Community Projects

The Junior League of Edmonton (JLE) partners with community agencies that reflect our mission, vision and values.  Focused on improving girl’s mental health and empowerment, the Junior League of Edmonton provides much-needed volunteer resources and funding, and serves as a catalyst for positive change through our partnerships.

Current Projects

  In 2017-2018 we are funding the Girls Growing Strong program at Uncles and Aunts at Large in its entirety instead of giving out a few CAF grants this year.  We will be directly involved with the girls on 4 occasions where we will be able to use our expertise and share with them about various topics to help build their self-esteem and expose them to new empowering experiences. 

Girls in the Know

Girls in the Know was developed in 2016 as part of the Junior League of Edmonton’s (JLE) new impact area of girls self-esteem and mental health. It is a community event, hosted for the members of Big Brothers Big Sisters’ GoGirls! series, where approximately 80-100 girlsjoin the members of JLE for an evening of activities that aid them in building both mental and physical confidence.
Girls in the Know is an important event for the Junior League of Edmonton as it helps to fill a recognized gap in programming for girls in the Edmonton area. It also strengthens our relationships with community organizations and provides experiences for girls that help reinforce our mission of girls’ self-esteem and mental health, while providing leadership opportunities for JLE members.


Past Projects

-YWCA Girlspace (2016-2017)
A Community Assistance Fund Grant (CAF Grant) was given to the YWCA Girlspace Program.  The program underwent review and some changes were implemented into the program and did not run for a year.  Our CAF grant was used for the Girlspace program when it resumed in September 2017.  Girlspace is programming addressing key social issues facing young women. A signature Turning Point Program™, GirlSpace is a girl-only extra-curricular community program, offering girls the opportunity to increase their awareness about violence and its root causes, while exploring self, personal achievements, and building on positive self esteem.
-Kids on Track (2016-2017)
A CAF grant was given to Kids on Track for their girls backpacking trip.  Kids on Track took their girls to Jasper for their trip to teach them outdoor skills and create opportunities for them to connect with each other without technology.  The focus of the trip was building self-esteem and empowerment skills as many of these girls have only witnessed stereotypical female roles.
-Belmead School Reading Program (2012)

In the fall of 2012 the Junior League of Edmonton partnered with Belmead School. Members have donated numerous hours each week working with students individually and in small groups. Members have become much more than just reading partners, they have also taken on mentorship roles for the children while working on building reading and other literacy skills.

Although literacy skills have been the main focus, JLE have also made financial and in-kind donations, including the funds to purchase a new fridge and food for the for the snack program as well donated and purchased numerous books for the school’s library.

Early in 2013 JLE also held their general meeting at Belmead school and incorporated an evening of making muffins and other nutritional food for out of school.

-Kids with Cancer House

Over the course of two days volunteers painted the fence for the Kid with Cancer House.

-Kids in the Kitchen (2006 - 2016)

To address the urgent issue of childhood obesity, the Junior League of Edmonton, with the support of parents and other caregivers, has implemented a program to empower the children in our community to adopt healthy eating habits.

The Junior League’s Kids in the Kitchen initiative, which uses a hands-on educational approach, is now in its 7th year in our community, and has been launched by Junior Leagues in more than 250 other communities across Canada, the United States, Mexico and the United Kingdom.

More information is available on the Association of Junior Leagues International’s (AJLI) Kids in the Kitchen website!

“By joining together to make an impact on the future health of our youth, Junior Leagues will heighten awareness and recognition of the power of voluntarism to address community problems on both the grassroots and international levels.”

-A Bare Bottom Should be a Choice

When the Junior League of Edmonton first learnt about the local community’s need for diapers, we couldn’t ignore it. And so it was decided that from September to November 2010, the JLE new member group would partner with Huggies’ Every Little Bottom to raise awareness of the issue of diaper need and close the diaper gap by holding a number of community-based diaper drives within the city.

With a goal of 90,000 diapers in 90 days, the group of six (Monita, Erin, Ashley, Mimi, Carol, and Megan) had their hopes set very high. But with a lot of hard work and a lot of help, the committee exceeded their goal by raising 100,003 diapers in support of Edmonton’s Food Bank and the Terra Association.

