League Co-Chairs to Boutique Co-Chairs: Serving a Community Placement

Both Cat Enenbach and Ashley Rich have dedicated countless hours of service to the Junior League of Omaha. Serving as Big Red Block Party Co-Chairs and in other leadership positions across the League, the 2020-2021 League year looks a little different for Cat and Ashley. These two dedicated volunteers chose a community placement, allowing them to dedicate more time to be Co-Chairs of the Rose Theater Guild’s Boutique.

What is Community Placement

Members like Cat and Ashley, who actively volunteer for multiple or major non-League community events and organizations that require increased involvement, are able to participate in a community placement. A community placement takes the place of a traditional committee placement. While members are able to serve on other community boards for placement credit, they are still required to attend five General Membership Meetings and fulfill their impact volunteer shifts.

Why They Chose Community Placement

After working full-time as a labor and delivery nurse, and as an adjunct professor at the Creighton College of Nursing, all while finishing her Master’s, serving as the League’s New Member Chair, volunteering at non-League organizations and giving birth to her second child, Cat was in need of a less time-intensive League placement. Instead of a traditional committee placement, she applied for a community placement which allows her to serve as the Rose Theater Guild’s Boutique Co-Chair alongside Ashley, who also opted for community placement.

Since Ashley served as Big Red Block Party Co-Chair, Cookbook Co-Chair and Corresponding Secretary and was double placed on the Communications Committee for some of these positions, she wanted to take a step back and dedicate more time to other organizations that she’s a part of. Along with being a Co-Chair for the Rose Theater Guild’s Boutique, Ashley also serves as the Friendraiser Chair for the Omaha Children’s Museum Guild and Vice President of the Miss Omaha/Miss Douglas County Scholarship Program for her placement.

Cat and Ashley Serving in the Community

As Boutique Co-Chairs, Cat and Ashley manage the Rose Theater Guild’s second largest source of funds. Ina normal year, they would manage volunteers and stock the Boutique allowing theater patrons to roam and purchase show themed items. However, with the Boutique being closed, Cat and Ashley are having to find creative ways to sell items while encouraging social distancing. To do this, they have created the “Boutique Box,” a box of show themed crafts, snacks and other knick knacks. While selling and distribution logistics are still up in the air, these incredible volunteers aren’t letting Coronavirus stand in their way.

For more information on community placement, email placement@jlomaha.org.

Undesign the Redline Recap Blog

On June 25, the Junior League of Omaha had the honor of hosting the first virtual tour of The Union for Contemporary Art’s Undesign the Redline exhibit. Led by Susan Stroesser, a volunteer of The Union, and Paige Reitz, deputy director of The Union, our members had the opportunity to learn about the history of the redline in Omaha and the lasting impact that we can see today.

According to The Union, “Beginning in 1936, the neighborhoods of Omaha’s Near North and South sides were systematically segregated from the rest of the city by means of prohibitive and discriminatory home lending practices. In Omaha, and cities across the country, red lines were literally drawn on city maps by the federally-funded Home Owners’ Loan Corporation, identifying predominantly African-American and immigrant communities as “hazardous” and unfit for investment.

Systemic challenges today, like inequalities in housing, education, income, criminal justice and health are far from separate issues. These challenges are rooted in a deep and entangled history of policies, practices and processes that remain unrevealed and misunderstood. As new forces begin to transform cities and towns, decisions about interconnected challenges are therefore often made ‘in the dark.’”

The virtual training enabled League members to have meaningful conversations that encourage us to continue learning and growing as a League. It also provided us with a connection to the communities that we are predominantly serving in our new Hunger and Access to Healthy Foods focus area. Of our five current community partners, all five are in the top ten zip codes of poverty in Omaha, and two of them are in the number two spot. All of these community partners are located in areas that were previously redlined.

