The Junior Guild
Information about the Junior Guild!
for parents and students
Established in 2008, the Junior Guild of Family Service is the largest student-led, student-run organization dedicated to supporting a local non-profit in North Carolina! There are currently 155 members from 11 different area high schools. Girls are eligible for membership once they enter their sophomore year, complete the membership form, sign our Code of Conduct, and pay the membership fee all by the October deadline.
The Junior Guild meets during the school year and is committed to serving the community. It's an incredible vessel for young women to not only make a direct impact in Guilford County, but also learn leadership skills. Last year, the Junior Guild contributed 2,692 hours of volunteer work and 2.5 hours of education focused completely on the four areas that Family Service aims to reach: support for victims of domestic violence, mental health counseling, prevention and treatment of child abuse, and financial stability.
The Junior Guild is primarily focused on supporting clients living in Family Service domestic violence shelters in Greensboro and High Point. This is done in many ways: crafts and treats in October, Thanksgiving meals, stockings and gift card collection in December, plants and candy in February and much more! In addition, we host a Healthy Start Baby Shower in April to support new parents enrolled in the Healthy Start Program.
Most of what we do is accomplished during the monthly meetings, which are usually held on Sunday afternoons at Sherwood Swim and Racquet Club. Our meetings consist of a business portion, an educational speaker and our monthly service project. Communication is done via our Instagram account which all members must follow @greensborojuniorguild (parents are also welcome to follow). This is how the girls have decided to communicate and they run this organization! It's up to the students to follow Instagram and get information. Furthermore, our website https://www.gfsgso.com/juniorguild has important information about the meeting schedule, membership information and our board.
The Junior Guild members have many service opportunities including: touring one of our domestic violence shelters; volunteering at the Greek Festival; participating in the Guild of Family Service’s Big Hair Ball Fundraising event; and working at our “Soup it Up!” Junior Guild fundraiser. If you were to pay these Junior Guild girls minimum wage for every hour contributed, the value would be about $20,000 annually!
The Junior Guild is advised by two adult Junior Guild Liaisons who advise the Junior Guild leaders and board throughout the year, attend all events and meetings and ensure that planning is carried out. As Junior Guild Liaisons, we make it clear that we are available anytime and for any reason via text, email or phone. We intentionally take time during our meetings to make sure that each member programs our contact information into her phone. We also let the girls know that in preparation for college and managing themselves in the ‘real’ world, communicating directly with us is good practice. We do not want them to depend on their parents to manage their Junior Guild volunteer experience. Of course we are available if parents have questions or concerns, but our hope is that our members learn from every aspect of their involvement.
Family Service of the Piedmont and The Guild of Family Service
Family Service's mission is “to build safe and healthy families” in Greensboro and High Point by addressing issues of domestic violence, child abuse, mental health and financial stability. With approximately 30 different programs, Family Service helps over 18,000 unique clients each year, educates an additional 6,000 people, has over 130 staff members and an annual budget of over $9 million. It's a large and vital non-profit for Guilford County.
The Guild is the adult group of volunteers for Family Service, and its purpose is to bring together volunteers in the community for fundraising and friend-raising for the Family Service of Greensboro Foundation. The Guild accepts new members year-round. If you as a parent are interested in becoming a member, please visit the Guild’s website https://www.gfsgso.com/home. The Guild would love to have you!
Big Hair Ball
The Big Hair Ball (BHB) is an annual fundraising event for Family Service presented by the Guild and Junior Guild. It's grown rapidly since the first one in 2012! The Junior Guild provides models and volunteers for this event. The BHB has several event chairs who are Guild members, Mary Ingram is the Chair who oversees and manages the Junior Guild models, and this is completely separate from the Junior Guild Liaison positions held by us.
Since BHB Runway and WOW models, as well as assistants and Saturday helpers at the event, are coveted jobs, these jobs are given based on participation in Junior Guild activities: attendance at meetings, tour of Clara House, and volunteering at our 10-15 volunteering opportunities (all meetings and opportunities are posted on Instagram). Attendance and participation are recorded on a spreadsheet to ensure fairness.
The girls begin accumulating points their sophomore year. They accrue points each time they attend a meeting, volunteer, serve on the board, etc. There are approximately 60 board positions and all girls are encouraged to run. Voting takes place at the Healthy Start Baby Shower.
The Big Hair Ball is only one component of the Junior Guild service and it should not be the only reason to join the Junior Guild. Not all Junior Guild members will be models; however, it's still a wonderful way to help others!
If a girl has not been asked to be a model or help on Saturday, it is only because she does not have enough participation points. A member does not become a model or Saturday assistant by their parents' membership in the Guild, sponsorships, donations, parent's volunteering with Family Service, or even attending the Big Hair Ball. It is only by the student's own merit. Many parents are sponsors but that is not how their girls were chosen to be models. Parents are able to sponsor their daughter only if she has already earned a spot on the runway or earned a place as a BHB volunteer. And we encourage sponsorship – after all this is a fundraiser!!
The Big Hair Ball is a complicated event with a lot of moving parts, including: securing, decorating and cleaning up the venue, accommodating 1,100 guests, creating a seating chart, managing 50 teams of designers, hair stylists and make-up artist for the 50 Runway models, overseeing 25 or more WOW models, a silent auction, parking & logistics, refreshments, and, of course, securing sponsorships.
As you might imagine strong adult leadership and hardworking volunteers are required, and we sincerely hope that parents will take an interest in supporting this worthwhile event for Family Service so that it can continue year after year. If you would like to help, please consider joining the Guild, or look for the Sign-Up Genius that is emailed to all Junior Guild parents a few weeks prior to the BHB.
We would like to have more Junior Guild girls serve as models, but unfortunately, there are not enough designers, hair stylists and make-up artists available to work the event. We've made many efforts to find more designers, including reaching out to students at UNC-G, NC A&T, NC State, and more, but there is still a shortage. If you know a designer, hair stylist or make-up artist who would like to be involved, please have them contact the Guild of Family Service. The event has grown at an unbelievable pace – we started with approximately 300 guests six years ago and are planning for 1,100 guests this year. How wonderful since this event helps so many families in need!
The Junior Guild started as a small group of friends meeting in a private home and has become a large organization representing many schools... we are proudly celebrating our 10th Anniversary and look forward to continued growth and development!
We hope that you will find this information helpful. Thank you very much for your interest in this wonderful organization!
Barbara Baynes, Junior Guild Liaison
Jenny Moody, Junior Guild Liaison