, Artistic Journeys children are integrated into artistic activities and field trips where they gain confidence and self-esteem.

A League of Their Own, Covenant House Sleep Out

At the end of March, members of the Rights of Passage committee took to the streets of New York City with just a sleeping bag and a cardboard box to participate in the Covenant House Sleep Out in support of homeless youth. Along with over 200 other young professionals, their team, “A League of Their Own”, helped raise almost $500,000. With this funding, Covenant House will continue to provide not only crucial educational and job search support — it can also continue being a place to call home for so many homeless teens and young adults.

The New York Junior League partners with Covenant House New York through both its Rights of Passage and Healthy Beginnings programs. The Rights of Passage program provides young adults with the tools they need to succeed in the workforce and find housing once they graduate and transition out of Covenant House. The Healthy Beginnings program is targeted toward young mothers, providing them with the resources they need to raise healthy infants and toddlers.

The Sleep Out is an incredible way to show solidarity with and support for residents of Covenant House. It is hosted every year, and some NYJL volunteers have participated annually, for the last four years. Committee member and first-time attendee, Melissa Yamamoto, remarked “I was impressed by not only the amazing turnout for the night, but moreso by the youth who came to share their stories with us and help us realize that this night of fundraising can truly help change lives.”

For anyone interested in getting involved for next year, you can learn more about the Sleep Out here. Find a team, make a team, or even volunteer on your own — all are welcome and the experience is truly unforgettable and for a great cause.

NYJL Promotes New Beginnings at the Isaac T. Hopper Home

In April, NYJL volunteers and residents gathered in the common area at a historic, Greek-revival style row house in the East Village. While enjoying the guidance of the NYJL-arranged knitting instructor, women chatted and relaxed while making something beautiful. Some fast learners may have even discovered a new hobby!

The house is Isaac T. Hopper Home, a temporary residence for women who are transitioning to life after prison with assistance from the Women’s Prison Association. WPA Executive Director Georgia Lerner has worked with her team to create a supportive community environment for these women.

One of the many resources provided is the monthly NYJL workshop. In these workshops, women have bonded and relaxed over art projects, game nights, yoga and sometimes knitting lessons! Residents also benefit from counselling, mentoring, writing workshops and employment coaching as part of the NYJL programming. NYJL volunteers who work at the Hopper Home said they feel honored to work with the WPA on this important program, and they also feel privileged to work with these women as they almost always learn more about themselves throughout the process!

NYJL Rights of Passage committee teaches fiscal responsibility

As part of our partnership with the Rights of Passage program at Covenant House, the New York Junior League hosts several life skills courses for the program’s participants. The young adults who attend this program live at Covenant House full-time. This program helps give them important tools to live independently and transition to permanent housing. The goal of the program is to empower young adults to identify their respective personal and professional goals and create tangible ​action plans. There are several courses offered, including lessons on writing resumes and preparing for job interviews.

Earlier this year, we attended a course focused on fiscal responsibility. This particular course covered the details of how to open a bank account, build good credit, and when to use a credit card versus debit card.

Held in a classroom on-site at Covenant House, the NYJL volunteers divided into team leaders and group participants. The team leaders reviewed a prepared outline of “how tos” and group participants were ready with key examples and frequently asked questions to generate conversation in the room.

Once the Covenant House attendees arrived and the lesson began, the conversation was lively! The NYJL volunteers responded to important, thoughtful questions from the attendees and provided real-life examples and described key actions necessary to obtain good credit, for example.

These types of programs differentiate Covenant House from other shelters by helping residents focus on their life goals, and providing them with emotional support to help them break the cycle of homelessness and build better lives.