Healthy Child InitiativeThe Junior League of Charlotte’s ‘Healthy Child Initiative’ Takes a Holistic Approach to the Health of At-Risk Children

Launched in 2006 as a five-year signature project, The Junior League of Charlotte’s Healthy Child Initiative addressed the physical, dental and mental health of at-risk children. In addition to developing programs to improve the health and well-being of children in each of these areas, the Healthy Child Initiative also generated awareness of the health environment affecting at-risk children in the Charlotte area. JLC also worked with community partners to remove the stigma associated with some of these problems and counseled parents on how to spot problems and where they can go for support.

In 2011, JLC made the decision to extend the Healthy Child Initiative for two more years, because there was still a significant need in the Charlotte community for the kinds of services and programs the initiative provided.

Community partners

  • Government, including the Mecklenburg County Health Department, Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department
  • Many local doctors and dentists
  • Many nonprofit organizations, companies and small businesses
  • Local PBS affiliate WTV1

How it works
JLC developed the Healthy Child Initiative to raise the community’s awareness of children’s health issues through robust partnerships with for-profit and nonprofit organizations in the Charlotte area. In delivering the finest healthcare services to at-risk children, JLC deployed trained League volunteers to partner with other organizations in educating and connecting the local Charlotte community to health and wellness services for children. In addition, JLC facilitated ongoing dialogue between the community and its leaders.

What’s the impact?
A total of 5,578 immunizations have been given to 2,667 children through the Big Shots Saturdays program since 2006. Through Kids HealthLink, a total of 6,553 health-related services have been administered to 1,183 children since the program began in 2006.

To help the remove the stigma of children’s emotional issues, JLC worked with local PBS affiliate WTV1 to produce three mental health DVDs. The Healthy Child Initiative also established a vibrant set of partnerships that has allowed JLC to reach more than 22,345 children since the initiative began.