Junior Leagues Respond to Natural Disasters

Junior Leagues Respond to Natural Disasters

Earthquake in Mexico City (Updated as of 9/21)


The League is doing disaster relief work in earthquake-ravaged area of Oaxaca (the earthquake that hit on Sept. 7). They have gotten donated supplies from friends in Texas to send to Oaxaca. This is not the JL Guadalajara's immediate community, but they’ve decided they needed to help. The League is sending members to Mexico City to work with the League there. If there are Leagues or League members who can help, please email AJLI (info@ajli.org).

—Matilde Ramos, VP of Finance, JL Guadalajara 

Mexico City

Everybody in the Junior League of Mexico City is well, thank God.

We are making a task force for people in need, like lunch boxes, basic food, medical supplies, tools, toilet paper, water, milk, rice, beans, blankets, covers, diapers, clothes, baby food, sleeping bags, etc.

We are in touch with the Junior League of Guadalajara and they are also helping us. If you are able to send us donations or grants it will help us a lot so we can provide all that our city requires.

—Marta Yarza de Mingramm, President, JL Mexico City

The Junior League of Mexico City has turned its headquarters into a disaster relief center. They are preparing meals for the emergency workers and gathering supplies to support them, especially protective gloves needed to clear away the rubble by hand. (See below for photos from Mexico City.)

—AJLI Board member Coyo Munoz

Hurricane Irma Storm Outreach (Updated as of 9/15)

Greater Orlando

1.  We are in dig out mode. 40% of city remains with out power. Few have Internet.

2.  It was not a storm surge/flood event here. Water intrusion for people mostly occurred from sideways rain, some lakes went up high and some sewage and lift stations have backed up for some people.

3.   For the most part, people's homes are generally okay. A few trees have fallen on people's houses. But not massive devastation.

4.  Most people are very exhausted from any sort of follow up from power outages and dealing with all schedules completely disrupted. Public school and university's are out this whole week. Many traffic lights do not have power so driving is a bit hazardous as people forget to stop like it is a 4-way stop. Also, it's hot this time of year so FL without AC is challenging.

5.  Generally everyone in Orlando is happy that it wasn't any worse; any increase to the winds would have brought much more damage to homes and businesses from roofs etc. most of our leaguers are just hunkering down and digging themselves out of the massive amounts of tree debris.

6.  Our Hq has sustained some damages; we lost our awning and has some water intrusion which is getting cleaned up.

7.  Florida SPAC conference that was supposed to happen this month is cancelled.


—Anna McPherson


I wanted to send an update to you post-storm. The best word to describe our community is thankful. We know that the impact had the potential to be so much worse that it was, and there is not one person who is not humbled by that fact. We have many members who are still without power, and many more still who are just trying to return home to assess the damage. Roads are packed, gas is at a premium, and there are definitely hurdles to overcome. Yet, despite all of that we feel relief. To date, we have not been told of any members who suffered tremendous loss. We are hoping that the news remains that way. We are proud of our community, and humbled by the outpouring of support from near and far-none more so than that from Leagues across the country offering kind words, shelter, and assistance. It is truly amazing to be a part of such a dedicated network of women committed to helping all in need.

With grateful hearts,

—Katie Cappy on behalf of The Junior League of Tampa

Hurricane Harvey Storm Outreach (Updated as of 8/30)


The JLA Center for Community Service was open from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Monday, August 28, accepting donations for the mega shelter opening. More than 5,500 evacuees are expected to be in Dallas this week.

How you can help:

These are the most requested items:

  • New underwear, new socks, new warm-ups for men, women, children and infants
  • Toiletries/hygiene products
  • Baby formula, baby wipes, bottles and diapers
  • Graco Pac n' Plays for babies to sleep in

Please consider helping out by donating at:

Junior League of Arlington
Center for Community Service
4002 West Pioneer Parkway
Arlington, TX 76013.
Email: jla@jlarlington.org

—April Pettitt, President, JL Arlington

Bryan-College Station

Thank you so much for checking in on us here in Bryan-College Station. As of right now, our community is a bit soggy (estimates of 20" of rainfall so far, with more on the way this week). We have some members flooded in due to road closures, but so far no one in our League is reporting any major damage.

Right now our thoughts are with the families of our League members who were not able to evacuate from their homes, and our sister Leagues in the Houston area (Houston, Beaumont, The Woodlands) and in the cities along the Coast (Corpus Christi, Victoria, Galveston County).

Please keep us informed of any efforts AJLI is coordinating to assist those Leagues and we will be ready to help however we can.

Thank you again and please pass along our thanks to the AJLI Board and staff for checking in and for their concern. We Texas ladies are a tough breed, but it is nice to know we've got such an amazing organization standing behind us ready to help.

—Jill Hughson, President

Galveston County

Thank you for the well wishes. It's comforting to know you, AJLI, and our sister Leagues are offering so much support through this storm. All are safe right now though I understand we still have a bit ahead of us. We're all hoping Harvey dissipates quickly before he causes more damage!

—Heather Zgaljardic, President


As an organization committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers, the League continues to assess how its volunteers and resources may be used in the days following the remnants of Harvey and how its community agencies may need support.

