The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

April 13, 2013

Care to share

Junior Welfare League focusing on program to help children

By Bridget Nash Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Enid’s Junior Welfare League has new and exciting changes, and the evidence is visible in the organization’s new thrift store location.

Return Engagement, a fundraising thrift store for Junior Welfare League, is now at 123 N. Grand in Enid.

“We did just open a new location. We moved downtown, and we’re getting ready to open the other side,” said Laura Hatchel, president of Junior Welfare League.

Junior Welfare League bought adjoining buildings downtown and has been operating Return Engagement from one of the buildings but hopes to expand the store throughout both buildings.

“We’re supposed to have that open by the end of April,” Hatchel said. “We’re excited to get that open and expand our store and have more to offer.”

Junior Welfare League used its thrift store to fund its community service projects in Enid.

“When people shop there, they are actually giving back to the community,” said Hatchel.

Enid’s Junior Welfare League has a special interest in helping the children of Enid.

“The heart of our organization is a project called Care to Share,” said Hatchel.

Through the Care to Share project, Junior Welfare League members work with school counselors to find children in need of items such as clothing, shoes, school supplies, jackets, toiletries, blankets and more.

Because Junior Welfare League members work through school counselors, the children and their families remain anonymous while receiving the things they need, Hatchel said.

“It’s a great way to give back. It’s really neat,” Hatchel said. “We get a lot of thank you notes from kids that say, ‘I love my new shoes’ or ‘I’m not cold anymore.’”

Junior Welfare League began in 1930 with a mission to help families in need.

“We started because of the Great Depression,” said Hatchel. “Our original thrift store opened in the ’50s.”

Currently there are 62 women who are members of Junior Welfare League, and they work hard to serve the Enid community.

The organization has another fundraiser coming to help with the cost of remodeling the buildings that house Return Engagement. Legacy Links Golf Tournament will raise money for the remodeling projects.

The golf tournament will be May 17 at Pheasant Run Golf Course, and teams may register by going to www.jwrenid.com.

Recently Junior Welfare League gave away proceeds from its annual charity gala to Youth and Family Services, Hope Outreach Parenting Ministry, Sandbox Learning Center, Miracle League of Enid, Loaves and Fishes and Hedges Regional Speech and Hearing Center.

Hatchel said Junior Welfare League is committed to improving the community by giving to touch many lives.