Winston-Salem Jaycees Respond to Questions About Event Volunteer
JANUARY 11, 2020 – The Winston Salem Jaycees is an organization that prides itself on upholding the mission and values of Junior Chamber International, wherein we strive to contribute to the advancement of the global community by providing the opportunity for people to develop the leadership skills, social responsibility, fellowship, and entrepreneurship necessary to create positive change for ALL members of our community on a local, state, and international level.
The Jaycees support a diverse community that does not discriminate against anyone for their race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or political affiliation as long as respect is upheld for all members involved.
Our organization’s primary focus is to empower young, active citizens to execute positive change through service and personal development. Through our service projects, we have had numerous opportunities to work with and assist our community through individual volunteerism. It is our hope and expectation that if people are motivated to volunteer for one of our projects, that they share the same beliefs in achieving the desired goal of those projects.
On Saturday, December 7, 2019, the Winston-Salem Jaycees hosted its 29th Annual Christmas Cheer event at which 50 local children in-need enjoy a festive holiday breakfast, a shopping spree at Target Stores, and an afternoon of fun at Rockin’ Jump. During the shopping portion of the event, each child was paired with an adult volunteer who assists them with picking out gifts for themselves and their families. The event involved approximately 80 volunteers who signed up as individuals, not as groups. Volunteers also signed a statement agreeing to conduct themselves in a professional courteous demeanor and acknowledged the responsibility of his/her role as a volunteer with our organization for the day.
The Winston-Salem Jaycees were recently contacted to provide a statement regarding the participation of five individuals who volunteered at this past year’s event. The individuals in question signed up for the event separately and arrived in matching shirts. At no time in this project was there an intentional partnership with or endorsement of another affiliated group. When members of the group in matching shirts were approached on the day of the event, they were communicative about their desire to solely be of service rather than be identified for previous associations not known to coordinators prior to the event. The individuals represented themselves respectfully with no suggested ill-intentions that would have alerted concerns to coordinators of this project. It is our hope that in the future, we can make better-informed decisions regarding how we regulate and review volunteers for participation in our activities to assure the comfort and safety of all parties involved. Let it be known that as an organization we will never advocate hate or disrespect to others, as we stand by our beliefs as stated in the Jaycee Creed that “the brotherhood of man transcends the sovereignty of nations…and that service to humanity is the best work of life.”
“On behalf of the Winston-Salem Jaycees, I would like to apologize for any perceived affiliations that may have made others question our position as a young professionals organization or would have negatively impacted our continued effort to maintain a positive relationship with our community,” says Yvette Spears, 2020 President of the Winston-Salem Jaycees. Those with questions or concerns are encouraged to contact Ms. Spears at [email protected].