Cabot woman one of Junior Auxiliaries’ national leaders

By Lisa Burnett Originally Published July 18, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.
Updated July 17, 2013 at 2:32 p.m.
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Karen Knight of Cabot has a passion for helping others. She has devoted her life to helping children and her community through the Junior Auxiliary of Cabot.

Knight was recently elected as the second vice president for the National Association of Junior Auxiliaries Inc. for 2013-2014.

Knight said this year is her ninth year to serve on “NAJA” as she calls it.

“We have 101 chapters of the Junior Auxiliary [nationwide],” Knight said.

The Junior Auxiliary started in 1935 in Greenville, Miss., she said. The first chapters of the Junior Auxiliary were in Arkansas and Mississippi.

“The main focus is the children, because that’s the way it started,” Knight said.

Originally, the organization was formed to assist underprivileged children in Mississippi, she said.

“These children were living in back allies and shanty boats,” Knight said. The original Junior Auxiliary provided transportation and care for these children who were living in poverty situations.

Children have always had a special place in Knight’s heart, she said.

Knight was a nurse at Arkansas Children’s Hospital for about 10 years, and helping children was the reason for her to seek membership in the Junior Auxiliary.

“Everything I’ve done in my life, it’s always been serving [others],” Knight said.

After five years at her local chapter in Cabot, Knight said, she was encouraged by her fellow members to go to the national level.

“I had to be appointed,” Knight said. “Our local chapter had to send in a letter of recommendation to the national association.”

Knight said she wanted to be on the education committee within the national organization.

Last year, Knight served as third vice president for the National Association of

Junior Auxiliaries, but her role has changed since then. She will be planning events and functions for NAJA this year.

She has served as president, vice president, ex officio, associate/life liaison and provisional trainer in the Cabot Junior Auxiliary.

As second vice president of the national association, Knight said, she will head to Mississippi eight to 10 times a year to attend educational committee and board meetings.

Knight, who is a life member of the Cabot Junior Auxiliary, said the organization is constantly changing for the needs of the community.

“If there’s a drug problem, we’ll do a drug-awareness program in the schools,” Knight said.

Besides her involvement with the Junior Auxiliary at the community and national level, Knight is a member of the Cabot Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and the Little Rock Air Force Base Community Council.

She said that through her years in the auxiliary, she has enjoyed meeting other women in the organization who share the same interests as she does.

“The focus of the [Junior Auxiliary] has always been the children,” Knight said. “If you don’t have the love and devotion to needy kids, you wouldn’t last in this organization.”

Staff writer Lisa Burnett can be reached at (501) 244-4307 or lburnett@arkansasonline.com.

Online Reporter Lisa Burnett can be reached at 501-378-3887 or lburnett@arkansasonline.com.

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