Local volunteers inspired at Junior Auxiliary meeting

Junior Auxiliary of East St. Mary Parish’s Julie Domino, president and Sabrina Roy, public relations director, recently attended the National Association of Junior Auxiliaries area meeting held in Ridgeland, Miss.

Hundreds of women heard from two contributors to the fields of health and service, Dr. Rick deShazo presented “The Latest Statistics Give Me Panic Attacks,” and Maggie Wade presented “Rooted in Service.”

“This year’s meeting was very inspirational,” said Domino. “We gathered a lot of information and ideas to bring back to our community to assist with helping the children in our area.” The Junior Auxiliary of East St. Mary Parish has 13 active members who dedicate many community service hours.”

This is the time of year when JA chapter programs really kick into gear, as students and teachers return to the classroom after summer break. This year’s area meeting focused on getting members energized and ready to rise to the challenges facing communities and chapters.

From leadership responsibilities and chapter management to organization, training, support and more, JA members walked away with a better understanding about the business side of leadership and a chapter’s financial and legal risks.

Keynote speaker deShazo, professor of medicine at the University of Mississippi Medical Center and the host of Mississippi Public Broadcasting’s “Southern Remedy” and TV series, “Mississippi’s Big Problem,” motivated attendees to take on the growing problem of childhood obesity.

deShazo shared statistics with volunteers and encouraged them to create service projects that would raise awareness about health risks associated with this alarming trend.

Afterward, motivational speaker and acclaimed TV reporter Wade lent her perspective on how to blend professional experience and insight with volunteerism to meet the needs of children, the disadvantaged and the disabled. Wade inspired and challenged volunteers to guide our children to reach for the stars.

NAJA hosts area meetings across the Southeast each year to offer training and assistance to the organization’s 101 chapters.

“The training events for our members and community leaders help strengthen chapters and make them more of a dynamic organization in each of the community’s they serve,” said NAJA President Johnnie Tolleson. “This year, we wanted not only to inspire and motivate our volunteers, but we also wanted to inform them about serious issues that affect their communities and chapters.”

Junior Auxiliary represents a serious endeavor on the part of women to be active and constructive community participants and to assume leadership roles in meeting community needs. The mission of NAJA is to provide support, resources, and educational, leadership, cultural and health care training for NAJA members in order to optimize community service by NAJA chapters. These educational meetings for members give them the resources to be better community volunteers.

For information on Junior Auxiliary of East St. Mary Parish or to become a part of organization, visit its Facebook page, www.facebook/Juniorauxiliaryofeaststmary or call 255-9696. For information on NAJA, visit www.najanet.org.

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