As an associate member to the Junior League, I am still learning everything the league has to offer. And I am so thankful I got to talk to two amazing women who head up our work with the Women’s Treatment Center (WTC). Molly Favret and Lisa Allen, the WTC committee co-chairs, reminded me why the Junior League of Chicago’s (JLC) work is so important and truly inspired me to be a part of it.
A little background on the Women’s Treatment Center: it is the only substance abuse treatment center in the state that is focused solely on women, specializing in treatment that is framed around women’s issues. The center helps over 2,000 women and 300 children annually. The JLC partners with the WTC to assist in the execution of programming that promotes healthy lifestyles and fosters the parent-child connection. For example, JLC volunteers host seminars for the women on Tuesdays twice per month. The seminars cover a broad range of topics, including etiquette, legal fitness, healthy relationships, nutrition and more.
Saturdays are ‘Fun with the Fam’ time, which include events like trips to local museums or the Lincoln Park Zoo and performances by the Mad Hatters or a magician! “One of my favorite aspects of the committee is introducing the women and children to new experiences through our programming. Many of the women and children would not be able to afford admission to our city’s museums if it wasn’t for the JLC,” says Allen. The JLC also hosts clothing drives and collects donations for the WTC all year long as a means to support a “shop” of sorts for the women and children at the center.
The Women’s Treatment Center is housed in a former women and children’s hospital and first opened in 1990. To commemorate the JLC’s 25th year of partnership with the center, the Junior League went to work decorating two, 4th floor common areas with new paint, furniture and toys to create a home-like feel for the women and children living at the center.
Volunteering at the WTC is an incredibly special opportunity for JLCers to give back to great people that are doing everything they can to improve their futures. Favret and Allen say the work connects with the JLC’s values of educating women and children about healthy lifestyles and helping members of our community meet goals and improve their lives. The level of flexibility, variety and creativity in the JLC’s partnership with the WTC allows the committee to shine through its passionate members and great programs in hopes of having a positive impact on the center.
By Sierra Powel-Smith, 2017-18 Topics and Trends staff member