Junior League Announces Holiday Grant Recipients

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$35,564 in Hamilton Funds to “enlighten the hearts” of children

NASHVILLE, TN (November 2021) – The Junior League of Nashville (JLN) is making the holidays brighter for children in Middle Tennessee through $35,564 in Hamilton Fund grants that will be distributed among 10 local nonprofit agencies. 

Each year, JLN honors Charles Baker Hamilton’s generous bequest to “help enlighten the hearts” of children during the holidays in memory of his mother, Mary Ann Pierce Hamilton. JLN’s current partner agencies and its Programs of the Home are eligible to submit proposals, and the Grants Committee reviews these proposals and makes grant recommendations to the Board based on the intent of the bequest. 

At the time the fund was established, JLN owned and operated the Junior League Home for Crippled Children, which later was moved to Vanderbilt Hospital (now Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.) Over time, JLN came to evolve the meaning of “crippled child” to “…a condition–physical, mental, emotional, environmental, or economic–that places a child at risk of not being able to live into adulthood as a healthy, educated individual.” 

The JLN Board is pleased to distribute the $35,564 in available funds among the following partners to “enlighten hearts” of local children:  

  • Book’em: Books for 800 elementary students in the Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) HERO (Homeless Education Resources Outreach) program. This accounts for more than half of all students in the HERO program.
  • McNeilly Children’s Center: Polar Express-themed holiday party for all of its children and families. Activities will include a reading of the book and a showing of the movie, along with cookie decorating, coloring and other holiday-themed activities.
  • Nashville Children’s Theatre: Tickets for more than 900 MNPS first graders to view a recorded performance of NCT’s original adaptation of The Elves and The Shoemaker, which was remixed to highlight a female entrepreneur and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) principles.
  • PENCIL: Gift boxes for high school students via three MNPS family resource centers (Antioch, Glencliff and Maplewood). These schools represent students from diverse backgrounds and more than two dozen languages spoken.
  • Preston Taylor Ministries: Three holiday parties, during which PTM students will select from a variety of gifts (provided with grant funding) for their loved ones. To add to the gladness of this event, PTM will provide music, festive decorations and food.
  • Renewal House: A variety of holiday activities for the children and women served by Renewal House. Activities will include family photo sessions, visits to Cheekwood Holiday Lights, holiday game nights and cookie decorating
  • Safe Haven Family Shelter: Home for the Holidays boxes for 45 families (120 children) in shelter and housing this season. Activities will include gingerbread house-making kits, sugar cookie decorating, wreath making and holiday decorations.
  • Youth Villages: Holiday Heroes Program (“Last Minute Kids” serving older youth and teenagers in their YV LifeSet) and the Wallace Group Home Holiday party (children in foster care).
  • Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt: Gifts for every child at the hospital on Christmas morning as specified by the bequest. JLN volunteers purchase and deliver all the gifts.
  • Vanderbilt-Meharry Center for Excellence in Sickle Cell Disease: Patient and family‑oriented holiday celebration to serve 75 patients of the Sickle Cell program, to include a gift of one book for each patient.

About the Junior League of Nashville

Founded in 1922, the Junior League of Nashville is one of the city’s oldest, largest and most effective women’s volunteer organizations. Its 1,500 members are committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.

Over the past 100 years, the League has contributed millions of dollars and volunteer hours to the Nashville community. It has been instrumental in founding more than 20 nonprofits and programs, including Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, Nashville Children’s Theatre, Oasis Center, Renewal House, Children’s Services at the Nashville Public Library-Main and many more.  Learn more about the Junior League’s history and current work at www.jlnashville.org.