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Working Volunteers

May 23, 1986

The May 4 article entitled "Young Professionals Are Using Fresh Fund-Raising Techniques to Change Ways Charities Work" by Jeannine Stein quoted Jenny Jones-Rutt as saying that she resigned from Junior League of Los Angeles because it "did not recognize the special needs of women who work." As the incoming president of the Junior League of Los Angeles, I must take exception to the above statement and would like to clarify some common misconceptions concerning the league.

The Junior League is a women's organization committed to promoting voluntarism and to impacting the community through trained volunteers. Several years ago we recognized the trend that more women are joining the work force. Whether they are young career women or older women re-entering the job market, the fact that they are working outside the home affects their ability to participate in the traditional volunteer role. Since our active membership numbers 600--70% of whom are in the work force--we not only recognized the trend, but also responded. I offer some examples.

To facilitate the needs of our growing working-for-pay membership, we have adjusted our meeting schedules to accommodate those needs. We hold both day and evening general meetings. We hold board of directors and council meetings at night to encourage leadership development and to provide leadership opportunities for those women who cannot participate during the day. Many of our community service projects and programs also provide rewarding evening and weekend placement. And our fund-raisers, which directly support all of our community involvements, also have responded in a like manner.

As a vital volunteer organization, we value and respect the time and commitment that all of our members give to the Junior League of Los Angeles. We carefully plan our internal and external activities in order to maximize their efforts and to encourage the full participation of each and every volunteer. The strength of the league and our resulting effectiveness in impacting the community lies with our membership and their enthusiasm for serving the communities in which they live and work. Focusing on meeting the needs of our membership is a high priority--a priority to which we have responded and which we will continue to address.

CAROLYN MILNER

Los Angeles

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