The Junior League of Jackson's good stewardship and community philanthropy practices have added up to a $400,000 donation to The Campaign for Children's of Mississippi.
Presented Tuesday, the donation represents gifts from a League endowment fund held at the Community Foundation of Greater Jackson dedicated to services encompassed by Children's of Mississippi as well as money from the fundraising efforts of the Junior League of Jackson, said Melanie Hataway, 2016-2017 JLJ president.
“We've been very frugal this past League year,” she said, “and we wanted to give those funds to support Children's of Mississippi in this expansion, which will benefit children and families throughout the state.”
The Campaign for Children's of Mississippi is a $100 million fund drive to expand and update its space dedicated for pediatric care including an enlarged and renovated neonatal intensive care unit, more rooms for the pediatric intensive care unit, more operating rooms and the creation of an imaging clinic especially for pediatric patients. A new pediatric clinic will make care for outpatients more convenient and comfortable for families. Expansion of the Children's Heart Center is also on the drawing board.
With this donation, the campaign has passed the halfway point in just under a year. Children's of Mississippi is an umbrella organization that includes Batson Children's Hospital as well as all UMMC pediatric care.
The Junior League of Jackson is a longtime supporter of pediatric care at UMMC, raising the funds used to construct the Children's Cancer Center, which opened 1992, and sending hundreds of volunteers to Batson Children's Hospital over the years for programs ranging from the Rockin' Mamas in the neonatal intensive care unit to car seat safety and parties for patients.
“Time and time again, the Junior League of Jackson has proven its commitment to the health of our children through the giving of their time and resources,” said Guy Giesecke, CEO of Children's of Mississippi. “They were here when the Children's Cancer Center and Batson Children's Hospital were in the planning stages, and their support over the years has never wavered. Now that we are planning the future of pediatric care at UMMC, it means so much that the Junior League of Jackson is once again helping bring a vision to reality.”
Jane Alexander, president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Greater Jackson, which managed funds left from earlier Junior League projects for the state's only children's hospital, said the nonprofit is focused on the state's future.
“The Junior League's mission has always been about taking care of Mississippi's children,” Alexander said, “and with the Junior League, there is always more to come. They are thinking about today's families, but also about those of tomorrow.”
Those who know the Junior League of Jackson from their fundraisers such as Touch A Truck Jackson, Junior League Jumble and Mistletoe Marketplace can see those dollars helping others, said Junior League of Jackson treasurer Crystal Thompson. “When you shop at Mistletoe or take part in any of our fundraisers throughout the year, you are helping us, through our programs, to give back to our community.”