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Child Welfare - National Service Project




 

Since Junior Auxiliary gives primary consideration to children, each Chapter is required to have at least one National Service Project  (Child Welfare) for which it has full administrative responsibility.  The objective of this project is to break the cycle of dependency, whether it be physical or emotional. There are two basic requirements

·         The project must provide one or more of the basic necessities of life: food, clothing, shelter and/or emotional support.

 

·         There must be an ongoing relationship and commitment established between the Chapter member or members and the recipient. 

 

Full administrative responsibility means that the Chapter initiates  the project, executes the project and reserves the right to continue or terminate the project. The Chapter may work with other agencies or enlist  services from other individuals.

NAJA Handbook

 




The following are examples of good Child Welfare Projects.


In August of 2007, a JA member and a teacher recognized a child in need. The Chapter decided to adopt the poverty stricken family as their “Child Welfare Project”. The family consisted of a mother, grandmother and 7 children ranging in age from twelve to one. The project was designed to promote the basic life skills needed to succeed scholastically, emotionally, medically and spiritually.

 

•Each child was assigned a team of at least four JA members to take care of his/her needs.

•In addition to basic needs the Chapter provided window units, smoke detectors, car seats, mattresses, and furniture and helped them apply for Medicaid.

•JA was successful in encouraging the mother to get a telephone, giving her employer the ability to contact her for additional work and the ability to make routine calls.

•JA was instrumental in contacting the media and government agencies when the apartment complex was scheduled to have water turned off and pressured the landlord to fix the heat when they found out the stove was being used for heat.

•A vehicle has been donated to the family and the mother is currently working on passing her driving test so she can help take care of the children’s needs.

•JA had the toddlers vaccinated; the remaining children had checkups and flu shots along with dental checkups. Healthy dinners were provided on a weekly basis.

•JA helped the mother:

            Set rules and routines for daily chores to help instill responsibility and work ethic.

            Establish bedtimes for the children.

            Set a budget.

            Start a reading regimen including a first time trip to the local library.

•In addition JA has:

            Provided family books.

            Purchased Christmas gifts.

            Set up monthly supper clubs for the older girls.

            Enrolled the older children in “Super-Sitters” classes.

           

The rewards are never ending. JA has given this family memories and hope when they thought “no one cared”. The nine year old received a 100% on her science project this year and the child who was the inspiration for this Child Welfare project has made a perfect 100% on three consecutive spelling tests; this same child had previously failed the first grade once and was failing the second time. The rewards are endless. 

Junior Auxiliary of Crystal Springs, Mississippi
2007 Louise Eskrigge Crump Award Winner

 

In August of 2007, a JA member and a teacher recognized a child in need. The Chapter decided to adopt the poverty stricken family as their “Child Welfare Project”. The family consisted of a mother, grandmother and 7 children ranging in age from twelve to one. The project was designed to promote the basic life skills needed to succeed scholastically, emotionally, medically and spiritually.

 

•Each child was assigned a team of at least four JA members to take care of his/her needs.

•In addition to basic needs the Chapter provided window units, smoke detectors, car seats, mattresses, and furniture and helped them apply for Medicaid.

•JA was successful in encouraging the mother to get a telephone, giving her employer the ability to contact her for additional work and the ability to make routine calls.

•JA was instrumental in contacting the media and government agencies when the apartment complex was scheduled to have water turned off and pressured the landlord to fix the heat when they found out the stove was being used for heat.

•A vehicle has been donated to the family and the mother is currently working on passing her driving test so she can help take care of the children’s needs.

•JA had the toddlers vaccinated; the remaining children had checkups and flu shots along with dental checkups. Healthy dinners were provided on a weekly basis.

•JA helped the mother:

            Set rules and routines for daily chores to help instill responsibility and work ethic.

            Establish bedtimes for the children.

            Set a budget.

            Start a reading regimen including a first time trip to the local library.

•In addition JA has:

            Provided family books.

            Purchased Christmas gifts.

            Set up monthly supper clubs for the older girls.

            Enrolled the older children in “Super-Sitters” classes.

           

The rewards are never ending. JA has given this family memories and hope when they thought “no one cared”. The nine year old received a 100% on her science project this year and the child who was the inspiration for this Child Welfare project has made a perfect 100% on three consecutive spelling tests; this same child had previously failed the first grade once and was failing the second time. The rewards are endless. 

Junior Auxiliary of Crystal Springs, Mississippi
2007 Louise Eskrigge Crump Award Winner

 

For 8 years a JA Chapter had a mentoring project called “Bowling Buddies” in which they bowled and mentored children in foster care every Saturday morning. Recognizing the children’s need for more, they adopted six of the children and divided their membership among them.