Historic Omaha Redlining Map

Below are comments from a few attendee’s experience. “I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to virtually tour the Union for Contemporary Art and learn about structural racism in both its current and historical context within our community. The virtual docents were incredibly knowledgeable in leading discussion and providing relevant resources. These critical conversations are necessary within the Junior League of Omaha, and I am glad that our members are committed to growing and learning. It is clear that we can do better, and experiences like this offer us an opportunity to expand our understanding and better serve our community moving forward.” – Anne Bowen, Placement Chair

“Omaha has a history similar to so many cities of similar size – and lots of our members have no idea how much racism is a part of that history. The Union’s Undesign the Red Line training helped us learn about the intersections between red lining, public school segregation, public transportation, food deserts, and a lack of healthcare facilities in both north and south Omaha. For many of our members, it was the first time these issues had ever been discussed, and the Union does such an incredible job addressing the topics that no matter where you are on the journey, there is something for everyone. I loved how the Q&A at the end allowed of members the chance to share stories and connect their own lived experiences to the content of the exhibit. It was especially helpful to have Paige in the training to provide research in the chat for us as topics came up.” – Stephanie Kidd, Diversity and Inclusion Chair

“The ‘Undesign the Redline’ event was incredibly timely and insightful. This event proactively addressed and educated membership on systemic race issues. The speaker provided a detailed history of segregation and racism within the Omaha community and a few league members shared their personal stories which further demonstrated the persistent nature of the issue. The educational impact of this event is meaningful and it was one of my favorite JLO events as a result!” – Sophia Petrow, Done in a Day Vice Chair

Shannon Lang, Hunger & Access to Healthy Foods Chair

Junior League of Omaha announces new focus area

The Junior League of Omaha wrapped up the year and the decade with the announcement of an exciting new focus area: hunger and access to healthy foods. On December 2, the Board of Directors decided on this focus area after assessing criteria including membership interest, opportunity in the community to make an impact, sustainability, variety of volunteer opportunities and potential barriers. 

The decision comes as a result of a tireless process led by the Community Research and Development (CRaD) committee. They assessed needs in the Omaha metro in three different areas: hunger and access to healthy foods, abuse of women and children and opportunity youth.

The CRaD committee worked to set up and host around 30 service learning opportunities in these three areas between June and November. Members completed the service learning opportunities and provided valuable feedback which was compiled by the committee. This feedback was critical in making a decision on a new focus area.

“The CRaD team has been working diligently all year to ensure that education and volunteer opportunities were available for members to learn and participate in with the three focus areas. The focus area and research teams have collaborated with local organizations to envision future strategic goals and programming for years to come. We are grateful to have such passionate women involved in this process and for the participation and feedback from all of our membership,” said Emily Barr,| Junior League of Omaha Community Research and Development Chair. 

Building on the impact made over the last 100 years, the Junior League of Omaha is entering this new decade with an exciting area of focus and renewed commitment to voluntarism. 

Kindness

This year our League president, Kerri Palmesano has turned our focus towards extending kindness. In the spirit of her theme, “Throw Kindness Like Confetti”, we have included some ways that you too can spread kindness.

  • Leave a note tucked in the pages of a book for a stranger to find
  • Deliver homemade baked goods to your neighbor(s)
  • Pay someone a genuine compliment
  • Clean up the trash in a public place
  • Offer to run an errand for a busy friend
  • Buy a book that you think a friend will like and give it to her
  • Hold a door for someone

Our League kicked the year off by learning from Ferial Pearson, the founder of The Secret Kindness Agents. Ferial provided thought provoking conversations with our members this past fall that has catalyzed our work to be more inclusive and equitable. We commend her work to spread kindness and encourage you to watch her TEDx Talk.

Please click here if you would like to join Secret Kindness Agents mailing list.

Kelsey Haswell, Marketing Vice Chair

Junior League of Omaha Welcomes New Members

The New Members kicked off their League year with their first meeting in August at Security National Bank, where the women got to know their core groups and learned about their upcoming year.

Our growing population of New Members is exciting to see each year.

In September, New Members volunteered at CASA Douglas County. CASA, or Court Appointed Special Advocates, supports advocates for children who are abused or neglected to provide them with a safe, healthy environment in a permanent home. New Members learned more about CASA while volunteering and cleaned storage rooms.

