Who We Are
The National Association of Junior Auxiliaries is made up of nearly 100 Junior Auxiliary Chapters throughout Arkansas, Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee.
The Junior Auxiliary was founded on the principles of helping children and making a difference in their lives; it provides women the opportunity to serve and be a vital part of their communities. The objectives of the Association are to unite in one body all Junior Auxiliary Chapters and members to promote the work and mission of Junior Auxiliary.
How We Started
In 1935, Dr. Montgomery and Dr. Gamble of Greenville, Mississippi saw the daily plight of Greenville’s underprivileged children that were living in back alleys and on shanty boats in the river. They contacted the society editor of the Delta Democrat Times, Louise Crump, for help, asking Ms. Crump to solicit the aid of her friends in providing food, clothing, toys, and transportation to doctors’ and dentists’ offices.
Ms. Crump contacted nine women to meet in her home. As it has been written, they laid down their bridge cards and golf clubs, hugged their own well-fed and well-cared-for children, went to meetings, and began to go about the business of deciding how to best help these children of Greenville.
They found businesses and other individuals in Greenville to provide services, goods, and time. Members would provide clothing, transportation, and, as one story goes, one of the members even stayed overnight on a shanty boat and repaired the walls while she was there.
Now this is where NAJA history begins. The Greenville women began to realize that there were similar groups of women in other towns around the Mississippi and Arkansas Delta. They decided to join forces, and using Junior League as a model, they drew up a constitution on November 14, 1941 with Ms. Crump as the first President of the National Association of Junior Auxiliaries.
The Charter Chapters included McComb, Greenville, Greenwood, Leland, Laurel, Meridian, Vicksburg and West Point in Mississippi, Pine Bluff and Russellville in Arkansas.
During its first year of life, NAJA met the full force of World War II. Necessarily, emphasis was shifted for a time from care of children to home defense measures and war work. Members contributed many tireless hours to help save democracy for their own children and the children of Junior Auxiliary.
In the face of total war, the slogan of the Second Annual Convention in 1942 was “Children, The Last Line of Defense.” During that second year of existence, they managed to add two new Chapters and secured the services of a Field Secretary. The bank balance reached the astronomical figure of $721.91 in 1943; and by pooling ration coupons, the Third Annual Convention was held in Laurel, MS with the determined convention slogan “There Must Be No Idle Women”.
By the end of the war, total membership had increased to 640. With renewed determination, the organization returned its energies and talents once more to work with children, selecting for the 1945 convention slogan “The Way of Peace.” Clinics were established, handicapped children were given special care, nursery schools and hospital wards were supported and children were fed, clothed, and cared for.
Today there are nearly 100 Chapters with over 15,000 members in seven states in the South. Chapters find needs that are not being met in their communities and develop projects to meet those needs. Because the welfare of children is why Junior Auxiliary started, every Chapter is required to have at least one Child Welfare Project. This project must provide one of the basic necessities of life and there must be an ongoing relationship between the Chapter and the recipient. However the objective is always to help break the cycle of dependency, whether physical or emotional.
Caring Hearts. Helping Hands. Changing Lives.
Board of Directors
JA of Monticello, AR
Marketing Vice President
JA of Lauderdale County, TN
CSC Rep Region I
JA of St. Francis County, AR
CSC Rep Region V
JA of Meridian, MS
First Vice President
JA of Tipton County, TN
JA of Greenville, MS
CSC Rep Region II
JA of Clinton, MS
CSC Rep Region VI
JA of Abbeville, LA
Second Vice President
JA of Columbus, MS
JA of St. Francis County, AR
CSC Rep Region III
JA of Greenville, MS
Third Vice President
JA of Tupelo, MS
JA of Crittenden County, AR
CSC Rep Region IV
JA of Desoto County, MS
Junior Auxiliary Prayer
Send us, O God, as Thy messengers to the hearts without a home, to lives without love, to the crowds without a guide. Send us to the children whom none have blessed, to the famished whom none have visited, to the fallen whom none have lifted, to the bereaved whom none have comforted.
Kindle Thy flame on the altars of our hearts, that others may be warmed thereby; cause Thy light to shine in our souls, that others may see the way; keep our sympathies and insight ready, our wills keen, our hands quick to help others in their need.
Grant us clear vision, true judgement, with great daring as we seek to right the wrong; and so endow us with cheerful love that we may minister to the suffering and forlorn even as Thou wouldst. May the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, rest upon us and upon all our work. May He give us light to guide us, courage to support us, and love to unite us now and forever more.