Sunday, April 10, 2022
With the Centennial celebration of the Junior League of Dallas, comes the celebration of the numerous community partnerships that have helped shape the League throughout the past 100 years. This year, we’re pleased to mark our Centennial alongside Scottish Rite for Children, JLD’s first agency partner.
Scottish Rite for Children was founded in 1921 to provide superior medical care to children with polio. Around that same time, the first members of JLD were beginning their labor of love for the community. Today, Scottish Rite improves the lives of children by providing world-class medical care, facilitating innovative professional education programs and conducting cutting-edge research in the field of pediatric orthopedics.
“In 1926, JLD brought their work and mission to the patients of Scottish Rite, establishing the state’s first occupational therapy department for children with disabilities and the first community volunteer placement for JLD members,” said Brittany Musacchio, Communications Specialist at Scottish Rite. “The program was so successful that it was later expanded to include music appreciation, art instruction, sewing and woodcrafts.”
The opportunities to serve Scottish Rite have changed throughout the years, from volunteering in the gift shop to assisting the nurses with distributing snacks and linens, to helping organize and facilitate events for the patients and their families.
JLD member Erica Person has volunteered with Scottish Rite for eight years, serving in a variety of positions. “Over the years I have met many lifelong friends, either other JLD volunteers or people from the community,” said Person. “This has been my favorite placement, and even if you do not have the time to go once a week, there are so many other opportunities to choose from as a volunteer at Scottish Rite.”
Today, the opportunities to volunteer at Scottish Rite range from creating positive experiences for patients and families by facilitating play and enrichment activities, such as biweekly arts and crafts projects; to documenting the activities of hospital volunteers through a scrapbook and the award-winning volunteer newsletter, “Hearts and Hands,” published four times annually.
“In recent years, JLD volunteers have adapted to the ever-changing needs at Scottish Rite and assisted in preparations for Scottish Rite’s centennial celebration,” said Musacchio. “In honor of its milestone birthday, Scottish Rite for Children is renewing its commitment to another 100 years of providing the very best care to children with orthopedic conditions and learning disorders. Scottish Rite for Children is more than halfway toward its goal of raising $100 million in its first-ever capital campaign for patient care, research and expansion and renovation. Donations will allow Scottish Rite to continue its century-long tradition of ensuring cost is never a barrier to receiving the highest level of care.”
“Even though this placement is at a hospital, you do not have those dreary hospital vibes. Everyone walks around with a smile on their face (including the patients) and is so welcoming,” explained Person. “It was the highlight of my week, and no matter what kind of day I was having, I knew I would be in happy spirits at the hospital and the rest of the evening.”
Musacchio agrees, “The consistent and stabilizing presence of JLD volunteers at Scottish Rite has created a dual legacy of service to both organizations, and for 100 years, both organizations have worked side-by-side to nurture and strengthen the children and families of Dallas and the surrounding communities.”
DallaCite Feature Writer
External Communications Committee
2021 – 2022