JLNO Loves: Social Connection in a Time of Social Distancing
JLNO kicks off the new year welcoming 2020-2021 Provisional members with a 101 class hosted by Actives Hope Clay, Elizabeth Tommaseo and Caroline Nelson.

The spread of COVID-19 worldwide has forced most cities to mandate social distancing and business closings. However, these requirements have not stopped Junior League of New Orleans (JLNO) members from remaining social and connected.

On June 6, the 2020-2021 Provisional Advisors and Co-Chairs hosted the first “Get to Know the Placement” meeting for new provisional members at Membership Council Director Casey Zainey’s home. She had chairs placed six feet apart from one another to allow social distancing. “We believe it went really well,” says Elizabeth Tommeseo, Provisional Chair.

JL 101, an event designed to be an introduction to the League for 2020-2021 Provisional members, offered in-person and virtual attendance options on two separate dates to allow for maximum comfort and safety. For the in-person gatherings at JLNO Headquarters, all seating was arranged so that every other row was blocked off, and everyone was asked to sit at least six feet apart. “Most of the advisors are eager to start the year and have been attending all the events,” Elizabeth admits.

The Provisional Advisors and Co-Chairs are still considering how to plan larger socials and navigate in-person events for the 2020-2021 League year, while being cognizant of city and parish guidelines, as well as members’ safety and wellbeing.

Other JLNO members have searched for ways to connect with members socially since the stay-at-home orders were relaxed in May.

“I’ve been taking advantage of patio brunching with a couple of other JLNO members. We keep in touch and try to do this at least once per month,” says Active Aimee Brice who Chairs Run, Walk, Give. “I have also taken advantage of a few social distancing walks with League members who are my neighbors in the Warehouse District to try and stay connected and continue building relationships. It helps to be able to talk about what we are all doing while being indoors,” she adds.

Aimee noted while there will likely still be challenges planning in-person events this League year, she looks forward to continuing to find fun and creative ways to stay connected with other JLNO members while practicing social distancing and prioritizing safety. “We always want to ensure any activities are fun, but safe for all,” ensures Aimee.