Huggies’ Every Little Bottom soon evolved into the new member provisional project ‘A Bare Bottom Should Be A Choice.” Junior League of Edmonton’s through community based events and diaper drives, outfitted families in need at the Bissell Centre.  Diaper Drive was a successful campaign for many years and through the generous support of Edmontonians  raised diapers to ensure a bare bottom was a choice.

-Clear Out Your Closets (2005 & 2006)

The Canadian Federation of Junior Leagues and Talbots partnered for the “Clear Out Your Closet” Clothing Drive for Women again in 2005 and 2006. All collected clothing from Edmonton and Winnipeg will be donated to Changing Together.

Changing Together helps Edmonton and area immigrant women and their families overcome personal and systemic barriers that keep them from participating fully in Canadian Society.

-Junior Chefs (2002)


Junior Chefs was created to inspire children to develop the skills necessary to create healthy meals and snacks with commonly available, economically priced food items.


Groups of children participate in food preparation by reading recipes, gathering ingredients and cookware, learning about food and equipment safety, and participating in cleanup. The 90-minute sessions are offered through community agencies. Junior League of Edmonton members and sustainers, as well as community volunteers, deliver the program.

Past venues include Boys’ & Girls’ Clubs of Edmonton and Norwood Child & Family Resource Centre.


The Edmonton Social Planning Council has figures to indicate that almost 10,000 children in Edmonton are persistently hungry. They are often without after-school care and do not have experience in safely preparing healthy food in the kitchen.


Junior League of EdmontonCulinary Team Alberta and ongoing community donations

-Healing Garden (2002 - 2004)

In 2002, WINGS (Women in Need of Growing Stronger) of Providence Society was in the process of building its new 20-unit apartment building. This second-stage shelter would provide women and children who had experienced family violence with independent living in a safe, secure, supportive environment.

The Junior League of Edmonton’s 2002–03 new members’ class took on the project of creating a Healing Garden on the grounds of this new facility. Creation of the garden included everything from raising in-kind donations to working with a designer to develop a safe and healing space for women and children. The League hired a landscape architect for $2,235 to help design the space; donated $7,000 toward the playground, which is an extension of the garden; and committed $10,000 for creation of the space. The project was completed in May 2004 with an Impact Edmonton planting opportunity.

-Books for Babies (1997 - 2000)

The first year of Books for Babies saw the launch of this project in collaboration with Prospects Literacy Association. The project encouraged parents with low literacy skills or few financial resources to read to their babies on a regular basis. The intent was to enable young children, who would otherwise be in a disadvantaged position, to develop lifelong language and reading skills. The project consisted of both a mentoring component and the distribution of book bags.

In the first year, the League succeeded in designing and producing 125 sturdy book bags, selecting six baby books that met the criteria and collecting other literacy resources to insert into the bags, along with a Shaw bear. A number of successful library orientation and mentoring programs were developed with the Jasper Place and Sprucewood branches of the Edmonton Public Library, with the referral of new mothers and babies coming from West Jasper Place and Eastwood health centres of Capital Health. These sessions included the distribution of the book bags and free library cards for the participants, a library orientation and tour, Mother Goose Rhymes That Bind sessions and a mentoring program for reading to babies.

The League committed $25,000 to this project over three years. In the spring of 1999, the League was awarded a $50,000 grant from the Edmonton Community Lottery Board so that Books for Babies could expand over the following two years.

-Kids in the No (1993 - 1996)

In 1993, the League, in collaboration with the Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs of Edmonton, presented workshops to children 6 to 12 years of age to provide them with the skills and knowledge necessary to prevent them from being sexually abused. The program was unique in that it provided one-to-one training in personal safety to children paired with trained volunteers who were guided by an experienced facilitator.

Kids in the “No” workshops were first delivered to children associated with the Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs of Edmonton and then expanded to include children from the community at large.

The program was turned over to the Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs of Edmonton in 1996.

-In Our Defence (1991)

In 1991, the League obtained a $50,000 grant from the Wild Rose Foundation to supervise the production of In Our Defence, a film about women and violence. At that time, the film company, Image Works, was attempting to correct misinformation surrounding the violence issue, but addressing the topic was in its infancy.

In Our Defence was the most successful independent production ever made: the film is still a required resource used by the RCMP in its training, and duplication rights were purchased by every provincial education department in Canada.

Image Works still gets 20 to 30 requests per year for the film. As of 1999, In Our Defence was still the best resource on the topic—there is nothing newer or better dealing with the topic of violence against women.

