Each year, the Orinda Juniors assemble and sell a unique holiday gift to raise money to support our philanthropies. Like seemingly everything else this year, we had to make some changes, but the bay area fires and social distancing guidelines could not stop us!

Masked members came in shifts to one of our backyards to put together everything you need for a perfect cup of tea – assembling 75 Green Tea and Honey gift sets! Sales of the gift sets will support our annual YouthInk Writing Contest for middle school students as well and support the many great community service projects we participate in.

Thank you to everyone who helped make this great event happen!

In Spring 2020, we donated 50% of our fundraising to help provide meals from Orinda Restaurants to front line workers like the hospital employees, Safeway workers, police, and fire departments.

The Orinda Junior Women’s Club is pleased to announce the winners of Youth Ink 2020, the annual creative writing contest open to all middle school students who live in or attend school in Orinda. This year’s prompt was The Gift, though entrants were welcomed to write on the theme of their choice. We are pleased to announce this year’s top three prize winners:

1st Place: Kaylin Chang, Bright as the Sun

2nd Place: Emma Wong, Jin’s Gift

3rd Place: Holly Carysforth, East

In addition, we’d like to acknowledge the honorable mentions for their commendable entries:

Carson Blair                    The Gift

Kaia Bonham                  Bea

Josslyn Grover                Song of Life

Pateel Haroupian          The Monarch Butterflies Plead for Our Help

Indie Lee                         A Well of Memories

Jewel Mendiola              The Gift

Hana Shukairy                The Everlasting Break

Elise Vansant                  Four Words

Jason Wagner                 The Gift of Immigrants

Jialei Zhang                     Home at Last

The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place recipients received cash prizes of $250, $125, and $75, respectively.   The Honorable Mention recipients received gift certificates to our local Orinda Books.

While we usually celebrate Youth Ink writers at a springtime awards ceremony, given the circumstances of our global pandemic, we were unable to meet in person this year.  We thank all of our entrants for sharing their talents with us.  We are also very thankful to our Youth Ink volunteer judges, who thoughtfully provided time and expertise in reading each entry and contemplating this year’s winners among a stellar pool of entries. This year’s judges were Sally Bolger, Cynthia Leslie-Bole, Michelle Meyers and Colleen Weems.

Lastly, we’d like to thank our community sponsors who have enabled the Orinda Junior Women’s Club to offer this year’s Youth Ink writing contest to Orinda middle schoolers with their financial support: Friends of the Orinda Library, The Intuitive Writing Project, Lamorinda Arts Council and Orinda Community Foundation.


In keeping with tradition, the Orinda Juniors assembled and delivered (with a little help from some younger bunnies) over 20 fun-filled baskets to the Family House at Oakland Children’s Hospital.

The Orinda Juniors were the lucky recipients of a chocolate making class that was held by two wonderful ladies, Earlene and Erin. Earlene has been a chocolatier for 50 years! How lucky were we? So magical. We even got to take some home to hide from our families

Thank you to the Wilder crew for allowing our event to be held at the beautiful Quarry House. And thank you all for a great turnout!

Thanks to so many of who came to our meeting last night and helped to make our time with our guest speaker, Dr. Allyson Mayo, such a great conversation!  We had an amazing discussion and learned so much about the root causes of behaviors and what we can do to help address them in our families and lives.
Dr. Mayo plans to have a full schedule of events available no later than mid-February but encourages anyone interested in learning more to call/text right away with any questions or thoughts that were generated from our discussion. Please feel free to reach out via phone, text or email.
Allyson Mayo, DBH
‭+1 (925) 818-8062‬

This year we took on a new project working with Habitot Children’s Museum. We undertook the construction of a giant gingerbread house from beginning to end. Several members donated supplies for building, participated in a day-long baking session at my house, and spent four days putting the house together at Habitot. The house was then decorated by little hands and then donated to the West Berkeley Family Shelter. The project was challenging, messy, and a lot of fun giving a way for us to put our hands to work for a good cause.


Happy holidays from all of the Orinda Juniors! We hosted our annual holiday party tonight.

Thank you all so much for the gifts you donated to The Bay Area Crisis Nursery families. The Nursery depends on outside assistance and is mostly run by volunteers. Every gift is a blessing.

We are pleased to announce Youth Ink 2020 writing contest launches on Monday, December 2, 2019!  The Youth Ink writing contest was created to support the literary arts among young people in the Orinda community, Youth Ink is open to all 6th, 7th, and 8th graders who live in Orinda or attend an Orinda school.

Entries must be a story (fiction or non-fiction), poem, or other creative writing form; presented in English, and written specifically for the contest and without teacher or parent involvement. Entries must be 750 words or less. Submissions will be evaluated on content, clarity, structure, and originality.


The writing prompt for 2020 is The Gift; however, you may write about anything you like—real or imaginary—adhere to the prompt or not! There is no limit to your imagination.

To Enter

Contest opens December 2, 2019, and closes on February 28, 2020.

Download a Youth Ink 2020 entry form.

Entries will only be accepted via email. Email your entry to oyouthink@gmail.com with the following:

  • Completed entry form. Make sure to include all required information in your submission.
  • PDF of entry submission. We will not accept Google doc, Word doc, or any other format. The contestant name must be listed in a header on the top right corner of every page.

Once you have submitted your entry, you will receive a receipt notification from oyouthink@gmail.com to confirm your entry was successfully submitted.


First Place $250, Second Place $125, and Third Place $75, and ten honorable mentions gift certificates. Winners will be notified by mail and receive their prizes at an Awards Ceremony in April. The ceremony is open to the public and all family and friends are invited.

Contest Sponsors

The contest is organized and run by the Orinda Junior Women’s Club, with additional financial sponsorship provided by Friends of the Orinda Library, The Intuitive Writing Project, Lamorinda Arts Council, and Orinda Community Foundation.

The Orinda Juniors had a great time gathering last night to make and assemble lovely jars of bath salts for our 2019 Holiday fundraiser!  As part of our service project in support of Warm Winter Nights, we also collected toiletries and other personal items for families in need.