Placement Spotlight: Homes for the Holidays
By Amanda Mouait
My introduction to Homes for the Holidays was when a friend asked me if I would be volunteering the weekend of the event. At that time, I was not yet a member of the Junior League of Edmonton but had heard many great things and was considering checking it out. I had no idea that a few years later, I would have the opportunity to serve on the committee two years in a row.
The first time I was asked to take the role of Designer Liaison, then co-chair Hannah Barrington called me and asked if it was a position I would consider. I remember being very intrigued as well as flattered by the phone call. She explained that it is a big project but one that is very important to the League with a rich history and strong community presence. I felt that if I was really going to jump at an opportunity, this would be it! After a couple days of thinking I decided to join the committee.
Although I love working with people, making asks is way outside my comfort zone and I knew that I would need to help source some designers, florists and liaise with them throughout the planning process and the actual event. Nervous yet eager, I jumped into the role. The experience was one of a kind. It was exciting and full of learning opportunities. That is exactly why I joined the League – to better myself and push myself outside my comfort zone. I made mistakes and learned from them and wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. Was it stressful at times? Of course! Nothing that big comes without some crunch times but with great leadership and a team of people that were on board together, it was well worth it and completely manageable.
The following year I was asked to join the committee again as one of the positions became vacant. I took on the same role as the year before and therefore had already developed relationships with many designers and florists. While there was more flow to the role the second time around the event itself still came with the same deadlines and to-do lists.
If you are looking to get something unique out of your JLE experience I strongly recommend jumping on the Homes for the Holidays committee. Previous chairs and committee members are now Directors, Committee Chairs for other areas Presidents and Past Presidents. If you aren’t necessarily looking at the leadership track this experience will still equip you with the skills needed to serve on any committee in your community moving forward.
Being a part of the JLE’s largest fundraiser is something to be very proud of! You have the structure of a solid 12-year event with the flexibility to incorporate new ideas year to year. You will also build some great bonds with your JLE sisters which, in the end, is what it’s all about.