Who We Serve
Who We Serve
Backpack Blessings provides non-perishable, easy-to-prepare food to children in our community to make sure they get enough food during non-school hours. Our goal is to offer nourishment needed to help them learn and grow. Multiple families are chosen at multiple schools to be served throughout the semester. Junior Auxiliary of Gulfport utilizes the guidance counselors at each school to find families.
Ladies Who Lunch
Middle school aged girls are paired with a JA Gulfport member, who spends an hour of one-on-one time each month during lunch. JA members form close bonds while mentoring young girls throughout the course of the school year. The undivided attention the young girls receive each week is invaluable and gives them an outlet to voice their feelings without fear of judgment or ridicule and receive support and advice.
Operation Christmas Cheer
The Junior Auxiliary of Gulfport provides a special Christmas celebration for several children and their families in need during the holiday season. The event includes a meal, photos with Santa, special guest entertainment, activities and craft projects. Children also receive Christmas gifts. Children in need are identified by school staff.
The heart of Junior Auxiliary can be seen through what we do in our community service projects. We currently have 12 service projects reaching out to children, youth and families in Gulfport, Long Beach & Pass Christian. Each year, our members put in hundreds of hours volunteering on the projects and giving our hearts to the children that we serve.
Project NOW serves the basic needs of children in our community from clothing to healthcare. The goal is to allow students to concentrate on their school work, and not be encumbered by worries of their basic needs, such as health and shelter. This project serves a multitude of needs for the children in our community and is served on a case-by-case basis as needs arise.
JA of Gulfport has been working closely with the Harrison County Family Court Emergency Children’s Shelter since its groundbreaking in 1978. The shelter serves as the temporary home of children between the ages of 2 days and 18 years, who have been removed from their families due to abandonment, abuse, neglect, or endangerment. Our members have previously worked with children at the shelter, but in recent years, have partnered with organizations such as CASA and Rescue 100 to assist with programs assisting and benefiting children in the Harrison County Family Court system.
The Healthy Living Project
JA members solicit donations from the community to assemble hygiene kits for distribution in local schools to assist children who may be in need of supplies. Past kits have included shampoo, conditioner, lotion, toothpaste, and toothbrushes. In addition to hygiene kits, this project works to educate the children in our service area about living healthy lifestyles.
General Welfare Projects
Social Welfare Projects
The College Bound program grants scholarships to outstanding senior high school students each year. Students are selected based on superior academic achievement and merit, leadership potential, community involvement, and financial need.
Any new projects or other projects that do not fall under their own committee. This committee is encouraged to generate a new project to benefit the children in our service area quarterly. Other past “retired” projects may also be brought back based upon the needs in the community.
The Crown Club is a pilot project being undertaken focusing on creating service opportunities for high school girls in 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th grades. This project encourages the concept of teaching our youth how to give back to their community.
Fill the Bus
In partnership with United Way of South MS and area Walmart Super Centers, we equip teachers and students with the supplies they need to have a successful school year. Supplies collected are distributed to Gulfport, Harrison County, Long Beach & Pass Christian schools.
The Kindness Project
Based upon the 2020-21 Provisional project, the committee will partner with local classrooms and schools to plan a “Kindness Week” with activities geared towards encouraging children to show kindness to themselves and one another.
Lynn Meadows Discovery Center
JA members assist LMDC throughout the year by helping through various volunteer hours to include sponsoring a LMDC exhibit, in addition to providing general support through volunteer hours and scholarship funds.