-Northern Alberta Brain Injury Society Family Support Project (1990 - 1993)

n early 1990, after over one year of investigation and in keeping with its three-year focus on the family, the League selected the Northern Alberta Brain Injury Society (NABIS) Family Support Project.

The 1990–91 committee hired a part-time project coordinator and undertook an extensive needs assessment of the families of brain-injured individuals. This led to the development of a report that provided NABIS with a wealth of information about its members, as well as a powerful advocacy tool.

The report provided a set of recommendations from which the 1991–92 committee developed an action plan for the development of a new public awareness poster for NABIS. During this year, NABIS itself underwent a major internal reevaluation and restructuring.

The 1992–93 committee developed the new poster with NABIS and coordinated the distribution of 2,000 posters throughout the Edmonton area—from hospitals and health care facilities to schools, churches and firehalls.

The committee then developed a project evaluation tool that included input from all past and present committee members. The resulting report was presented to NABIS and the League. The turnover also included a continual maintenance report to assist NABIS in any future mailouts of this kind.

-Project LEAD (1986 - 1991)

In 1982, an international leadership training program for teenagers was initiated by the Association of Junior Leagues International. Students were trained to work in teams with adult mentors in volunteer projects serving their communities. Project LEAD was implemented by the Association of Junior Leagues International in collaboration with the Quest National Centre and operated in the United States, Mexico and Canada.

In 1986, the Junior League of Edmonton approved the development of Project LEAD for Edmonton high schools. Community projects developed by LEAD teams following leadership training courses have included

  • a smoking awareness program for 200 Grade 3–4 children
  • a skate-a-thon, with proceeds going to the Youth Emergency Centre
  • a job search workshop
  • a one-day community cleanup
  • the recruitment of teens to volunteer as camp counsellors.

In 1991, Project LEAD was turned over to the Rural Education and Development Association.

-Resource Centre for Voluntary Organizations (1986 - 1991)

In 1986, the membership approved the development of a Fundraising Management Resource Centre in conjunction with Grant MacEwan Community College. The centre was to assist the nonprofit community in the Edmonton area to become better fundraisers through training and development opportunities.

In July 1987, a three-party letter of agreement was signed by the Junior League of Edmonton, Grant MacEwan Community College and the Canadian Centre for Philanthropy. October 1987 saw the official opening of the Fundraising Management Resource Centre at Grant MacEwan Community College. In 1988, the name of the centre was changed to the Resource Centre for Voluntary Organizations to reflect the broader scope of the centre. The League provided enhancement to the centre in the form of an annual speakers’ series and a quarterly newsletter, as well as input into the management of the centre itself. In 1989, the League received $17,000 from the secretary of state to undertake a study of fundraising trends in the nonprofit sector. In 1990, the centre received a grant of $39,000 from the Wild Rose Foundation to ensure its continued operation following the League’s turnover to Grant MacEwan Community College.

The centre is now an integral part of the Voluntary Sector Management program at the downtown campus of Grant MacEwan College.

-Canadian Centre for Philanthropy (1985 - 1987)

In 1985, the Canadian Centre for Philanthropy requested volunteers from theCanadian Federation of Junior Leagues to assist in promoting its goals across Canada. The Junior League of Edmonton responded to the request by appointing a member to act as a liaison between the League and the centre. The representative also served as a liaison between the centre and its associate members in Edmonton. In addition, the League researched and provided information to the centre on various Edmonton organizations.

-Ronald McDonald House (1984 - 1987)

The League committed $35,000 and membership participation in furnishing and decorating the playroom at Ronald McDonald House, setting up a speaker’s bureau and developing a volunteer training program. In August 1985, Ronald McDonald House was officially opened. League involvement with this project was completed in April 1987.

-Kids on the Block (1982 - 1989)

In 1982, the Junior League of Edmonton acquired puppets and trained members to assist elementary school children with their understanding of the handicapped. In 1983, six teams of puppeteers performed 175 presentations to Grade 3 students. Another set of puppets was acquired in 1984. Demand for the program grew steadily, and League volunteers loved this placement. In June 1987, the project entered into collaboration with the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital. In April 1988, the League provided assistance in setting up training workshops for Glenrose volunteers. The turnover was successfully completed in April 1989.

-Volunteer Board Training (1981 - 1987)

This was started as a joint project with the Volunteer Action Centre. The purpose of the project was to develop and give workshops on effective board management to community organizations. League involvement with this project was completed in April 1987.

