To celebrate 85 years of impact in the community, the Junior League of Oklahoma City will award $85,000 in grants to two community partners; the YWCA Economic Empowerment Program/Hand in Hand Learning Center and the Myriad Gardens two-year program of “Bringing Books to Life.”

The JLOC awarded the YWCA $51,000 to purchase furniture, new computers, software, books and bookshelves for their Business Technology Center. Funds also will be allocated to purchase furnishings, books and technology updates for the Hand in Hand Learning Center, which provides child care free of charge for residents of the shelter and transitional housing.

As the only certified shelter for battered women in Oklahoma County, the YWCA focuses its programs on fighting domestic violence. They work to empower women through educational programs that assist women in becoming financially independent, providing women with job skills training, job placement and financial literacy education.

“The gift to these YWCA programs will provide many women and children, for years to come, the opportunity of a better life, and further our mission of promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving the community,” said Cristi Reiger, JLOC president.

JLOC also awarded a two-year grant totaling $34,000 to The Myriad Gardens Foundation for the “Bringing Books to Life” program. For children ages Pre-K through middle school, books will come alive through various art projects, hands-on demonstrations and interactive programming including plays, puppet shows, as well as science and cooking demonstrations.

In addition, funds will be used to create “book nooks” in the children’s garden for children to discover and have a quiet place to read.

“Our gift to this innovative and interactive two-year project at The Myriad Gardens is a perfect way to commemorate this significant anniversary with a distinctive and lasting community project as we wrap up our focus area of ‘Changing Lives Through Literacy’,” Reiger added.

The JLOC has a history of commemorating significant anniversaries with distinctive projects. Past signature projects have included the Jungle Gym at the OKC Zoo and The Zone at the Children’s Hospital. The 85th Anniversary grants to the YWCA and The Myriad Gardens will add to this legacy.

The Junior League of Oklahoma City Inc. is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable. The JLOC currently has active projects with 26 nonprofit agencies with a focus of “Changing Lives Through Literacy.”

For more information about the JLOC, visit www.jloc.org.

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