In 1901, Mary Harriman turned her vision into reality with the establishment of the NYJL. She never tired of working to strengthen the health and well-being of the children and families of the greater New York area. With the founding of the New York Junior League, she also became its first life-long volunteer.
This year we celebrate nearly three hundred volunteers who have given an average of more than 20 years of service to the NYJL, two of whom are celebrating their 70-year anniversaries!
Truly there are countless reasons our volunteers join and then remain in the NYJL for so many years. Volunteer Tonya Garrett, who is relatively new to the NYJL, believes that “from those to whom much is given, much is expected. Giving back is everyone’s responsibility.” This brand of grace permeates even the beginnings of the NYJL journey. Sustainer Justine Oddo, celebrating 20 years of volunteering with the NYJL, shares that she appreciates being able “to make a positive impact in the New York City community and because I want to donate my time in the most effective way possible.” Justine especially values that her volunteer experience has encompassed “youth education, culture, and the arts” and is grateful for having “met so many talented, dedicated, and poised women volunteers with whom I have developed lifelong friendships.”
Fellow sustainer and past president Mari Quilio confessed that she “got a wee bit teary eyed” sharing her thoughts on her 15 years of volunteerism with the NYJL. “To be trained as a community leader, empowered as a volunteer, and given the resources to change lives—while at the same time making dear and lasting friendships with my fellow volunteers—has been an extraordinary experience.”
We hope you will join us in honoring Tonya, Justine, Mari, and their fellow volunteers as we celebrate their long-standing commitment with a special anniversary toast at this year’s Golden Tree on Thursday evening, December 4. Cheers to the mission, vision, and values of the NYJL and the volunteers who bring it all to life!