-Leaguer on Loan (1981 - 1986)

Two members were placed with WIN House in 1981. The Distress Line was aided with members in 1982, and St. John Ambulance and the Elizabeth Fry Society were assisted in 1984. Due to membership constraints, the Leaguer on Loan project was curtailed in 1986.

-World Student Games (1981 - 1983)

The project approved was “to plan and coordinate the orientation of the World Student Games volunteers.” A volunteer handbook was researched, compiled and published, and a script for orientation presentations was compiled. Members participated in presenting the orientation sessions.

-Commonwealth Games (1977 - 1978)

Forty League members were trained and took part in various areas of the Commonwealth Games, including venue tours, the badminton venue, the farewell party and dignitary visitations.

-Plays for Living (1976 - 1979)

The plays were produced with the Family Service Association, with League members acting as discussion leaders. Three plays were shown during the length of the project.

-Child Advocacy (1975 - 1983)

A child advocacy survey was conducted to determine services available and the needs of children. The survey was sent to the Association of Junior Leagues International and community groups. During the project, the following issues were dealt with by various committees:

  • daycare forum
  • a donation toward a film on daycare
  • a brief to the Alberta government
  • research and a position paper on the Children’s Hospital
  • turnover of the Toy Lending Library to the Edmonton Public Library
  • establishment of a child abuse issues file
  • a study of women and pensions.

In addition, the committee educated members on advocacy skills and offered a legislative tour and constitutional workshop. The term child was dropped from the committee in 1978 to allow for a broader field of investigation. The committee was terminated in 1983, and two advocacy members were appointed to the Training Corps.

-Volunteer Career Development (1975 - 1982)

The Volunteer Career Development course was taken by two members. The course was first offered to League members in 1976. A Volunteer Community Career Development pilot project was conducted in 1977. In the ensuing years, community workshops for both adults and youth groups were presented.

-Toy Lending Library (1974 - 1984)

A project was conceived of a mobile library of toys in 1974. The van was ordered in 1975 and was based at the Guidance Clinic, then moved to Elves Memorial Child Development Centre in 1976. In 1979, the service was extended to Norwood and Mill Woods. Advocacy assisted in the search for a community agency to take over the project. The toys were turned over to the Edmonton Public Library in 1982, with toys being lent in four branches using League volunteers. By 1984, the number of members involved was reduced to three, with the project phased out on January 1, 1985.

-Guide for the Dependent Handicapped (1973)

A booklet covering 30 services and agencies to assist the dependent handicapped was completed, and 800 copies were distributed to caregivers and agencies.

-Society for the Retired and Semi-Retired (1973)

The League donated $2,500 to provide half-salary for a coordinator of volunteers for the Operation Friendship program. A New Horizon grant enabled the League to withdraw in six months.

-Fort Edmonton Park (1972 - 1977)

This project involved furnishing Rowand House at Fort Edmonton. This was a commitment of $30,000 plus research and acquisition of furnishings by the membership. An interpretive program commenced and members acted as guides until termination of involvement in 1977.

-Drugs Are Like That (1971 - 1977)

The film was purchased from the Miami League in 1971. 160 classes were shown the film in 1972 when it was introduced as a project. The project was renamed Youth Education in 1975 when AADAC agreed to continue the program.

-Learning Disabilities (1971 - 1977)

A booklet listing conveniences (or lack thereof) in 285 facilities in Edmonton was produced with the assistance of all members. Social services for the disabled were included. In 1971, the Junior League of Edmonton, along with the Junior League of Calgary (which had undertaken a similar project), received the Patron’s Award for the Disabled.

-Intercom (1971 - 1973)

A community awareness program was planned, executed and attended by League provisionals, the National Council of Jewish Women, Anglican Church women, the Catholic Women’s League and mothers of the Norwood Readiness Centre.

-Guide to Edmonton for the Disabled (1970 - 1971)

A booklet listing conveniences (or lack thereof) in 285 facilities in Edmonton was produced with the assistance of all members. Social services for the disabled were included. In 1971, the Junior League of Edmonton, along with the Junior League of Calgary (which had undertaken a similar project), received the Patron’s Award for the Disabled.

-Emergency Shelter for Women (1969 - 1970)

The Emergency Shelter for Women opened in January 1969 at All Saints Cathedral. The League donated $4,000 to help initiate and run the program. The League also designated a member to sit on the management board.

