Subscribe Today

Save almost 50% off the newsstand price!

In addition to receiving 26 issues of The Independent Kansas City’s Journal of Society, your subscription will include our annual publication, the Charitable Events Calendar and a subscription to our e-newsletter, The Insider.

Questions about your current subscription? Contact Laura Gabriel at 816-471-2800.

Trailblazing: The Junior League of Kansas City, Missouri

The Junior League of Kansas City, Missouri was established more than a century ago. Since then, the organization has raised more than $18.5 million and provided in excess of 2.5 million volunteer hours to 350 community partners. The current focus is on women’s and children’s issues, centering on self-sustainability, abuse and neglect, and childhood development.

“We are the only entity in the entire metro that trains volunteers to go out and serve the community – and we’ve been incredibly good at it,” Kimberlee Ried, 2021-2022 president, said, adding, “No other organization can offer the type of volunteer training we provide to women.”

Meghann Aberle, Kimberlee Ried, Kirsten Moore, Danee Greenwald, and Celeste Greenlee at the opening of the 2021 Holiday Mart at Bartle Hall 

The League’s endeavors benefit individuals and organizations in ways large and small. In 2021, the League provided 400 comfort kits, which included essential items and personal hygiene products, to organizations such as Newhouse, Rose Brooks Center, and Amethyst Place. One recipient noted that the League’s kit was packaged in a little red bag, which made it look like a gift. She saw that as a token of kindness, one that helped her regain her dignity.     

Celeste Greenlee, the executive director stated, “This year, the League established a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Board position and committee to build a stronger membership and bring greater awareness to these issues. Our League members continue in our long-standing tradition of identifying areas of need within our community and collaborating with non-profit organizations to work toward solutions. Our trained volunteers take bold action to make a positive impact in Kansas City.” 

Junior League members volunteered at Harvesters.

Anyone who identifies as a woman is encouraged to join the organization, which currently has nearly 500 Active members and more than 700 Sustaining members. In 2021, the League’s Healthy U Family Meals Program provided nutritious food and meal preparation information to 300 families. A total of 68 Zoom presentations assisted 433 women who were interested in learning more about financial independence. In recent years, the organization has sponsored the C3KC collaborative conference, bringing together leaders with the goal to “Spark Change for a Better Kansas City.” In 2022, the League will partner with 17 non profits.  

Featured in the March 19, 2022 issue of The Independent.
By Heather N. Paxton

Heather N. Paxton

Heather N. Paxton’s name first appeared in The Independent in a birth announcement back in — oh, never mind. In the mid-1990s, Heather joined the staff as a replacement for a friend who was expecting a visit from the stork. (Let’s hope Heather sent a baby present. The boy is a college graduate now.) Her 20s, 30s, 40s, and now her 50s: Heather has been a staff member for at least brief periods in all of these decades. She is most at home in the office when she is perusing the archives.


Bailey Pianalto Photography


LADIES, WITH AN ARABESQUE: Local dance companies defy national odds with increased gender parity

The common perception that the dance world is controlled chiefly by men might be partly true, but the situation in Kansas City presents a noticeably different landscape. Consider this: Of…

Rachel’s Reads – March 2022

“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.” Amelia Earhart In this toast to trailblazing women, I wanted to recommend memoirs and biographies of…

Trailblazing: Women’s Employment Network

Since 1986, Women’s Employment Network (WEN) has lived out its vision of advancing positive change in the lives of women, their families, and the community, one woman at a time.…

Trailblazing: Women Leaders in College Sports

The words on the wall (and on Instagram, over and over again) say it all: “Strong Women Lift Each Other Up.” The mural appears on the exterior of the building…