I joined the Junior League in 2007 when I lived in Hilton Head, South Carolina. The closest League was in Savannah, Georgia but Hilton Head had a ‘Lowcountry’ group that met on a regular basis and helped the local community with events. We then went to Savannah for occasional general meetings and the annual thrift sale fundraiser.
I was approached at a business lunch by a woman asking if I would be interested in joining the Junior League, so I went to a social. You had to be sponsored there, which is something many Leagues have moved away from, but was customary when my mom and aunt joined in Lincoln, Nebraska many, many years ago. The girls I met through the League became some of my closest friends in Hilton Head and it was such a great experience.
My husband and I then moved to Chicago, Illinois when he was admitted to business school and I transferred my membership. I didn’t think twice about doing so, as it was a great way to meet people and get involved in a new city. Chicago was a much bigger League and accepted anyone and everyone – it was more corporate-focused. While I met many new people, I also recruited some friends to join, which was fun. They had a historic house in the Gold Coast where smaller meetings and functions were held, which was neat as you could literally see the history of the Chicago League. It was very easy to get lost in that League due to its size, but you were as involved as you motivated yourself to be. I continued my involvement in the League through internal positions and enjoyed learning about the League from that perspective.
After about five years in Chicago, family and a job for my husband moved us to Omaha, Nebraska. Again, I didn’t think twice about transferring my membership. I knew Omaha had a League so I asked Chicago to initiate the transfer and was then contacted by Omaha League. I did consider becoming a Sustaining Member, but decided I wanted to be involved and support the local community before making that transition. I had a great transfer year and was on the American Girl committee, which was a neat event that I had not seen in Hilton Head or Chicago. I’m active again this year and find the Omaha League to be a happy medium between Hilton Head and Chicago. It’s a great way to meet people and impact the community in a new city!