January 2021 - Relay for Life

Relay for Life, a major fundraiser for the American Cancer Society is a cause that is near and dear to many of our members' hearts.  Lakeland Juniors have been participating in Relay for Life for almost twenty years. Every year, we fundraise, attend the event, decorate our campsite to theme, walk and sell our delicious walking tacos.  Early on we had minimal fundraising efforts but as we became more involved, every year we raised more and more.  In 2020, even through a pandemic, we raised $3500 for the Lakeland Relay for Life event. Although the event had to be cancelled due to Covid, we were proud to contribute to such a wonderful cause that touches the lives of cancer patience and their families.  Monies raised at Relay for Life is used for Cancer Education, Cancer Advocacy, cancer Research and patient services that are available right here in our own county.

ACS  has had many challenges to overcome this year, and has downsized dramatically so that they can continue their Mission, to fund the necessary cancer research and to provide continued Cancer Survivor programs to help during their journey.  This year will be a little different, since the ACS is truly re-routing it's funds to help our Survivors in their needs.  We will  join the new, and exciting RELAY FOR LIFE OF POLK COUNTY, FL.  The ACS has re-directed its efforts, nationwide, to keep costs down, by uniting our Relays in each  .  This is a huge change, that we will embrace to continue to allow ACS donations to be used for the most important programs. To join Relay for life or find out more information go to relayforlife.org/polkcountyfl or email theresabright@aol.com.

Please join Lakeland Juniors at Flamingo Bingo on January 31 at 3 pm to raise funds for our Relay for Life team.  Please click HERE to register.


November 2020 - Senior Orphans of Polk County

Senior Orphans of Polk County is GFWC Junior Woman’s Club of Lakeland November Spot Light Non-Profit! See below for more information on this awesome opportunity to help out the seniors in our area.

Senior Orphans of Polk County was founded over twenty-five years ago to assist those less fortunate. The idea came from attending an organizational meeting of service programs in Polk County. The original goal was to help local, indigent seniors living with no family support and monthly incomes of $400 or less. Today that amount has increased to include those with monthly incomes of $600 or less. Senior Orphans is 100% volunteer driven with no administrative costs. We provide to the neediest of seniors—those on a fixed income of no more than $600 a month. Many of us complain about trying to live off a few thousand dollars a month, let alone $600 per month. Yet right here in Polk County, many seniors are forced to live off this meager income. They are faced with the choice of eating or buying much needed medications on a daily basis. Sadly, many have discovered that Social Security isn't enough to live on. Senior Orphans was founded to help those in need and your donations can make such a difference in the lives of so many. With your donation of personal hygiene items, cleaning supplies, laundry detergent, bleach, toilet paper, paper towels, etc., thousands of needy seniors get help with their day-to-day living expenses.

Seniors are screened through qualified agencies such as the Department of Children and Families (DCF), Polk Elderly Services or Peace River Association. Senior Orphans and the agency case managers are careful to ensure that the neediest of the needy receive assistance—and to avoid duplication of services. All a case manager has to do is call Senior Orphans, and they can pick up what they need right away—there is no waiting—to ensure the need is met, immediately. For more information, please call Bev at 863-859-6547. Your donations of money or time will benefit so many!

Check out this Amazon wish list for some ideas of items to donate to the Senior Orphans in our area!  https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/Z2PP3XRPVFO9?ref_=wl_share


October 2020 - Making Strides Against Breast Cancer

Juniors are passionate about advocating for all people and causes, especially during these uncertain times. Each month we will highlight a partnering organization serving others.

One of the many causes the GFWC is passionate about is finding a cure for cancer.  We fully support the Relay for Life and American Cancer Association in their efforts to find a cure for cancer. However, whether we have faced it ourselves, or someone we love has, almost everyone has been affected by breast cancer in some way. At the same time, we can all do something about it. By donating to a Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event we can help the American Cancer Society make a difference in so many ways, from funding innovative breast cancer research to simply providing a hand to hold. 

