MISSION: Jack and Jill of America, Inc., is a membership organization of mothers with children ages 2 – 19, dedicated to nurturing future African American leaders by strengthening children through leadership development, volunteer service, philanthropic giving and civic duty.
The late Marion Stubbs Thomas founded Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated, on January 24, 1938, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Twenty mothers came together to discuss creating an organization to provide social, cultural and educational opportunities for youth between the ages of 2 and 19. In 1946, 10 chapters were involved in the national restructuring process. The constitution and bylaws were drawn up, and the organization was incorporated under the laws of the state of Delaware.
Today, Jack and Jill boasts more than 230 chapters nationwide, representing more than 40,000 family members. Each chapter plans annual programming activities guided under a national theme. Through service projects, Jack and Jill of America creates a medium of contact for children to stimulate their growth and development.
er Union County Chapter.
For more information about the Jack and Jill of America, Inc., visit the national website at http://jackandjillinc.org.
In 1984, the Greater Union County Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. began as the Plainfield Area Mother’s Group. Co-organizers Judith Marshall and Pat Hembree, together with five other mothers, sought affiliation in a group that fostered the consciousness of children with regard to their black heritage. Jack and Jill provided an opportunity to enrich their children through family-centered cultural, social and educational activities. Agreeing that Jack and Jill’s goals mirrored what these mothers wanted for their children, the group submitted an application for membership.
In the spring of 1985, the application was accepted, and the group became known as the Union County Area Interest Group, under the sponsorship of the Morris County Chapter, Jack and Jill. In April 1985, the group held its first Membership Tea and twenty-three new members were installed into the group. The Chapter obtained provisional status during the National Convention held on July 24, 1985. Twenty-seven mothers, beaming with pride that they were part of the National organization of Jack and Jill, were installed on September 20, 1986.
As a chapter that is over 30 years strong, we remain focused on our core values; providing our children with outstanding programs, leadership opportunities and outreach to our local community; and being involved leaders within neighboring communities. We desire that our children work together so kinship, brotherhood and sisterhood is fostered and cultivated. This is successfully achieved via our monthly group activities, which consist of one of the following themes; legislative, educational, cultural, health, financial and community service.
Our chapter is divided into 5 groups by age. Prior to the 2011- 2012 program year we referred to each age group by group number. For example, 3 years old through Kindergarten was Group 1, 1st grade through 3rd grade was Group 2, 4th grade and 5th grade was Group 3, 6th grade through 8th grade was Group 4 and our high school children comprised the Teen Group. To kick off our 2011-2012 program year at our Jack and Jill Picnic we announced that we thought it would be beneficial for each of our groups to be called by with a group name they could identify with, rather than a number. From that point on Group 1 became known as the Developers, Group 2 became the Creators, Group 3 became the Examiners, Group 4 became the Investigators and the Teen Group became the Trendsetters.
Over the years we have welcomed many new families into our fold and as time passes we have also had to say goodbye to many children who started as “Developers,” graduated from the Trendsetters and left for college. WE believe that the growth of these children within this organization is perhaps the most meaningful aspect of our membership in Jack and Jill. The poise, determination, confidence and self-esteem that these young women and men exude has been defined by their participation in Jack and Jill, as well as the friendships and bonds cultivated in our chapter.
The Greater Union County Chapter of Jack and Jill truly believes that “it takes a whole village to raise a child.” That was true hundreds of years ago, and is still true today. We look forward to increasing our village, and continuing to walk in the ways and ideals of our forefathers and ancestors. In May 2013, GUCC installed the first Associate Charter, as well as inducted 6 new members to the Greater Union County Chapter.