The organization now known as the Junior League of Durham and Orange Counties began in 1928 as the Red Cross Motor Corps, a group of 10 young women who answered the appeal for volunteers to transport the sick and wounded, deliver supplies, take nurses to and from their posts, and provide other motor services to the clients and staff of the local Red Cross. They were recognized by the National Red Cross for contributing outstanding volunteer services over the following two years. At the same time, the organization sought to add even greater value to the community by expanding their scope of service to offer volunteer workers for other community projects and agencies and expanding their membership with the recruitment of more young women with leisure time. This objective was finally realized with the formation of the Charity League of Durham in 1930.
The 23 charter members of the Charity League embarked on their new venture with great enthusiasm and dedication to the community. They adopted a constitution carefully drawn up along the lines of the Junior League organization and instituted a placement system that maximized member engagement and community impact. This placement system, a version of which is still used today, matched each member with the work most suited to her abilities and interests and with a community agency where there was the greatest need for service and opportunity for development.
The Charity League of Durham grew into a well-organized and well-integrated group of women interested in all phases of social and cultural development and committed to a program of producing trained, dependable volunteer workers. In February 1938, the organization was admitted to the Association of Junior Leagues of America, Inc. In 1985, the League was expanded to include women in Orange County. Today the women of the Junior League of Durham and Orange Counties are proud to continue this legacy and serve both communities with the same passion and vision that has driven the League for over 75 years.