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December 2020 Newsletter

Message from the President

Informing Local Leaders

Hello and happy December, Community Leaders.

Some might say that 2020 has been a wash or there is little to be thankful for this season, but I cannot agree with those sentiments. Indeed, far too many lives were lost to the pandemic, challenges plagued the Big Bend’s most vulnerable populations, and leaders were forced to find new ways of conducting business; but the pandemic, in many ways, has offered Junior Leagues around the world the chance to accept and appreciate the cards they were dealt. Individually, our organizations decided how to react, and I can promise you, the Junior League of Tallahassee leaped at the opportunity to serve, establish new standards, and reinvent our processes. Since June 1st, JLT:

  • Welcomed 68 New Members;
  • Launched Jill Pope Signature Partnership with Capital City Youth Services;
  • Served 136 Leon County elementary school students and 42 children from HOPE Community through the Kids’ Boutique shopping event;
  • Witnessed 2 dozen Members completed a 21-day Racial Equity Challenge;
  • Provided 100 Members our Leadership Certificate Tracks;
  • Raised $70,000+ through the Little Black Dress Initiative; and
  • Completed more than 7,500 volunteer hours. 

Moreover, we have achieved these great milestones because of people like you. You support us during uncertain times; you are generous with your time and resources; and you challenge non-profit organizations like JLT to do more for our neighbors with each passing season. For that, I am grateful. 

In closing, and on behalf of our Members, thank you for making 2020 great. 

With appreciation,
Samantha Sexton

Community Impact

Little Black Dress Initiative

The Junior League of Tallahassee marked its fifth year hosting the Little Black Dress Initiative with nearly 100 members wearing the same black outfit for five days, in an effort to raise awareness of food insecurity, and it’s far reaching effects, in our community. 
Through this initiative, JLT members engaged in meaningful conversations that led to 1,561 donations, raising a collective $70,650.

In advance of the week-long drive, a $5,000 match donation from Publix Super Markets Charities and a $1,000 from TC Federal Bank also bolstered the event’s success.

“This year's record-breaking advancement of the Little Black Dress Initiative was made possible by our Members' dedication and sincere passion for supporting the most basic needs in our community,” said Caitlin Moore, Little Black Dress Initiative Chair. “We are incredibly grateful for every single donor's generosity, which helped us more than double our initial goal.”

“JLT will use these funds to serve more children through our 25th Annual Kids’ Boutique, expand our Mighty Meals food distribution efforts, and enhance our strategic partnerships with organizations like HOPE Community and Capital City Youth Services,” said Samantha Sexton, Junior League of Tallahassee President. “Every dollar raised will support JLT’s mission-focused initiatives and commitment to supporting basic needs for local children and families.” 

Fun facts: While JLT received the most donations from Tallahassee zip code 32303, the initiative received support from four nations outside the U.S. including Canada, Germany, Great Britain, Puerto Rico with the furthest donation received from Queensland, Australia. The average donation was $41.87 and the most common donation was $21.60. 

To learn more about the Little Black Dress initiative and partnering with JLT, visit our website.
Community Partnerships

HOPE Community Recognizes 15th Anniversary

The Big Bend Homeless Coalition (BBHC) is recognizing the 15th Anniversary of its HOPE Community, which provides shelter, early childhood assessments, housing-focused case management, parent/guardian assistance, and resource coordination to families with minor children experiencing homelessness. Two-thirds of those sheltered at HOPE are children, and each year HOPE shelters over 350 people.

JLT is in its fourth-year of partnership with HOPE Community and is proud to support HOPE’s integral work in the community. “There is no better time than now to assist people who are experiencing a transient phase in their lives,” says Fabiola Antoine, Junior League of Tallahassee New Member Representative. “I believe that the Junior League of Tallahassee is doing more good to help families and children at HOPE who are experiencing difficulties—difficulties that not only do we normally have but have been exacerbated by the pandemic.”

HOPE kicked off their #15YearsOfHOPE Anniversary Campaign on December 1st. The campaign will continue until December 15th to raise awareness of critical services offered at HOPE to families and children experiencing homelessness in our Big Bend communities. Because we believe in home, JLT is proud to have HOPE Community as one of our Jill Pope Community Partners. 

