Junior League selects HER Cincinnati as next community partner

The Junior League of Cincinnati selected HER Cincinnati to be the recipient of a multi-year partnership that will provide the nonprofit with $25,000 in grant funding as well as hundreds of hours of support and advocacy from a group of 800-plus volunteers.

Founded in 1830, HER Cincinnati – formerly Cincinnati Union Bethel – works to empower women to break the cycles of poverty, addiction and human trafficking.

The agency’s partnership with JLC will be in place for the next three to five years.

“With more than 40 organizations in the city created or accelerated by the Junior League of Cincinnati, we are thrilled to welcome HER Cincinnati to our legacy of learning, leadership and love to create lasting change in our community,” said René Robers, JLC’s president.

(Back) Abi Clabeaux, Emily Headley, Ann Crilley, Cindy Neal, Leslie Michel, Charlotte Duggan, Jean Hodge, Melissa Collins and Steve Brandstetter; (front) Alex Broadus, Rene Robers, Brittany Gruber, Kacey Vaught, Megan Fischer, Vicki Calonge, Jen Schuster, Jamie Stinson, Saralou Durham and Nicole Bodde
Junior League of Cincinnati presents a check for $75,000 to Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank in 2018.

The JLC has over a century of history within the Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky communities. During that time, the organization has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars and volunteer hours to start-up and established nonprofits, Robers said.

With this new partnership, JLC volunteers will focus their efforts on helping HER Cincinnati launch HER Collective, a women’s small business co-op that leverages shared operations, marketing, and retail outreach tools and resources. HER Collective will help program participants gain entrepreneurial skills and resume-building work experience while also earning additional income to support themselves and their families. 

Throughout the course of partnership, JLC members will also receive education about the impacts of poverty and addiction.

Beth Schwartz, HER Cincinnati’s CEO, voiced being “beyond excited” to be The Junior League of Cincinnati’s next community partner. She noted that her organization has faced challenges related to having limited time and resources to get the HER Collective concept off the ground. 

Beyond the “power of their passionate and talented volunteerism,” JLC is providing vital financial support to allow HER Cincinnati to dedicate a part-time resource to the project, Schwartz said.

“The JLC’s partnership is just the capacity-boost we needed,” she added.

Finding a new community partner

The JLC’s partnership with HER Cincinnati is the result of a monthslong request for proposal process to seek a new community partner. The service-minded volunteer organization opened the RFP process to any existing 501(c)(3) that needed support for a new initiative or to expand an existing program that aligns with JLC’s mission.

JLC’s Program Development Committee reviewed all the submissions and pared down the list to four candidates earlier this spring. Finalists presented their plans to JLC membership, who then voted for the selected partner in April.

The JLC-HER Cincinnati partnership will begin on June 1 following the conclusion of a three-year relationship with Family Nurturing Center. 

Since 2021, the JLC has worked with Family Nurturing Center to expand the organization’s visitation program and child abuse awareness initiatives. In addition to thousands of hours of direct service, JLC provided $75,000 in direct funding and assisted with several of the center’s fundraisers, including Prom for a Purpose. 

Junior League of Cincinnati

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