Published December 17th, 2014
Orinda Juniorettes Join In The Spirit of Giving
Submitted by Konnie Guo and Elizabeth Bennette
It's hard to imagine a group of teenage girls sitting down to make quilts on a Saturday morning, but the Orinda Juniorettes have done just that. They have also donated a goat through Heifer International, supported girls' education through the Malala Fund, and knitted hats for premature babies.
The Orinda Juniorettes of California are a local group of high school girls who engage in various community service activities, some conventional and some quite unique. Started in 2010, the Juniorettes - a division of the Orinda Junior Women's Club and the General Federation of Women's Clubs - have monthly projects focusing on a specific charity. For September, they completed a total of 16 quilts which they plan to donate to children in need, specifically those who are homeless, suffer from HIV or AIDS, or were born drug addicted. With quilt kits provided by Children's Quilts/East Bay Heritage Quilters, the girls laid out patterns, ironed, and sewed together various quilts. More experienced sewers taught other members how to use the sewing machines. Juniorette member and vice president Konnie Guo says, "It's so great how we were able to have fun, learn how to sew quilts, and give back to the community with this project."
The group's November project was Operation Christmas Child, which the Juniorettes have contributed to for the past three years. As a program dedicated to providing children in underprivileged areas with school supplies, toys, and clothing, Operation Christmas Child has gained the support of hundreds of thousands since its establishment in 1993.
Determined a few weeks in advance, each member purchased a few items, and met with the other members over a recent weekend. Some purchased crayons or markers, and others bought stuffed animals or hair clips. At the meeting, the Juniorettes distributed and packaged the gifts in shoe boxes, and wrapped up the boxes with holiday wrapping paper, ribbons and stickers. After a day of packaging gifts, a club member reflected, "Not only is it so much fun to embrace the holiday spirit with my friends, but Operation Christmas Child is such a worthy cause. Taking part in it allows us to make a difference and give back during the holiday season."
Next month, the Juniorettes plan on visiting and assisting at Saint Anthony's soup kitchen in San Francisco, having a bake sale, and preparing for a school-wide textbook drive in the spring. Juniorettes are always looking for new members, so if there are any high school girls living in the Lamorinda area who are interested, please email the Juniorettes at

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