East Texas women pay it forward

By Sara Story - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Today, hundreds of East Texans spent their Saturday making positive changes for years to come. The celebration of 60 years of service should have come with a party, but not today. Instead, members of Tyler's Junior League partnered with more than twenty local non-profit agencies to give back.

The organization, beginning with a few volunteers, now serves all of East Texas.  A group of East Texas women teamed together to serve their community in 1950. "We began as Tyler Service League, and about ten years later, we were able to become a Junior League," said Rebecca Ballard, the Day of Service chairman.

Ballard says the Junior League of Tyler has kept their founders' dreams alive throughout the years. They've made visions like the art museum and blood bank in Tyler a reality. "It's women that want to make the place they live better and women that realize that there are people that need help," said Ballard.

To celebrate years of hard work, Tyler Junior League decided to give more. League members volunteered over 800 hours in just one day. On one side of town, they helped with Habitat for Humanity. "We are caulking and painting and priming all the walls," said Jo Lampton, a volunteer.

On the other side of town, where paintbrushes were out of sight, women spent time with children in crisis at Azleway Boys Ranch. Volunteer Diane Mezayek, says the smiles on their faces make giving up her day worth it. She added, "They're super excited we're here to play with them. They helped us unload and load and tie legs together for the three-legged race. The energy level has been high."

No matter the project, Ballard says the Junior League is ready to help you. She said, "The more we know the needs of the community, the more we can help."

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