The American Cancer Society started Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walks to unite communities in the fight against this deadly disease nationally in 1993 Polk County held their first walk in 2002. Today, Making Strides is the largest network of breast cancer events in the nation and they do more than just walk. They raise money to help the American Cancer Society fund groundbreaking breast cancer research and provide patient services like free rides to chemo, free places to stay near treatment, and a live 24/7 cancer helpline.  

Apart from skin cancers, breast cancer is the most common cancer type in women. In fact, about 279,199 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in 2020 and about 48,530 new cases of carcinoma in situ (CIS) will be diagnosed in women ( CIS is non-invasive and is the earliest form of breast cancer). The stats are one in eight women will have some form of breast cancer in their lives. 

The Making Strides Against Breast Cancer effort will look different this year because of the pandemic, but the mission remains the same: create a future without breast cancer. The 2020 movement will culminate with #PinkOutPolk the morning of Oct. 17. #PinkOutPolk is an opportunity to get creative, spread awareness, and show your passion for the fight against breast cancer! Striders across Polk County are being encouraged to decorate the exterior of their homes, their offices, their cars, their dog houses and their tool sheds with any and all things pink.  

It’s not too late to save the date and join the Lakeland Junior Womans Flamingo team by visiting www.makingstrideswalk.org/polkfl. Fundraising isn’t all we do, but all we do depends on fundraising.  GFWC Juniors encourage all women to self-exam, visit your doctor, have their annual mammogram and be aware of the facts. Making Strides efforts to raise awareness and promote early detection remains as important today as it was in 1913. Every time we convince someone to visit a doctor, get a screening or receive a mammogram, we potentially save a life. 


September 2020 - Heather's Hope Foundation

Juniors are passionate about advocating for all people and causes, especially during these uncertain times. Each month we will highlight a partnering organization serving others.

One of the causes the GFWC is most passionate about is domestic violence awareness. Our organization has approached lawmakers in creating new laws to protect victims, and the GFWC Success For Survivors Scholarship was created in 2012 to lend a helping hand to those impacted by intimate partner violence who are pursuing higher education. Locally, Lakeland Juniors is involved in supporting the Heather's Hope Foundation.

Heather's Hope Foundation is a Lakeland-based nonprofit dedicated to promoting awareness and preventing domestic violence. Founded in April 2009, the Heather’s Hope Foundation serves as a means of preserving the spirit and memory of Heather Lynn Rimmer, mother, daughter, sister, niece, cousin, teacher and friend who passed away on August 23rd 2008 at the hands of her abusive spouse.The Purple Ribbon 5K, an annual fundraising event held by Heather’s Hope, has been cancelled this year due to COVID-19. Despite this, Heather’s Hope continues to educate and provide support for victims of domestic abuse in our community. If you would like to donate to this invaluable nonprofit, please visit: https://www.heathershope.net/donate.html.

August 2020 - It Takes a Village

Juniors are passionate about advocating for all people and causes, especially during these uncertain times. Each month we will highlight a partnering organization serving others.

It Takes a Village is a coalition that is made up of community-based organizations, local volunteers and members of the community joining forces to help our neighbors in need.
Some local families are unable to travel to food banks or access basic resources through traditional routes.
Working with local social services, It takes a Village started with 20 families to provide information on access to resources and essentials. Volunteers collect, sort, and pack items and resource information for our neighbors and then provide a doorstep delivery. Many have shown up to help pack, load and unload pallets of basic essentials for our community of neighbors, friends and families!
“Those Juniors, love you all and a shout out to Karen Kilday and Jesilynn Pfeffer!”
–Kathy Secrist Dobson, Founder
It Takes a Village needs volunteers to help continue our drop offs to those families who can’t get to a local traditional food bank. Feel free to come and help any Thursday from 8:15-11:00AM at 3140 Troy Ave. Lakeland, FL 33803. You can also sign up to volunteer through the ITAV website: http://itavpolk.org/volunteer/
If you would like to help from a distance, please consider visiting our Amazon wish list to donate items to this cause. https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/22VH2HOJVX3GW?ref_=wl_share