Junior League is a volunteer organization of women whose mission is to improve the community around them while developing their own leadership and practical skills. The Junior League of Sioux City (JLSC) is a local chapter that has developed and sustained a thrift store, called the Junior League Discovery Shop, which provides affordable clothing and merchandise for underprivileged residents. Proceeds from the Discovery Shop are the primary source of funds for JLSC projects. Junior League’s international mission is “to address community needs through the training and education of volunteers”. Each local chapter has authority to develop objectives that are unique to needs and opportunities in their community.
Since the JLSC was formed in 1921, its members have improved life in Siouxland through completion of projects and support of initiatives that meet specific needs in the community as well as enhance its cultural heritage. Membership has been up and down throughout the years. Currently active membership is down 25 percent from a year ago. This is a trend the league would like to reverse. They also want to increase awareness of the JLSC in the entire community—what it has done for Siouxland and its opportunities for women. They would also like to increase traffic and donations at the Discovery shop, which would in turn increase the league’s budget for projects and training. It will be determined in the next two weeks whether a 30s commercial or a 3-to-4 minute testimonial-driven video will best serve the communication needs of the JLSC brand in light of these objectives.
With over 90 years of service in Sioux City, the JLSC brand has equity in its corporate identity, word-of-mouth, active membership, and completed projects that continue to touch lives in the community. The Junior League has an easily recognizable corporate brand mark that resembles a Roman column between a capital J and L. The color red is consistently used for the brand mark and much of the league communications. Because the brand mark is used for every chapter across the US and abroad, their identity is transferred from one community to another. The league has a sorority-like, fun-loving personality. Voluntarism is one of the strongest characteristics of the brand, however, it’s well known that meetings and events are mixed with a healthy dose of fun. Benefits associated with the JLSC include a sense of belonging and friendship.
The Junior League Discovery Shop provides a point of contact for the community, with clothing and merchandise of higher quality than average thrift stores. The community is also exposed to the league through projects, such as the restoration of Fairview Schoolhouse where children can spend a day-in-the-life of 19th century students, preservation of the Pierce Mansion to its early 1900s state, and back packs (with supplies for school and hygiene) for children who are at risk. Though many parents and community members in need are aware of the JLSC’s efforts to make lives better in Siouxland, there are many who benefit from their services yet don’t know who they are. There is a need to build awareness, particularly among women who are most likely to become active members.
The primary audience for JLSC includes women in the community who make the best candidates for active membership. This includes women who have the time and desire to volunteer for league projects. They are motivated by opportunities to participate in something bigger than themselves and aspire to be leaders in their community. Two profiles of interest include “legacies” and “newcomers.” Legacies are women who have family members and friends that have been Junior League members for generations. Newcomers are new to the community and seek to build relationships and get connected.
Secondary audiences include thrift consumers and donors. Those who currently shop at the Discovery Shop are low-income residents as well as league members and friends. The majority of thrift donations currently come from league members. It is possible that both audiences can be expanded. Raising awareness of the JLSC and use of Discovery Shop proceeds to fund its projects would inspire donations from middle-to-high-income residents who want to do good in the community.
• What the JLSC is and what it does. (It’s not just “juice and cookies.”)
• What JLSC has contributed to the community.
• What JLSC membership offers to women.
• The Discovery Shop is not your average thrift store. (There’s something for everyone and all proceeds go back into community projects.)
SIOUXLAND COMMUNITY CHRISTIAN SCHOOL
Siouxland Community Christian School (SCCS) provides non-denominational Christian education for children in the Sioux City metro and surrounding area. It started in 1959 as a ministry of the Billy Sunday Tabernacle (founding church) with nineteen students and one volunteer teacher. Several years later it was renamed Morningside Bible School. In 2004 it became independent from the church, keeping its focus on academic excellence and supporting students and their families in a Christ-honoring environment. The new name, Siouxland Community Christian School, more accurately reflects the scope of its audience.
For several years of SCCS maintained an average attendance of 200 students. Recently that number has declined and currently enrollment is at 140. Small class sizes appeal to prospective families, however, reduced enrollment makes it difficult to maintaining extracurricular activities, including sports. The school board and staff would like to increase enrollment, while students and prospective families would like to see the addition of major sports like football. Above all else, the board’s goal is to continue providing a learning environment that does not separate faith and biblical values.
SCCS has a moderate presence in the Siouxland community, stronger in the Morningside area where the school resides. Visual cues associated with SCCS include blue and gold colors and the eagle mascot representing strength, vision, and integrity. Despite the lack of a football team, other sports have earned recognition through success. Volleyball and basketball have both earned multiple regional championships. The name change has been a source of both positive and negative perceptions. To those who know its 50-year history, there is a feeling of stability and heritage. Several of the teachers have taught two generations in some local families. And the Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Thomas, has a reputation for giving kids a solid first year in elementary education. Each of her students memorizes an entire chapter in the Bible and recites it during the annual Christmas program—impressive regardless of your worldview.
Small class size, nurturing environment, and higher-than-average test scores contribute to perceptions of the school. How students interact with classmates, other students, and teachers is evidence of acceptance and respect at SCCS. The founding family still plays a role in SCCS. Founder, Dr. Roy Lockwood, turned the school over to his daughter, Mrs. Connie Campbell, who served as principal until May 2011. Connie’s daughter, Mrs. Sue Seggerman, continues to teach at the elementary level. Not everyone perceives Christian values as a positive and some misunderstand the idea of providing a Christ-honoring environment. There is also a perception that tuition is cost prohibitive for most families. The truth is that SCCS offers an affordable tuition that most families can afford and others may qualify for scholarships or assistance.
SCCS attempts to reach all families in Sioux City and a 25 miles radius in any direction from the school. The population of Sioux City is approximately 90,000 and another 20,000 reside in the surrounding community. All families with school age children are welcome, however, those most likely to enroll are Christians and families with a desire to give their children an education with higher values, more individual attention, and a better quality education than public schools deliver. The primary audience would be those with a Christian worldview, because they understand the importance of an environment that doesn’t separate faith and education. A strong secondary audience includes those seeking an alternative to public education.
• SCCS’s educational philosophy.
• Relationship between Christian values and academic excellence.
• SCCS is more affordable than you think.
• SCCS is open to all of Siouxland.