After over a year of getting creative with its fundraising efforts due to the pandemic, The Wellesley Hills Junior Women’s Club (WHJWC) is bringing back its in-person, community-based events to keep moving forward with its mission of raising money for as many area charitable organizations and scholarships for Wellesley students as possible.
First up: The Wonder Run will be held on October 2, 2021 as part of Wellesley’s Wonderful Weekend.
Also planned: The Wellesley Kitchen and Home Tour is scheduled for May 7, 2022.
Wait till next year: As we reported earlier this month, Wellesley Marketplace, traditionally held in November, will not take place in 2021. “Many, many factors played a role in our decision to postpone Marketplace for another year, the biggest one being time,” WHJWC incoming president Lindsey Crowley said. “Marketplace planning typically begins in February, reviewing and soliciting vendor applications. This past February, we decided against starting to plan for 2021 based on COVID-19 conditions and predictions which was the right decision at the time.
“However, since we are now nearly five months behind in planning we just don’t think this large-scale event is feasible to execute this year. We also polled our recent vendors, and the results painted a picture that was uncertain and hesitant to commit, therefore we couldn’t guarantee we would have enough vendors to even fill the venue. But mark my words, Marketplace will be back and better than ever for 2022.”
It’s all about flexibility
Although WHWJC last year canceled all three of its major fundraisers, with ingenuity and creativity the membership pivoted. Club members produced a community cookbook entitled Wellesley at Home and brought back Luminary Night. Both events helped fulfill the Juniors’ annual fundraising mission and fostered community connection.
Despite the many challenges COVID presented, the club still distributed $64,000 in scholarships and awarded $63,970 in grants in the 2020-2021 season. “In this unprecedented year, it is truly amazing that we were able to uphold our regular charitable giving levels,” said outgoing WHJWC president, Steph Flynn.
WHJWC also stayed virtually connected to its direct service partners. The Club gave over one hundred $100 Roche Brothers gift cards to Wellesley Friendly Aid for Thanksgiving, and upheld the annual Holiday Toy drive. The Kids on the Block team produced a high-quality video to ensure key messages of self-esteem, friendship and inclusion could be delivered to Wellesley kindergartners. And WHJWC provided snacks and messages of support to Elizabeth Seton Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation residents, planted pots to beautify the new ABC House, and completed several drives to benefit the Wellesley Food Pantry.