Lynn Spearman

Active    6 Years

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Did you feel that it was challenging to be as active in JLNO this past League year compared to years past?  In some ways yes, but in others no. I think we still have good virtual options. It was challenging to not be able to physically see and interact with other members, and particularly to do volunteer work, but I found that some of the virtual opportunities actually enabled me to interact more directly and personally with members I may not have been able to in a larger space/format.

What activities/volunteer opportunities have made you feel more connected? I found that virtual committee meetings and council meetings sometimes enabled more connection surprisingly, since it was easier for some members to join and to be able to more easily put names and faces together.

What advice would you give members who have only known the virtual years of JLNO and are struggling to feel connected?

We have so many fun activities and opportunities in a normal circumstance that we are all excited and hopeful to be able to do it again at some point in the future. Your time in the League is always going to be what you make of it, so do your best to stay engaged however you can. Join clubs that you are interested in, and those will be really helpful to make connections through. The League is so big that I highly recommend finding ways to interact in small groups so that you can make more connections. And stick with it—we will get back to in-person fun one day!

 

Lindsey Chapman 

Active    8 Years 

What activities/volunteer opportunities have made you feel more connected? I was glad to have volunteer opportunities after Hurricane Ida. I don’t have the skills/ability to gut or rebuild houses, so it was great to have extra opportunities with the Diaper Bank and Second Harvest. We all wanted to help out, but we were dealing with the effects of the storm here in New Orleans as well.

What advice would you give members who have only known the virtual years of JLNO and are struggling to feel connected?

Volunteer! I’ve met so many great women at Second Harvest and Diaper Bank shifts. Go to Esprit events if you can. Everyone is excited to be there and wants to meet you.

Do you have any advice for those who are looking to join JLNO this year? If you are looking to spend more time volunteering or becoming a better leader, JLNO is the place for you. It’s overwhelming to choose where to spend your time/energy in a city like ours. JLNO provides so many opportunities, and you can tailor your experience to your schedule.

 

Megan Kurtz

Active – Transfer from St. Louis
2 years with JLNO
5 years total

Did you feel that it was challenging to be as active in JLNO this past League year compared to years past?  A bit, but I enjoyed the opportunity to attend almost all meetings virtually, as I have a 10-month old now. I think having “hybrid” opportunities (virtual and in-person) for members going forward will be important.

What activities/volunteer opportunities have made you feel more connected?  Diaper Bank sorting or pick up shifts! I always end up meeting lots of great people that have different placements and have great conversations with others that are working these shifts.

What advice would you give members who have only known the virtual years of JLNO and are struggling to feel connected?

Look at special interest groups to get involved in. Book club, running/exercise groups. Volunteer shifts for me have been some of the best ways to connect with others and meet new people.

Do you have any advice for those who are looking to join JLNO this year?  Dive right in! If leadership opportunities interest you, pursue them or let a committee lead know. If you’re comfortable, join a front porch Friday event or sign up for another Esprit activity. But definitely think about what you want out of your Junior League experience. For meeting others and getting more connected to the local community, volunteer shifts have been my number one avenue for doing that.

 

Lacy McManus

Active  • 7 years

Did you feel that it was challenging to be as active in JLNO this past League year compared to years past?  Yes! The virtual world definitely made it difficult to connect with folks and form relationships like I had in past years.

What activities/volunteer opportunities have made you feel more connected?  Being on the JLNO Board through the pandemic was a very unique experience: on the one hand, I missed the regular convenings with my fellow Board members, but on the other, I think we’ve made more of an effort to get together after our Board experience to make up for what we lost. The last year of our non-Board tenure has actually been a blast!

What advice would you give members who have only known the virtual years of JLNO and are struggling to feel connected?  Hang in there! Look for ways to get value out of your membership while we’re still navigating the pandemic. Maybe making friendships is a bit harder virtually, but can you tune into more meetings and events virtually instead? Find a path to add value.

Do you have any advice for those who are looking to join JLNO this year?  It’s still a great time to be a member, and the focus on virtual experiences might actually give you a better chance to ease into League activities.