Smithfield, N.C. - On Saturday, May 21st, the ladies of the Junior Women’s League of Smithfield hosted their annual Big Night Out Gala at The Farm at 95 benefiting ReEntry Family Services and JWL’s Johnston County Blessing Boxes. The league presented a check for $5,000 to ReEntry Family Services and for $3,000 to Johnston County Blessing Boxes. ReEntry Family Services will now be able to expand their “Towards No Drugs” program and maintain children in our county on a path of success, deterring interaction with the court system and steadying a direction towards healthy decisions. Johnston County Blessing Boxes will use funds to stock inventory for the ten Blessing Boxes throughout the county to supply free non-perishable goods to feed those in need.
“The Big Night Out committee executed another fabulous event where we exceeded expectations in raising money for our community. We really appreciate the support of local businesses and community members. None of this would be made possible without them,” states Dana Peterson, Big Night Out Committee Co-Chair. “There is no better way to raise money for the deserving organizations than filling the night with dancing, food and entertainment! We appreciate everyone’s continued support of JWL and our missions within the community,” adds Heather Bryant, Junior Women’s League of Smithfield’s Recording Secretary and Big Night Out Committee Co-Chair.
In 2019, 12.2% of the people living in Johnston County were food insecure. Currently the projected overall food insecurity rate of Johnston County residents is 13.5%, in part as a result of COVID-19. For these families, children, and elderly neighbors of ours, ‘experiencing Food Insecurity’ means not always having daily meals, or not knowing where their next meal will come from. That is why the Junior Women’s League of Smithfield remains steadfast in its fight to end hunger and positively impact the lives of Johnston County's citizens through our Blessing Box program, small pantries located at fire departments throughout the county that are stocked with free food and personal care items for people in need.
ReEntry Family Services is a small nonprofit that began serving Johnston County families in 1998. They serve 60 families a week, providing a minimum of 90 minutes of service for programs such as the Family Pride parenting program, HALT domestic violence prevention program, and the Healthy Choices youth program. ReEntry is adding to their list of programs with the “Toward No Drugs” program. TND is a substance abuse program for teens that focuses on character building and providing life skills, while lessening substance abuse, deterring interaction with the court system and helping them succeed in school. It is ReEntry’s hope that teaching our youth these life skills will help them become successful individuals in our community.
JWL is accepting applications from prospective new members from June 7 through July 31. Partial member scholarships will be available at that time as well. Interested women ages 22 and older are encouraged to attend one of the seven upcoming New Member Interest Meetings:
Low and Slow Smokehouse (Smithfield) - June 7, 2022, 6:00-8:00pm
JoCo Brewing Company (40/42) - June 8, 2022, 6:00-8:00pm
Simple Twist - Trivia Night (Clayton) - June 14, 2022, 6:30-9:00pm
Milltown Java (Princeton) - June 18, 2022, 10:00am-12:00pm
SoDoSoPa (Downtown Smithfield) - June 21, 2022, 5:30-7:30pm
Fainting Goat - Music Bingo (Benson) - June 23, 2022, 6:30-9:00pm
Coffee on Raiford (Selma) - June 25, 2022, 10:00am-12:00pm
For more information about joining the Junior Women’s League of Smithfield, please visit www.jwlsmithfield.com.
About the Junior Women’s League of Smithfield:
The Junior Women's League of Smithfield (JWL) is a non-profit organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving the community through the effective action of trained volunteers. Our organization was founded in Smithfield, but is dedicated to the betterment of all communities within Johnston County. Since the League’s establishment in February 2016, JWL has awarded over $138,000 in Community Impact Grants to Johnston County nonprofit organizations and Student Scholarships and completed more than 13,600 hours of community service.