The Junior League of Houston, Inc. has started a Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund to allow its members and supporters an opportunity to participate in the rebuilding efforts.The needs of the requesting community partners will be assessed and considered once the threat of the storm has passed. Please consider donating now so the initial planning conversations may begin and the monetary gifts can be made as soon as is appropriate. Your donation will directly support the recovery efforts that are so desperately needed. Visit here to donate: https://www.jlh.org/?nd=donate_detail&donation_id=4909&return_nd=donate_summary

The League’s partnering organizations can request support by emailing the Community Vice President at community_vp@jlh.org.

—Sarah Snyder, President


Thank you for reaching out. Lafayette experienced minimal weather over the weekend – mainly rain. However, we are actively monitoring the remnants of Harvey for the coming days and we will update as the week progresses.

At this time, our thoughts and prayers are to the West for our many sister Leagues who were directly impacted by Harvey. Please share any relief fund information that affected Leagues are starting so that we may share with our members.

Thank you again for your email. I will be in touch should the weather take a turn for the worst in Lafayette.

—Corinne Cotten Sprague, President

Lake Charles

Thank you so very much for your email. At this time we are doing well. The heaviest of rain is supposed to hit us tonight and tomorrow but we are well prepared. We continue to pray for our Texas sister Leagues and will be reaching out to them soon to see how we can assist.

Your thoughts are appreciated!

—Beth Melancon, President

New Orleans

JLNO has been in contact with Junior Leagues and Diaper Bank partners throughout the region and is mobilizing to assist them in meeting the needs of Gulf Coast residents affected by Hurricane Harvey. Many agencies will be providing aid, and JLNO is uniquely positioned to help families through its Diaper Bank. We are accepting donations of diapers, baby wipes, diaper cream, feminine products, and gift cards in $20 amounts to Target and WalMart. JLNO will accept donations at its headquarters, 4319 Carondelet St., during normal business hours of 8:30 am to 5:30 pm, Monday through Friday. We expect to send our first shipment on Friday, September 1. We are also accepting financial contributions via our website linked below:

—Kristen Koppel, President


My family evacuated about 90 miles inland, but many including Jill (Fox, PE) stayed in Victoria. She and others have told me that they are well and in good spirits but without water or power currently. Our town and surrounding communities have substantial damage and conversations are beginning on how we can best respond once it's safe to do so. I sincerely appreciate you thinking of us and our community and for offering your assistance during this disaster. We will keep you informed and let you know our continued course of action.

Update 8/29

Since my last email, we've had a chance to communicate as a leadership team and plan our course of action. We want to thank you all so much for the continued outpouring of support for Victoria and the Coastal Bend. We are very appreciative and our hearts are with all our fellow league communities experiencing this devastating storm. As our community's most immediate needs have been identified, the Junior League of Victoria has partnered with our local Emergency Operations Center and opened our historic O'Connor Proctor Building to temporarily house out-of-town first responders assisting us in our time of need. Our league members who are able to assist will be providing food and supplies for the duration of their stay.

Since many of our members have not yet returned to the community or are dealing with devastating property loss, and since our home base is being utilized for other more immediate efforts, League organized volunteer efforts will be forthcoming. For those that wish to assist immediately, we are collecting funds to provide diapers and feminine hygiene products to be distributed. Donations can be mailed to:

The Junior League of Victoria
Attn: Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund
202 N. Main St.
Victoria, Texas 77901

I am so proud to lead such an extraordinary group of women as we embark on our road to recovery. We greatly appreciate the outpouring of support and we promise to positively impact those most affected in our community with your aid.

With Sincerest Gratitude,

—Julia Welder, President

The Woodlands

Thank you for checking on us! These storms are truly unlike anything we've ever seen. My home has received over 25" of rain, and that will likely nearly double before it's all over. Our Headquarters building seems to be a high point in a low area, so at last check was internally dry but largely inaccessible - we do not know if the water around it will eventually reach inside or not. Generally speaking, our members are safe and with family; many evacuated and do not know the conditions they will find upon returning. A large portion of us will have flooded homes, cars, businesses, and schools. It's fair to say that a few of us could loose everything.

But, our members are generous, kind, and ready to rebuild, so the future is bright. We established the JLTW Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund to begin collecting monetary donations. When the rain stops, we will assess and consider the needs of our members, community partners, and sister Leagues and be able to quickly act to provide assistance. Additionally we've been promoting our Emergency Relief Fund, where we can quickly provide grants to community partner organizations to help them continue their important work.

I'm thrilled to tell you that, in the midst of this unprecedented weather, we reached maximum capacity for our new member class, and are excited to have 75 talented and dedicated ladies joining our roster!

It is simply devastating to see pictures of our city and state. So many people have had their lives destroyed, but JLTW is ready to do whatever needs to be done. We are so appreciative for AJLI and the other Leagues that have contacted us. To know that we have your partnership, encouragement, and support means so much.

Grateful, and eager to see the sunshine,

—Laura Bomer, President

Junior League of Mexico City Volunteers

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