We are halfway through the League year with the end of 2020 in sight! This has certainly been a year for the books in terms of challenges, and gratitude may not be the first word that comes to mind. But as you will see in this issue of Lagniappe, the resolve of JLNO members, their devotion to the community, and their commitment to each other have shined brighter than all of these challenges — paradoxically making 2020 the perfect year to focus on gratitude.

The changes this year necessitated helped us seek out new ways to strengthen our bonds with one another and to demonstrate our inner strength. Outdoor events, Zoom interactions and even distance learning demonstrate not only our ability to adapt, but also to face and (if you think about it) overcome a variety of disruptions. Less work-related travel, fewer social activities and social distancing have, in many cases, strengthened our relationships at home and made us appreciate the small moments of life, such as running into a friend at the grocery store or taking our children to the park. Life slowed down, and in some ways, it was nice.

2020 has also been an opportunity to showcase the hard work, determination and resilience of the women of the Junior League of New Orleans. Time after time, we rose to the help each other and our community. We leveraged our experience in responding to natural disasters and our partnership with the National Diaper Bank Network to be one of the leading relief agencies for our neighbors in the aftermath of Hurricanes Laura, Sally and Delta. Demonstrating the flexibility that is our hallmark, the Women’s Leadership Summit pivoted to a virtual format in its inaugural year and provided invaluable learning and networking opportunities for women across the region. We look forward to similar moments of awakening and deepened knowledge with our ABOLISH lecture on human trafficking and the revamped Get on Board program for future leaders of nonprofit organizations such as ours.

These are trying times, but they are truly inspiring times. Regardless of political affiliation or viewpoint, it is exciting to live in a country where an accomplished woman of color can be elected Vice-President of the United States. Our community has met one challenge after another this year, and I am honored and grateful to serve alongside so many talented women who demonstrate resilience, selflessness, and a spirit of service to others.

Thank you for your support of the Junior League of New Orleans. It is truly appreciated! I sincerely hope you and yours have a healthy and happy Holiday season.

Gratefully,

Kristin Van Hook Moore

2020-2021 President