History of JLGA

Since 1952, the Junior League of Greater Alton (JLGA) has served as an organization of women committed to promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. The history of the JLGA projects is varied and long lasting. Junior League has served as innovators of projects in partnership with other community agencies.

Founded in 1952, the organization was founded under the name of Junior Service League.

“The object of this League shall be to foster interest among its members in the social, economic, educational, cultural and civic conditions of the community: to make efficient their volunteer service; to develop young women to qualify themselves through training and active work to become intelligent citizen and to bring the advantage of their education, and influence to bear on raising community standards and promoting human welfare, to emphasize that their place in the community is not one of arbitrary giving, but of actual partnership and cooperation with their community.”

True to their objective, a mainstay of League was the partnership with community organizations such as Oasis, Crisis Food, Urban League, Family Services & Visiting Nurses Association, Kiwanis, Rotary, Catholic Children’s Home, Visitors and Convention Bureau, Celebration of Christmas, Police Department, PRIDE, United Way, Easter Seals, Operation Blessing, Lewis & Clark Literacy Project, Boys and Girls Club, Bucket Brigade, Heartland Chautauqua Group.

In 1975, the Junior Service League affiliated with the Association of Junior Leagues, International, to become the Junior League of Greater Alton, and as such, one of 293 Junior Leagues across Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom and the United States. Formed in 1921, the Association is a charitable nonprofit organization that provides invaluable support, continuity, guidance, and leadership development opportunities to all 293 Junior Leagues.

In recent years, the focus area for the JLGA has been centered on the well-being of children and as such has been supportive of the Riverbender Community Center.com, Madison County Child Advocacy Center, Community Hope Center, YWCA Young Leaders Program, Riverbend Headstart and All God’s Children Shall Have Shoes.

In 2007, the women of JLGA introduced an initiative called “Kids in the Kitchen,” which addresses the dramatic increase of overweight children in the U.S., substantially increasing children’s risks for health problems such as Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. JLGA programs have included interactive classroom workshops for children to learn about healthy portion size as well as experiment with healthy foods. As its Signature Project, each year the women of JLGA aim to educate more families and children on this important topic.

JLGA continues to train members to be committed volunteers in the community through attendance at AJLI institutes as well as providing localized committee chair training and exposure to local agencies such as the Alton Housing Authority, YWCA, Community Hope Center & Drug Free Alton.