For more information about the Big Bend Homeless Coalition and HOPE Community, please visit their website For questions about the campaign, email

Volunteer Projects

Done In A Day Partners with Ability 1st

Done in a Day is a series of concentrated projects that provide volunteer mobilization and funding for community-based events on a short-term basis. In November, JLT members partnered with Ability 1st to empower people with disabilities to take charge of their lives and guide their own destinies by building a wheelchair accessible ramp for a family in Havana, Florida.

Done in a Day volunteering allows our members to see a variety of community projects with immediate impact. If you have a short-term volunteer need that ties in with the Junior League of Tallahassee’s mission, we may be an excellent match! Submit an application today here or contact to learn more.

JLT volunteers build a wheelchair accessible ramp.
Volunteer Service

JLT Renovates the Children Screening Room at HOPE

Our members are eager to roll up their sleeves and knockout another renovation project at HOPE Community! Up next, JLT will focus on HOPE’s Children Screening Room. We look forward to making this space an area that is both inviting and warm for children and families who transition into HOPE Community.

Community Partnerships

CCYS Thanksgiving Meal Distribution

150 meals were served and 10 families received fixings for the Thanksgiving holiday! JLT was more than thrilled to help CCYS’ Street Outreach team with this effort.
Holiday Shopping

Minted Holiday Card Fundraiser

Shop with JLT for your holiday greeting cards and 15% of your purchase will be given back to JLT to support our mission. Not only that, use our code and enjoy 20% off of your holiday card order from Shop now and use the code: 

This code is live until the end of December. Happy Shopping!

Coton Colors

Join the JLT on December 10th from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Coton Colors to mark some items of your holiday shopping list while supporting the JLT’s mission. 20% of all purchases go back to the JLT.

For more information, contact Nicole Okken at

Hummingbird Wine Bar

Have an aspiring Sommelier to buy for? Check out one of Tallahassee’s newest additions and purchase a gift card here. 10% of gift card purchases over $50 will support the JLT. Please note gift cards cannot be used on memberships, but are great for wine bottle purchases or drinks at the bar. The gift certificate will be sent via email which includes a barcode for redemption. Hummingbird will gladly accommodate requests for a physical gift card, as well.
Motivated Women

New Member Spotlight

Kim Bane is an active member at Evangel Church and serves on their Worship Team. Kim recently got involved with the ALS Association (Northwest Florida). “Many people participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge years ago which sought to raise money and awareness to ALS. Little did I know a few years after that ice bucket challenge, a family member of mine would be diagnosed and pass away from ALS in December 2018. I decided to commit myself to learning more about the disease and knew I wanted to play a role in getting the message out to our community about ALS. As of late-February 2020, I was offered an opportunity to serve on their planning committee to assist with marketing for future ALS Association (NW Florida) walks,” says Kim. “I'm passionate about getting involved in our community and truly making a difference in people's lives.”


Vicki Bradley serves as news director at WTXL ABC 27. Through her work with the station, she’s helped lead major fundraising projects for the Second Harvest of the Big Bend. Raising awareness about increased food insecurity in the Big Bend due to the pandemic. Vicki also volunteers with Capital City Youth Services (CCYS) serving on the executive board as secretary. "Being on the CCYS board and having the ability to make decisions that directly impact an organization is what I love," says Vicki. Vicki is also a recognized member of the National Association of Black Journalists.

Community Partnerships & Donations


To aid us in our mission of improving the lives of children and families in the Tallahassee area, JLT relies on the generosity of sponsorships and donations to enhance our community impact. When an organization financially supports the League, we support the organization in return by valuable recognition and exposure to both our members and the general public through online and in-person channels. The League consistently fosters strong partnerships with our sponsors, and we would love to work with you or your organization next!

To learn more about how you can become a JLT Sponsor, please click here to review our sponsorship or email Kylie Werk at for more information.

Copyright © |2020| Junior League of Tallahassee, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
PO Box 13428 Tallahassee, FL 32317

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