October activities included diversity and inclusion training from an external trainer, Ashlei Spivey. Diversity, equity and inclusion are core vales of the Junior League. New Members learned the importance of courageous conversations and more about equity and inclusion.

In November, New Members and the New Member Committee planned to join Board and Management for Friendsgiving; however, the Omaha weather got in our way! We look forward to celebrating the season with New Members at the holiday social in December.

2019-2020 New Member Class

New Member Committee is focused on building a knowledge base for New Members and sharing the training and community impact opportunities available to League members. The committee is focused on engagements which provide experiences and build lasting connections both within the League and out in the community.

Recruitment for next year’s New Member group begins in February. For more information about joining the Junior League of Omaha, visit https://www.jlomaha.org/join-us/.

Kelsey Haswell, Marketing Vice Chair

All That Glitters Is the (Newly Redesigned) Column

Allison Hardy  the Column co-editor

Ladies, I’m conducting a poll. Who here keeps glitter around in their homes? While I haven’t touched the stuff since elementary school, I recently learned that glitter is a staple at the homes of League members Sara Huse, Katie Triplett and Jennifer Peters. I also learned that it’s quite difficult to photograph.

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To introduce some major (read: incredible) changes we’ve made to to the League’s magazine, we, the editorial staff of the Column, thought it would be fun to do a fall photo shoot with our incredibly talented Social Media Coordinator, Jillian Humphries. For the finale, we thought we’d throw some red glitter up in the air and would get some great shots of it sparkling in the September sunshine. Long story short: what we got, in addition to these shots, was glitter everywhere – eyes, hair and covering our bodies. I’m quite sure my pillow is still sparkling.

When you try something new, you take risks with the hope that they are outweighed by the reward. This year’s Communications Committee, headed by our fearless, visionary leaders Communication Committee Chair Katie Triplett and Vice Chair Jennifer Peters, and armed with our ambitious Graphic Designer Sara Huse, decided to take the plunge to provide you, our readers of the Column, with a fresh new look. To that end, we’ve moved the Column to a full color, 20-page, magazine-like publication to keep you updated with what’s happening in the League. We’re putting a new spin on stories to make them more engaging and are including more attention-grabbing photos and infographics.

While it’s not entirely clear if our glitter photoshoot passed the risk-reward test (but hey, we had fun), we think you’ll agree that the redesign of the Column has. We invite you to check out our new style and weigh in with your comments. The Fall edition of the Column will be hitting mailboxes in early December.

For now, check out some of the fun outtakes from our sparkling photo shoot.

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What To Wear To Big Red Block Party 2016

Back-packs, bell sleeves and booties! Fall fashions are upon us, and we’re taking a look at some of the fun ways you can wear the latest trends for this year’s “blackout” themed Big Red Block Party on November 5th!

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Now that you’ve online shopped your way to a killer new outfit (or two), you need a place to wear it! Buy your ticket for Big Red Block Party today!

Junior League of Omaha Communications Committee Fall Favorites

Leaves are changing and the flavors are changing to all things pumpkin spice. You know what that means: fall is officially here! To share in the excitement of the changing of the seasons, we asked our Communications Committee to share some of the things that make them look forward to the fall season each year.

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Megan, Communications Coordinator for A Book of My Own, says that fall is her favorite time of year! The leaves are changing to their most beautiful oranges and burgundies. The crisp, cool breeze is in the air. A delightful warm latte in hand. And to top things off, a chic blanket scarf and cognac, knee-high boots to complete her cozy outfit.

One of the fall memories that Brandie, Communications Coordinator for Project Hope Pack, has is growing up in the picturesque mountains of North Carolina where the fall season meant driving along the Blue Ridge Parkway to view the beautiful changing leaves.

FASHION

The Communications Committee can’t get enough of all of the fall fashion. Bring on the scarves and flannel shirts!

