The Junior League of San Francisco (JLSF) provides trained volunteers to agencies throughout the Bay Area. The League has selected the area of Family Preservation as the issue of the 1990's and is currently directing volunteers to agencies who address this need. Since its inception 87 years ago, the JLSF has provided over 6 million volunteer hours and over $18 million to the San Francisco Bay Area community. In many instances, the JLSF has been the first organization to respond to specific community issues with volunteer support, financial assistance and public outreach.
In accordance with the present focus of Family Preservation, the JLSF is directing 2,400 trained volunteers and financial support to ten projects for families and children in Family Resource Centers and agencies serving victims of domestic violence. The EDGEWOOD Center for Children & Families is just one of the projects that JLSF serves. Since 1994, 160 JLSF volunteers have worked with EDGEWOOD's Kinship Support Network, which provides an array of support services to grandparents and other relative caregivers to allow children whose parents are absent due to death, incapacitation, or incarceration to remain with kin. JLSF volunteers have been a major component of the Kinship program, volunteering as tutors, mentors and recreation aides for the youth, aged birth-17. The volunteer hours give relief to grandparents and relative caregivers whose average age is 60 years.
Other endeavors that are supported by JLSF include the Cobb Family Resource Center, a school based family support center established by JLSF. A total of 32 volunteers work with children and parents in activities such as skills workshops, tap dancing and special projects/events. The Canal Community Alliance/Canal Ministry program serves an extremely diverse neighborhood whose residents need support with English as a Second Language, after school programs, job training and healthcare. JLSF volunteers work with the young women and children involved in the program. Like many of the JLSF undertakings, community and volunteer involvement are critical to the program's success.
JLSF has extended their outreach beyond supplying volunteers to needy programs in several key ways. The Step Ahead Program is a collaboration with KRON-TV channel 4 that provides scholarships to 12 high risk High School students for college books and tuition. JLSF also granted funds to the Yerba Buena Center to add a family resource room and staff person for the new daycare center.