-Native Brotherhood Information Centre (1969)

League involvement included a $2,000 commitment, as well as a member acting as liaison for a four-month period.

-Teaching English at the YWCA (1969)

Volunteers taught English to new Canadians.

-School Volunteers (1968)

Volunteers worked on a pilot project, assisting teachers at Elmwood School.

-Games Book (1967 - 1973)

This project included production and delivery of 525 games books, sent to 11 agencies every month. League involvement included providing volunteers and covering the cost of the books.

-Glenrose Hospital Play Therapy (1967 - 1969)

Volunteers assisted in a playschool program for bedridden preschool children at the Glenrose Hospital. The project was terminated in 1969 because volunteers were unqualified to assist the growing number of emotionally disturbed children.

-CNIB Taping (1967)

Volunteers participated in taping textbooks for the blind.

-School Readiness Centre (1965 - 1973)

A project was organized with the University of Alberta and the National Council of Jewish Women to teach learning activities to disadvantaged children. The League donated $6,400 and volunteers over the years. Norwood citizens, financed by Preventive Social Services, took over operation of the project in 1968. The Readiness Centre House opened in 1970. Volunteer participation was terminated in 1973.

-Children’s Art Gallery (1964 - 1971)


The Children’s Art Gallery was the League’s centennial project, with a commitment of $50,000 and volunteer participation. The Edmonton Art Gallery opened in December 1968, and the Junior Gallery officially opened in the Edmonton Art Gallery in April 1969. Volunteer participation was terminated in 1971.

-Preschool Training Classes (1964 - 1968)

This project involved establishing a kindergarten for learning-impaired children. The League donated $6,000 for the salary of a teacher, as well as volunteers.

-Edmonton Day Care Program (1963 - 1964)

Established in January 1963, the Edmonton Day Care Program sought to provide recreation and rehabilitation for homeless, unemployed men. The Junior League of Edmonton provided $5,500 in funding for a rehabilitation counsellor, as well as volunteer participation. The project became eligible for United Community Fund support in 1964.

-Canadian Native Friendship Centre (1962 - 1966)

Established in January 1963, the Edmonton Day Care Program sought to provide recreation and rehabilitation for homeless, unemployed men. The Junior League of Edmonton provided $5,500 in funding for a rehabilitation counsellor, as well as volunteer participation. The project became eligible for United Community Fundsupport in 1964.

-Social Work Bursary (1956 - 1976)

A Social Service Bursary was set up with the Lady Aberdeen League for $1,000 for postgraduate work in social work. The bursary was increased to $1,500 in 1963 and renamed the Dr. Allison Proctor Social Work Bursary in 1964. It was awarded in the field of learning disabilities in 1973 and terminated in 1974. The Allison Proctor Memorial Booklet was published in 1976.

-Children’s Theatre (1954 - 1966)

The first Children’s Theatre performance was Wizard of Oz in October 1954. It was produced jointly by the Junior Hospital League and Edmonton Recreation Commission. The project was turned over to the Junior Arts Council in 1966.

-Central Volunteer Bureau (1952 - 1961)

Central Volunteer Bureau opened in May 1952. Its purpose was to make the best use of volunteer help in the city. By 1953, 40 agencies had been contacted, and 1,117 volunteers, placed. The League received the Mayfair Award for community service in 1954 for establishing the Central Volunteer Bureau. A community board was set up for the Central Volunteer Bureau in 1956, and the bureau was accepted into the United Community Fund in 1961.

-Elizabeth House (1946 - 1954)

Two rooms were furnished in Elizabeth House.

-Emergency Housekeeper Service (1946 - 1954)

Emergency Housekeeper Service was inaugurated in 1946. Its purpose was to attempt to help families in emergency situations by making available the services of a housekeeper. Keeping families together in times of trouble was made possible by this League project. It was accepted as a member of the Community Chest of Greater Edmonton in 1950 and turned over to Family Services in 1954.

-Hospital (1929 - 1959)

Volunteers assisted with the care of crippled children in the orthopaedic ward of theUniversity of Alberta Hospital. The Junior Hospital League also provided for a teacher (1932–58), a therapeutic pool (1934), formation of a Brownie pack (1936), reading lamps for the isolation ward (1940) and a rehabilitation kitchen (1958).