Greenwood Junior Auxiliary
By Alicia Stevens
The Junior Auxiliary of Greenwood, formerly the Welfare League, started almost a century ago and continues to serve the interests of families and children in the Leflore County area. The Auxiliary has done almost 600 volunteer hours in the first five months of this year alone.
The Auxiliary serves Delta families in various ways.
In partnership with the Greenwood Mentoring Center for Homework Buddies, the Auxiliary provides after-school tutoring and mentoring to students and provides special event celebrations.
Additionally, the S.T.A.R.S program for Pillow Academy 5th graders gives weekly biblical mentoring through the school year, with leadership training and fellowship opportunities with Auxiliary members.
Tenth and 11th grade students with an overall “B” average can join the Crown Club in the fall. During this two-year commitment, they’re taught leadership skills and are given opportunities for community service.
The Auxiliary also partners with Greenwood Leflore Public Library to continue its work during the summer with the “Bucks for Books” program, held in June. After exploring the joy of reading, participants attend an exciting party. They give oral reports and receive money for books read.
Students are empowered by the Auxiliary through its scholarship opportunities. Five local graduating seniors can receive $1,000 to $5,000 scholarships based on an essay, need, merit, work ethic, community contributions and the results of an interview. Applications are available through school counselors in the spring.
Additionally, the National Association of Junior Auxiliaries (NAJA) offers scholarships to graduate students pursuing degrees in areas that address the special needs of children and youth. For more information on this, contact the Greenwood Auxiliary or get the application through the NAJA website: Najanet.org.
Financial Assistance to Families
The Auxiliary confidentially provides families with assistance to meet basic financial needs, along with help in job training, resume building, and other areas helpful in breaking the cycle of dependency through its PALS project. School personnel can also advise the Auxiliary of students who need assistance with school dress code compliance and count on the “Clothing Corner” program to insure every student has clean and comfortable school uniforms.
The Auxiliary Needs Your Help
All of this is only possible because of community support.
The Auxiliary welcomes volunteers to assist with events, including The Charity Cotton Ball, which serves as the only fundraiser hosted each year.
This year’s ball will take place Feb. 23 at the Leflore Civic Center. Proceeds from ticket sales, donations, and silent auction of items donated by businesses and local artists — such as travel packages and other services — funds the Auxiliary’s budget for the entire year. Ticket sales begin in mid-December, available through a link that will be posted on the Auxiliary’s Facebook page.
Individuals are also welcome to donate directly to the Auxiliary by making a Paypal payment through the group’s website.
Greenwood Junior Auxiliary’s chapter president, Kelsie Tribble, said that in her opinion, the best way to support the group’s work is through prayer.
“We always covet your prayers for the children we serve,” she said.
Alicia Stevens, a resident of Pearl River County, is a freelance writer, wife and mother of two who enjoys travelling with her family and friends.