The JLKCMO’S History of Service in Kansas City


Since 1914, the Junior League of Kansas City, Missouri, has raised $19 million for our mission and donated more than 2.6 million hours of volunteer time to more than 350 agencies. Annually, we provide approximately 15,000 volunteer hours to community organizations and programs designed by the League for the community. Over the years we have made a significant impact at some of Kansas City’s most well-known institutions:

Children’s Mercy Hospital

In 1915, our 50-member League sewed diapers and surgical dressings for what would later become Children’s Mercy Hospital. Since then, the JLKCMO has raised money to fund the Cardiac Care Center and the Volunteer Coordinator and Parent Consultant positions, plus donated thousands of volunteer hours across many departments.

The Children’s Place

The JLKCMO helped launch this organization that provides treatment services for children and families by contributing $21,000. Over the years, the JLKCMO has provided volunteers to the classrooms and board of directors.

Ability KC

Members of the JLKCMO founded the Crippled Children’s Nursery, which became Children’s TLC, and is known now as Ability KC. We have also provided funds for the Emerging Language and Library Room to help set the stage for a love of learning.

The Ronald McDonald Houses

The League donated more than $50,000 to help open Kansas City’s original house in 1987. As part of our 100th Anniversary celebration in 2014, more than 200 volunteers turned out to work on the pair of existing houses. We then donated $25,000 to help complete the third and newest residence, Wylie House.

Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired (CCVI)

The League and Delta Gamma sorority started CCVI in the 1950s. The JLKCMO has provided over $200,000 and many volunteers through the years since.

University of Missouri-Kansas City

The League has donated nearly $30,000 to various family studies programs. Late League member Martha Jane Starr also endowed a graduate assistance fund in the JLKCMO name to commemorate our 80th anniversary.

Kansas City Zoo

In honor of the League’s 100th Anniversary in 2014, the League donated $1 million to the Zoo’s new penguin exhibit. Our lead gift was the catalyst enabling the Zoo to move forward with this project, and The Junior League of Kansas City, Missouri Penguin Ice Paradise is a highlight of the final project. This gift continues a long tradition with the Kansas City Zoo. In honor of our 75th Anniversary, the JLKCMO created the Zoo Learning Fund with a $200,000 gift to endow this new program. To continue supporting this fund, the League launched Jazzoo in 1990, which has since become one of Kansas City’s most successful fundraisers.

Other Contributions

The JLKCMO has invested in the Kansas City metropolitan area in a variety of ways:

Loose Park – The JLKCMO donated $7,500 to its beautification in the 1960s; on the League’s 60th Anniversary we donated the park’s Japanese Garden to the city.

Missouri Repertory Theatre – In 1982 the League contributed to the construction of the theater, now known as the Kansas City Repertory Theatre.

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art – The League started The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art Docent Program in 1934, which was the first of its kind and served 5,000 children in the first year.

Union Station – Members were involved with the restoration efforts and the League became a strong supporter of Science City, donating $375,000 for the building and programs.