Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated was founded January 24, 1938 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from a meeting of 20 mothers by the leadership of Marion Stubbs Thomas with the idea of bringing together children in a social and cultural environment. In 1964, as more groups became active, bylaws were drawn up and incorporated under the laws of Delaware. The organization was a nonprofit family organization with mothers of children between the ages of 2 and 19 holding membership. Jack and Jill celebrated its 75th Anniversary in January 2013. The organization continues on, dedicating its resources to improving the quality of life, particularly for African-American children.
The Durham Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated was founded October 9, 1945 by Mrs. Leonia Dorsey, a founding member of the first Jack and Jill Club in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Mrs. Dorsey introduced the organization to a group of mothers on the campus of North Carolina College, now North Carolina Central University.
Charter members were Geraldine Alston, Mrs. William M. Bailey, Mable S. Beale, Ariana Boulware, Beatrice Burnett, Mable Bell Crooks, Leonia Dorsey, Marie Faggett, Mollie Lee, Alice McLendon, Virginia Morgan, Marianne Manassee, Mrs. Ernest Neal, Willie Oglesby, Hattie Scarborough, Dessa Turner, LuSybil Taylor, Lillie Taylor, Katherine Walker, Virginia Willis and Anne Wright.
Today the Durham Chapter is comprised of 58 families and 98 children and we remain equally dedicated to "seek[ing] for all children the same advantages we desire for our own." The chapter actively plans and implements various programs and activities for its 98 children and the surrounding community.
Jack and Jill of America Foundation, Inc. is the philanthropic arm of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. Since its inception in 1968, the Foundation has distributed millions of dollars to communities all across America. In so doing, the Foundation is fulfilling its shared vision with Jack and Jill of America, Inc., to invest in the future of our children. The Foundation supports programs that not only create opportunities and challenges for children to learn and practice leadership skills, but also build leadership character in youth. The ultimate goal of every Foundation grant dollar is to empower young people to make the right life choices.
Programs funded by the Foundation are improving academic test scores, raising literacy and mathematical competencies, encouraging cultural consciousness, and instilling moral and social responsibility in America's youth.
The Foundation's activities match the stated philanthropic interests of the Jack and Jill of America membership. To that end, the Foundation's giving is directed to chapters, organizations and communities that are helping our children reach their fullest potential.