When we began researching an article for our annual publications Legends & Legacies this summer we began to realize that our organization has now been around long enough that we have members that grew up watching their mother’s involvement in the Junior League. Angie Adams Sifferman is a Junior League of Collin County Past President, her mother Sue Adams is now a Sustaining Member, and Angie’s daughters Avery and Sloane may be future members.
This is Angie’s story…
My mother never pushed me to join the Junior League. Despite all of her years of League work and sustaining membership, she respected that I needed to choose for myself. In fact, she was so reserved about it, I believe she was surprised when I joined. After working as a consultant for a few years in corporate America, I felt that I was missing something. I had opportunities to do meaningful volunteer work through work, but it wasn’t quite filling the gap. Looking back, joining the League was an easy choice.
I considered briefly whether there was a particular cause or agency that tugged at me more than another, and quickly realized that it was more than simply volunteering that I was seeking. Junior League gave me the chance to go broad and deep at the same time. I could build broad knowledge about our community while spending focused time one placement at a time going deeper building particular skills and knowledge. I had grown up with the women and work of the League all around me, and I believe that that my exposure to the League impacted my views of voluntarism and community involvement without me even noticing.
I was pregnant during my first year in Junior League (also called the Provisional Year) and can track my League experience through my childrens’ birthdays. Avery was with me as a baby during Trinkets to Treasures and ‘Neath the Wreath. Sloane was in preschool when she helped me with the ribbon cutting at Children’s Medical Center Plano. The girls have walked in the Plano 4th of July parade more times than they can count, helped me select meeting icebreakers, collated papers for Collin County Council on Family Violence conferences, kid-tested reading activities for the children at My Friend’s House, volunteered at Kids in the Kitchen, and prepared Board of Directors retreat materials. And they don’t even complain much about all of the frozen meals that got them through some of my busier years of League placements
Just like my own experience of the League shaping my life without me realizing, I see the same thing happening with my daughters. I hope and believe they are learning that service to our community and others is at the core of who we are. One of my favorite quotes is “Service is the rent we pay for being. It is the very purpose of life, and not something you do in your spare time.” I’ve seen this quote attributed to both Shirley Chisholm and Marian Wright Edelman both who light the way for the rest of us. My daughter Avery said something similar recently in her own teenage words…they used to just come with me simply because I dragged them along, and somewhere along the way it became an important part of their life. So often, I hear Sloane make references to the work we have done through Junior League. When she hears about people working to make a positive difference in others’ lives, more than once I have heard her declare, “Mom, that’s like what you do in Junior League.”
Joining the Junior League of Collin County is one of the most important decisions I have ever made. This decision forever changed my family’s relationship with our community. I thank my mother for introducing me to League membership by taking my hand and bringing me with her for the daily work. And I look forward to seeing what seeds have been planted in the hearts of my daughters. Thank you JLCC!
-Angie Adams Sifferman, Past President and current Sustaining Advisor to the Board 2018-19