  • Our social media guru Jillian loves pairing a scarf with a cute long sleeve or quarter sleeve dress and booties!
  • Communications Chair, Katie, just LOVES fall fashion! From cable-knit sweaters to soft leather boots to crisp capes to textured layers, autumn style is her favorite!
  • bRUNch 5K Communications Coordinator, Britt, is a big fan of wearing vests. Her favorite is from J Crew because you can throw it on over any outfit when the weather gets cooler.

OUTDOORS & EVENTS

Enjoying the crisp, cool days outdoors is also a fall favorite among some of the ladies along with all of the fun traditions that the season brings.

  • Sierra, Communications Coordinator for Cookbook, is a big fan of walking to Aromas Coffee and enjoying a warm drink and one of their delicious cinnamon rolls on the patio!
  • Apple Picking at her family’s farm is a favorite thing to do for Lakelyn, who is the Communications Coordinator for Done in a Day. Then, she loves to bake all sorts of yummy apple dishes!
  • Megan, the Column Editor, always watches Practical Magic once it gets close to Halloween. Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman as witches dressed in amazing late 90s fashion PLUS a stellar soundtrack with lots of Stevie Nicks? Yes please.
  • Our Website Editor, Sarah, especially loves Thanksgiving. Specifically, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. She gets together with her high school friends the night before Thanksgiving to have dinner and catch up.

HOME DECOR

Bringing the aroma of all things pumpkin and spice indoors is also another favorite. A lot of the Communications ladies are crazy about fall candles!

  • Our Communications Vice Chair, Jennifer, says Fall is her favorite time of the year. Starting in July, she counts down the days until she can get out her fall scented candles… Kitchen Spice from Yankee Candle is her favorite. The name doesn’t scream fall, but once you smell it, you know scarf and boot season is upon us (which is another great aspect of fall, right?!)
  • For American Girl Fashion Show Communications Coordinator, Alysia, nothing christens fall like new candles. Warm hues of crimson and patchouli compliment the season perfectly! Her favorite candles for welcoming in the season are from LAFCO, and her absolutely favorite one this fall is Myrrh Cassis. And if you’re familiar with LAFCO their scents are fitting to areas of the home. This scent is appropriately named Boudoir. Nowhere she’d rather be on a cozy fall day than in some pajamas, hot cup of tea, and snuggled up in bed!
  • Assistant Blog Editor, Katy, loves the local candle maker wax buffalo (out of Lincoln, NE). They have a new fall collection that she can’t wait to get her hands on. In Omaha, you can find wax buffalo at Everbloom in the Loveland shopping center (and they will donate 5% of your purchase back to Junior League through TAGG).

 

Top five ways to maximize social media for your event both before and after!

Planning an event can be stressful. You spend months figuring out every detail, from venue to food to programming to donor recognition. So the last thing on your radar may be your social media plan of action. Never fear, here are our top five ways to maximize social media for your event both before and after!

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  1. Facebook Event Pages – Talk about a one-stop shop! Facebook event pages allow you to do so much, for instance: share time, date and location, ticket link, gather a head count, allow people to continue to invite their friends, give updates to attendees, share donation links to those who may be out of town and not be able to attend themselves, tag sponsors… the list goes on.  

We create a Facebook event pages for almost all League events open to the public.

  1. Instagram & Facebook Ads – Does your event need participants? Make a Facebook Advert –  it lends itself over to Instagram as well. You can manage this from a business or personal page. Just head over to your Ad Manager page to get started. Not sure where that is? On the left bar of your Facebook home page, at the very bottom is a button that says “CREATE” with Advert, Page, Group, Event, etc. below it.

We used Facebook & Instagram Adverts to advertise registration for our American Girl Fashion Show.

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  1. Live tweet your events – Now you don’t have to go all news reporter and we won’t expect your AP Style to be on point, so don’t be shy. Prior to the event, ticket links can be shared along with raffle prizes and auction items. Add to that showcasing and thanking sponsors via Twitter which can help get your tweets shared fast! Then, during the event you can share your event hashtag like #BRBP2016 (this should be used in all tweets prior to event as well) with attendees and give incentives for tweeting, or even have a live stream of tweets being shared at the event. Don’t forget to give shout outs during the event! Live tweeting allows social media users who follow your guests to see the fun during and after the event.

