Volunteer Education & Training Encourages Volunteers to Heart Their Heart

As our community partners and volunteers focus on the well being of others, there is a continued need to focus on individual health. Recently, the NYJL’s Volunteer Education & Training (VET) committee featured an evening with Dr. Rachel Marie Bond, to make sure that NYJL volunteers are educated about making smart heart health decisions in their daily lives.

VET strives to highlight topics that can impact the volunteer experience, and our health impacts everything we do. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women, and we make a point to educate NYJL volunteers about different aspects of heart health every year during American Heart Month. As volunteers, we see the value in being a healthy, active resource in the community and the need to put ourselves first in order to help others.

Dr. Bond is currently Associate Director of the Women’s Heart Health Program at Northwell Health Lenox Hill Hospital and Assistant Professor of Cardiology at Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine. She has a vested interest in the community and making sure women are mindful of their health and wellbeing. During the training session, she covered the differences between heart health in men and women, risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD), and how to prevent CVD.

Volunteers learned that more women die of heart disease than all forms of cancer. According to Dr. Bond and the American Heart Association, a woman dies of heart disease every 80 seconds and 90% of women have at least one risk factor.

According to Dr. Bond, heart disease can present differently in women — symptoms can occur without showing evidence of a blocked artery, since the disease tends to diffuse to smaller blood vessels. In addition, a third of women have atypical symptoms.

Dr. Bond highlighted that while the traditional symptom for a heart attack is chest pain, there are several specific symptoms that women need to keep in mind. These include chest pain, discomfort, pressure or squeezing (like there’s a ton of weight on your chest), upper body pain (or discomfort in one or both arms, back, shoulder, neck, jaw or upper part of the stomach), shortness of breath, extreme fatigue, breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea and lightheadedness or sudden dizziness

Looking for ways to lower your risk for heart disease? The American Heart Association has identified seven lifestyle recommendations in order to prevent heart disease. They include stop smoking (it’s never too late for your body to start repairing!), be physically active (150 minutes of moderate activity a week or 75 minutes vigorous activity and strength training twice a week), eat a heart healthy diet, maintain a healthy weight and keep your BMI under 25, keep a healthy blood sugar level, keep cholesterol levels under control, and maintain a healthy blood pressure.

Looking for an opportunity to be both physically active and active in the community? Be sure to sign up for one of the upcoming PIP Park Days. Join fellow volunteers at Corlears Hook Park on the Lower East Side, where you can help paint, plant and spruce up the park.

Volunteer Education & Training Promotes Skin Cancer Awareness

The New York Junior League was honored to host Dr. Lindsey Bordone, Assistant Professor of Dermatology at Columbia University Medical Center, for a recent training on melanoma and skin cancer awareness. Dr. Bordone offered insights into the nature of skin cancer and highlighted other dermatology tips.

The NYJL’s Volunteer Education & Training committee strives to highlight topics that can impact the volunteer experience, and our health impacts everything we do. This year, we chose to highlight health concerns like melanoma and skin disease. As we head into the warmer seasons and our outreach moves outside — whether volunteering for PIP or participating in a DIAD event outdoors — we want to give our volunteers all the knowledge they need to make the experience as fun, beneficial and safe as possible.


We all enjoy the sun and it is even important to our health. According to Dr. Bordone, we can get enough Vitamin D with only 15 minutes of daily sun exposure. She stressed the importance of sunblock, since sunburns increase the risk of certain types of skin cancer such as melanoma.  Dr. Bordone highlighted that while your sunblock will protect you from UVB rays, it is not enough to combat UVA radiation. UVA light causes photoaging and the best way to prevent this is to keep covered and avoid exposure.

According to Dr. Bordone, melanoma is the most deadly type of skin cancer. To detect melanoma early, perform self exams and keep an eye out for pigmented spots.  Don’t forget to also check out your scalp and eyes! The most common type of skin cancer is basal cell carcinomas, which can be removed quite easily. Don’t forget to see a dermatologist one a year for a full skin examination!

A key part of the NYJL’s mission is to train volunteers and our Volunteer Education & Training events are just one way we accomplish this goal.  Looking for a volunteer opportunity where you can give back and continue to develop your knowledge and skills? The NYJL is the place for you! Check out a new volunteer orientation to learn more about becoming a volunteer.

Hearing the Latest & Welcoming the Next NYJL President

At the recent General Membership Meeting, newly graduated Provisionals joined current volunteers to hear about the latest news from around the League. The evening kicked off with a special recognition to Horace Neal, who has worked as a day porter at the Junior League for 15 years. Following this, volunteers heard from Susan Danish, the Association of Junior Leagues International Executive Director, whose presentation – “It starts with you” – resonated with those in attendance, highlighting the importance of voluntarism and women’s leadership.

Updates by the Diversity and Inclusion Working Group, the Management Council, the Annual Fund Team, the Audit Committee and NYJL Treasurer, Shari Aser, celebrated all the amazing work that volunteers accomplished over the fall and provided updates on what to look forward to in the coming months.

The meeting culminated with the announcement of the next NYJL President – Lauren Jenkins Chung, by Caroline Donohue, Nominating Committee co-chair. Currently a Director at Large on the NYJL Board of Directors, Lauren now becomes the 58th President of the NYJL and will begin her two-year term on July 1, 2018. Congratulations, Lauren!

Current NYJL President Suzanne Manning with 2018-2020 NYJL President, Lauren Jenkins Chung

A reception followed at the Astor House, where the Board of Directors and Management Council were eager to see volunteers, hear their voice and provide members with an opportunity to share the reasons why they volunteer.  

NYJL Members Learn How to Become Financially Fit

This February, the New York Junior League’s Affinity Activities committee was delighted to host a training event provided by Financial Gym, a financial wellness company. The session highlighted the importance of becoming financially fit and helped volunteers think about the data they need to measure their financial fitness.

From left to right: Anita Sonawane of Affinity Activities, Kim Spataro of Financial Gym and Natalie Telchi of Affinity Activities

Kimberly Spataro, Head of Business Development at Financial Gym, was our guest speaker. The attendees were excited to learn tips and tricks from the Financial Gym that they can quickly introduce into their financial routines. Kimberly, a fellow NYJL Volunteer, highlighted how the process of taking control of your finances is comparable to that of losing weight: the need to cut down on spending and to increase savings in order to achieve financial wellness.

“Becoming financially fit will afford you the ability to curate your career path based on your passions, values and interests. You will have the ability to financially support organizations and charities you care about, and live your boldest, wildest, never-in-a-million-years-thought-you’d-get-here kind of life.”

– Kimberly Spataro,  Head of Business Development at Financial Gym

With our mission as a training organization, New York Junior League is proud to host events like these for our volunteers to help expand both their volunteer skills as well as skills needed for our personal and professional lives. Interested in learning more? Be sure to sign up for one of our upcoming New Volunteer Orientations where you can learn more about the NYJL and how you can get involved.

Celebrating International Women’s Day

For over 100 years, March 8 has been recognized as International Women’s Day. People around the world come together to celebrate women’s achievements and shine light on issues impacting women today. According to the United Nations, this year’s theme is “Time is Now: Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives.”

Throughout its history, the NYJL has had this mission at its core. Countless volunteers have dedicated their time, energy and talents to help their communities, advocate for those who need a voice and support each other becoming future leaders.  

In honor of Women’s History Month, the Affiliation Council invites you to this year’s Ladies Who Lead. Join us on March 15 for an evening that celebrates our strength as advocates for all women and hear compelling personal stories from a group of NYJL leaders who have risen above adversity.