SAJF HistorySan Antonio Junior Forum (SAJF), one of nine Junior Forum Incorporated chapters in Texas, was founded on January 20, 1961, with eleven original members, seventeen total members. From this modest beginning, SAJF has grown in strength, numbers, and influence with membership of nearly 200 women and financial contributions to our city of well over $1.2 million.
Committed to serving the needs of our community, SAJF is involved with a number of worthwhile service projects. Through the contributions of volunteer hours and extraordinary fundraising efforts, SAJF continues to have a positive impact on San Antonio, helping many individuals and groups that otherwise would have no support.
Among SAJF’s many accomplishments is the San Antonio Junior Forum Literacy Library, which was established in 1966 in conjunction with the Literary Council. SAJF also established the original grant for Santa Rosa Children’s Hospital Cancer Research Center Patient Aid Fund. Demonstrating the range of SAJF’s Community outreach commitment, members have spent countless hours at the Brighton School for children with Down’s Syndrome and the San Antonio Children’s Shelter. Members have volunteered at the Nix Tumor Clinic (now part of Methodist Hospital) and conducted tours of The Alamo.
Seniors have received attention at the Commander’s House, where in 1975 SAJF teamed with the City of San Antonio to provide older citizens with recreational activities, educational classes and nutritious meals. SAJF was involved at Commander’s House from its inception until 1994.
Other service projects have included: San Antonio Festival, Art League Jamboree, Southwest Craft Center, Pioneer Cake Fair, Circle T Riding School’s Equestrian Therapy Program, KLRN Auction, Fiesta booths, American Cancer Society, and Leukemia Society. Members have also volunteered at The Cancer Therapy and Research Center, Baptist Memorial Hospital Nursing Unit, Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce and the Texas Society to Prevent Blindness. From 1984 until 1993 SAJF and KMOL-TV co-sponsored Call Four, a consumer hot line.
In 1985, SAJF started Kids on the Block, an innovative puppet show that helps children learn about handicaps or personal situations and become more accepting and sensitive to individuals. Over 100,000 school children have benefited from our puppeteers’ performances.
Since 1966, SAJF members have volunteered over 350,000 service hours.
Illustrating exceptional fundraising ability, SAJF raised in excess of $1 million and distributed it to our city. Starting with a candy sale that netted $42.50, these resourceful women have raised funds through rummage sales, card parties, galas of all imaginable themes, luncheon style shows, speaker forums and the sale of SAJF’s dynamic cookbooks Celebrate San Antonio and Clean Your Plate: Dishes for Every Occasion.
In 1993, SAJF purchased the building at 12475 Starcrest. The purpose of the “Celebration Square” purchase was to use the structure for our business meetings, our cookbook office, and as another avenue for Community Assistance fundraising by leasing out the extension for special events such as wedding/anniversary receptions and graduation parties. In 2001, the building was sold.
The sale of Celebration Square enables us to help support our scholarships and grants. Over $260,000 in scholarships have been awarded to deserving students in the San Antonio area. SAJF looks to the future in great anticipation as we continue to contribute both financially and personally, in service, to our community.
Over the years, SAJF has been honored as one of the city’s top volunteer organizations. However proud the heritage, SAJF realizes the importance of progress. Our members continually study the needs of our community and look for new opportunities to serve. New horizons lie ahead as members extend their helping hands.