We love sharing details about our events and community partners via Twitter before and after events for the League.

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  1. Instagram videos & Boomerang – Photos can capture a moment, but video & boomerang tell a story! Log into Instagram and you can capture or upload videos you’ve already taken. (We always recommend horizontal for Instagram. Leave the vertical videos for Snapchat.) Or, create a Boomerang! What’s a Boomerang, you ask? It’s Instagram’s take on stop-motion and it often gets a lot of likes (which will turn into follows!) Open Instagram, click on the photo button, look for the infinity symbol and you will be taken to the Boomerang app.

This year Big Red Block Party has made quite the impression with their Boomerang videos.

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  1. Snapchat Geofilters – Who doesn’t love a good filter? Am I right ladies? Some may say oh, it’s just a filter for those attending your event, but trust me it goes WAY beyond that. How many people are going to see their friends on Snapchat that attend your event and want to know how they can attend next year? Or, join the organization that put on the event? A LOT. Everyone wants to a part of something fun and Snapchat is a way to touch an audience you may not have realized you could reach. Head over to Snapchat.com to create or upload your filter. You choose where, when and how long your filter lives with a corresponding cost and after a day or so, BOOM, it’s approved and your guests are ready to get your Snap on. Even better, it won’t break your budget!

The league has created filters for several upcoming events, the American Girl Show this weekend for instance! Prepare for the cuteness.
And there you have it. These are five amazing options, but don’t be afraid to get a little out of the box. Social media is all about having fun and being creative.

Special thanks to Jillian Humphries, Junior League of Omaha Social Media Coordinator, for sharing these tips!

JLO Summer Wrap-Up

In just a few days, the Junior League of Omaha will be kicking off its 98th year with the first General Membership Meeting. It has been a busy summer for our League filled with training sessions, committees kicking off their projects and fundraisers and meetings to gear up for the upcoming year.

Many of our members have already been hard at work throughout the summer donating their time to various projects. In July, many members volunteered at the Color Run during packet pick-up and on race day at water and color stations throughout the race course.

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Done-In-A-Day partnered with FITGirl, Inc. and provided volunteers for the FITGirl Empowerment Camp for girls ages 8-14. Junior League of Omaha members were assigned a group of girls and assisted them through activities during the day that included focusing on fitness, good eating choices and group team building activities.

Project shifts have also started with volunteers sorting books for A Book Of My Own and getting backpacks ready for distribution through Project Hope Pack. In addition to all of the volunteer opportunities for our Active Members, the League is also excited to welcome 92 New Members to our organization this year.

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Each year, the incoming President is tasked with choosing a theme for the League year. For 2016-2017, our President, Chaley Chandler, selected the theme of “Giving Back is Always in Style.” Giving back is just one part of the mission of The Junior League of Omaha and voluntarism has always been second nature to our members. All of our League Members share many different strengths that make make an impact on each other and our actions. Our members gain training and knowledge from both our General and Committee meetings, and also from each other. Supporting other League Members, learning from each other and giving back to one another are all of the keys we’ll need to have a successful year. Our mission and our relentless act of giving back to the community and to each other will always be in style! You’ll be seeing this year’s logo all year long to help serve as a reminder of the one goal we all are working towards.

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As fall rapidly approaches, there’s even more exciting things to look forward to beginning with Barn Bash on September 9th. There will be salsa and guacamole tasting, a nacho bar and BINGO! The League will also be hosting the American Girl Fashion Show Grand Finale on October 8th and 9th at Shadow Ridge Country Club. Please join other League Members as we commemorate the Fashion Show and how it has created shining stars out of both children and adults. Rounding out the season is the seventh annual Big Red Block Party on November 5th. Watch the Nebraska vs. Ohio State football game on multiple big screen TVs while enjoying tailgate-themed faire and the opportunity to bid on a wide variety of silent auction items. Finally, Our Cookbook Committee is also hard at work and needs your submissions. If you have any great recipes to share, please visit www.JLOCookbook.com.