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Brief: Junior League Gets Seal of Approval

First Lady Maureen McDonnell and Governor Robert McDonnell with the Junior League of Northern Virginia.

First Lady Maureen McDonnell and Governor Robert McDonnell with the Junior League of Northern Virginia. Photo Contributed

Virginia’s First Lady Maureen McDonnell has named the Junior League of Northern Virginia (JLNV) a recipient of the First Lady’s Opportunity Seal of Approval. In 2010, Maureen McDonnell launched the First Lady’s Initiatives Team Effort (FLITE) to recognize those who “embody the ideal of creating a Commonwealth of Opportunity in their communities.” JLNV was among 36 organizations recognized with the First Lady’s Opportunity Seal of Approval at the third annual awards dinner held in Richmond in October.

“I launched FLITE because I wanted to recognize the great people of our state who are working tirelessly to help others,” the First Lady stated in a press release. “These incredible individuals and organizations are making Virginia a better place to live, work and raise a family.”

FLITE recognizes work in four key areas of opportunity. JLNV received recognition for its health and wellness programs aimed at preventative healthcare, children’s nutrition and the prevention of childhood obesity.

“It is an honor to be recognized with this award from the First Lady of Virginia,” said Junior League of Northern Virginia President Jennifer Burnside. “Children’s health and wellness is a key focus for the League. Last year, our members contributed 300 service hours at our Back-to-School Health Fairs, and 84 hours to Kids in the Kitchen programs.”

In the last year, JLNV hosted three back-to-school health fairs that provided physicals and 350 backpacks filled with school supplies to underserved and uninsured children in Northern Virginia. The league also hosts five Kids in the Kitchen activity booths and one community-wide health fair to educate children and families on proper nutrition.

The Junior League of Northern Virginia is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. As a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, their purpose is exclusively educational and charitable. For 55 years, the JLNV has provided hundreds of thousands of volunteer hours and more than $2 million to implement more than 25 community programs throughout our history. The current community programs, which include health and wellness-focused projects, are:

Kids in the Kitchen—a national educational and advocacy program combating childhood obesity;

School Readiness—Provides access to free vaccinations, school supplies, and nutrition education for uninsured and underinsured children in Northern Virginia;

The Children’s Science Center—A signature partnership with the Children’s Science Center to create a hands-on science and technology children’s museum in Northern Virginia; and Kids Can and My Life—Monthly programs aimed at empowering children in area shelters through educational and behavioral learning.

More information about JLNV can be found at www.jlnv.org or by calling 703-442-4163.