A Century of Service

League Publishes Magazine focused on Child Abuse Prevention

In the spring of 1978, as part of its child advocacy program, the Atlanta Junior League published "Family Secrets," a child abuse magazine. In a true confessions style, the magazine contains first person accounts of realistic situations designed to illuminate abuse problems. The format is positive, with hope being the central message. Fourteen league volunteers worked on “Family Secrets” for one year prior to its publication in May 1978. It was written edited and photographed by league members who were thoroughly trained in child abuse and neglect problems by the Fulton County department of Family and Children’s services. The magazine was totally founded and produced by the Junior League. Approximately 75,000 copies of Family Secrets were published. The Fulton County Department for Children’s and Family services was the agency responsible for storage and distribution of the magazine. "Family Secrets" was free and available to any interested group or individual. The magazine was distributed to schools, doctor’s offices, clinics, housing projects, and any agency whose clientele was interested. At the time of publication the Department of Human Resources had ordered 10,000 copies at their own expense to be used statewide. The response from professionals in the child protection areas was enthusiastic. Requests for information on the project came from all over the country. The Atlanta Junior League provided information and consultation to other leagues and groups interested in similar projects.

Junior League Thyroid Clinic is Born

In 1933, Mrs. Joel Chandler Harris, Chairman of the Placement Committee, asked Dr. Henry Poer to address the provisional class at their discussions of community welfare. In his concluding remarks he requested the League’s assistance in the newly organized Thyroid Clinic at Grady Hospital. Mary Pickens and Ann Lane Whatley volunteered for what would become the Junior League Thyroid Clinic. By late 1934, twenty-five volunteers were busy every Monday and Friday as receptionists, secretaries, photographers, librarians and assistants. Grady saw the value of their work and moved them from one small room in the Cardiac Clinic to a larger part of the clinical section, with a waiting room and four receiving rooms. Under the supervision of four doctors, the volunteers assisted a record number of patients. The Junior League Thyroid Clinic awarded a scholarship in 1934 to an Emory Medical student to carry on research in blood iodine studies related to thyroid function. The League also purchased a much needed basal metabolism machine for the clinic.

League Establishes a Free School Library

All text books of the time had to be purchased by individual students, and for many families this was impossible. In the first year the library supplied 92 grammar school children with their books, and the next year nearly one thousand dollars was used to equip 432 children, in 28 schools with their texts. The League stepped up to assit 105 junior and high school students with the purchase of their books. In addition, the League bought countless books of street car tickets to enable needy Atlantan children to attend school.

JLA Partners with Atlanta Girls Club

JLA began financial and volunteer support of Metropolitan Atlanta Girls’ Club, which opened in 1952 offering programs focused on “training girls for their roles as wives, mothers, and citizens.”

League Receives $250,000 Grant from State Crime Commission

JLA works with McKenzie and Co. to create a process to measure community impact and membership satisfaction for all projects and placements. The League hosts community Art Shows and a Health Fairs at headquarters. The League also receives $250,000 grant from the State Crime Commission and votes to give $50,000 to the High Museum of Art's Expansion Fund (over a five-year period) JLA also participates in a task force with the AJL and Atlanta University on Volunteers and Staff Relations in Social Work.

"Atlanta Cooknotes" is Introduced

JLA celebrates its 65th anniversary with the introduction of the cookbook "Atlanta Cooknotes" as its third ongoing fundraiser. The goal of the committee was to produce a cookbook that would be uniquely sophisticated and provide an elegant blend of the varied flavors of the League and Atlanta. Over three thousand recipes were tested, and ultimately, 750 traditional favorites were chosen. "Atlanta Cooknotes'" initial publication was celebrated on May 16, 1982 at a gala at Lenox Square.

League Advocates for Science Museum

In 1982, Mary O'Coner and Sue Trotter, fellow Junior League members decided to pursue a science museum for Atlanta. The League advocated for the securing of community funds for the creation of the museum. SciTrek was incorporated in 1982, with an initial grant from the Metropolitan Foundation. The Robert W. Woodruff Foundation donated $1 million. With help from the city of Atlanta, the city committed 96,000 square feet of the Atlanta Civic Center exhibition space to the Science and Technology Museum of Atlanta. After years of planning and fundraising SciTrek-The Science & Technology Museum of Atlanta finally opened its doors to the public on October 29, 1988. SciTrek housed more than 140 exhibits appealing to all age ranges. The interactive displays offered visitors the opportunity to explore and discover the marvels of the scientific world, with a special Kidscape section specially designed for the two to seven years age group. The "Mathematica: A World of Numbers... and Beyond" exhibit detailed the major achievements in the history of mathematics from the twelfth century. Other exhibits focused on electricity generation in unusual ways, creating energy from magnetism, 'freezing shadows' or stepping inside a kaleidoscope. The museum was forced to close in August 2004 due to reduced federal and state funding, as well as poor fundraising results.

Junior League Participates in Habitat for Humanity's "First Ladies Build"

In the spring of 2000, Atlanta Habitat for Humanity erected its seventh house with the Junior League of Atlanta. League volunteers were joined by Georgia's first lady, Marie Barnes who participated in the build herself. Mrs. Barnes and others were there as part of Atlanta Habitat's first "First Ladies Build." The program was part of a nationwide effort by Habitat to raise the profile of their cause. Governors' wives joined Habitat's bandwagon, and first ladies Cathy Keating of Oklahoma, Janet Huckabee of Arkansas, Martha Carper of Delaware and former first lady, Libby Jones led the effort.

JLA Helps Children in Need

JLA provided free dental work for children at English Avenue School and created a Milk Fund for undernourished Atlanta children.

Children's Garden at Atlanta Botanical Garden Opens

The Children's Garden, a two acre garden at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, opened in September 1999. It was built in partnership with Children's Healthcare of Atlanta to emphasize wellness and healing. The garden closed in 2015 for renovations but re-opened in June of 2016. The placement allows volunteers to provide an informal, fun and educational experience to children through hands-on activities and demonstrations such as seed experiments and nature related crafts.

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