 

JA provided:

•Ongoing support for the children, meeting with them and often becoming a constant adult in their lives.

•Tickets to ballgames, lunches, birthday gifts, and Christmas gifts.

•Hosted various functions such as back to school and end of school parties and attended the functions with the child.

•Lunch buddies on a regular basis.

•Halloween costumes and parties, Christmas parties and shopping with the children to buy Christmas gifts for their families.

•Provided them an opportunity to visit a nursing home at Christmas, singing and visiting with the elderly, enabling them to see what it feels like to give back to their community.

 

The results:

•Improved grades and attitudes.

•The kids becoming more open, more positive and gaining a better understanding of community and the environment around them.

•A difference in all of our lives, especially our JA members. 

                                                                        Junior Auxiliary of Cleveland, Mississippi
2007 Louise Eskrigge Crump Award Winner

 

 

  

We encourage you to take a look at your “Child Welfare Project” and scrutinize it to make sure your project follows the two guidelines. You may take an existing project, like the members of Cleveland, Mississippi, and further your goals for the neediest children.  Your Chapter might consider adopting a family and providing them with the basic needs and emotional support to change their lives.

***********************************************


 

This is the story of Ricky, and this is the story of Junior Auxiliary and what we do best. We care today and change tomorrow.

    Ricky first came to the attention of the Junior Auxiliary Chapter when a member, a middle school teacher, met Ricky and realized his potential and his need. Ricky's mother, after raising 2 much older children, had left Ricky when he was 5 years old with his father who was mentally challenged and worked for the state road maintenance department. They lived in a 100+ year old house with two main rooms, a sink with running water in the kitchen area, and an outhouse in the back yard.

     By the time Ricky reached high school he had read the encyclopedia twice, simply because he loved to read, wanted to remember all that it contained, and those books were the only books in the house.

     With the help of a JA husband, Ricky's shyness with the JA women created when he failed to have the influence of a mother in his life was overcome and he began to open up, talk, and share his teenage excitement. JA members visited regularly with Ricky at school and at home until Ricky was able to save his money from a part-time job, buy a truck, a truck older than Ricky but much-loved and cared for by Ricky, and Ricky began to stop after school at a JA member's home 2-3 times each week to eat an afternoon snack and talk about school and his friends.

     With an annual budget of $50, the JA chapter managed to dress Ricky in gently-used clothes, beg for discounts at the department store for shoes and underwear, and pay the fees for Ricky to join high school clubs. Ricky began to thrive.

     The summer before Ricky's senior year, Ricky's father died. Ricky, using his savings, split the cost of his father's funeral with is older brother.

     A few days after the funeral, Ricky stopped by to visit with a JA member. When she asked what he planned for the next year, he said he was going to move to the next county to live with his brother but he would need to transfer to the high school there. The JA members stormed the superintendent of schools and received the instruction that "we do not care where they sleep at night if we have a permanent address here in the county if we ever need to reach them." With that, Ricky's permanent address became that of a JA member but he drove every day back to his brother's house to sleep.

     That fall, when asked what he planned to do after high school, Ricky said he was planning to go to the local vocational school to be trained to become an electrician. When asked if he was excited, he said that he really had wanted to go to college but could not afford college. The JA members went to work and found every available scholarship and grant and Ricky, with his outstanding grades, was accepted as a freshman at the state university. The summer before he was to start, the JA chapter

worked to put together the cutest dorm room any freshman boy could ever imagine and a wardrobe, again of hand-me-downs, that would rival any Big Man on Campus.

     A few days before Ricky left, he stopped by to pack the last of the supplies from the JA and when asked if he was ready, slowly revealed that while the student orientation was at 2 on Sunday, the parent’s orientation was at 3. Would the JA member and her husband go with him to the parent’s orientation? That Sunday, Ricky and his JA family marched proudly onto the campus.
     Ricky did very well his first year in college and kept all of his scholarships. However, slowly his connection with the JA chapter disappeared. 

     Twenty years after Ricky first came to the attention of Junior Auxiliary, a JA member received a phone call from Ricky wanting to visit. When he came for lunch, he brought his two little boys.  Ricky had done very well with his life, not only graduating from college, but receiving his Master's degree in electrical engineering, and he had a very fine job.  He had never lost contact with the JA Chapter he said, always being sure he had the phone number and address of a member in  his billfold "in case I ever needed them."  And, he wanted his sons to meet a JA member in case "any thing ever happens to me, I want them to know that you and your ladies will take care of them."
This is the story of Ricky, and this is the story of Junior Auxiliary and what we do best.  We care today and change tomorrow.