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Berdine Dennard Berdine's Corner
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Kenney Dennard Publisher
Jack and Jill of America Promotes Opportunities for
Youth and Families through Social, Cultural & Educational Events

by Amanda Smith


At a time in our history when newspapers, television and other media focus only on the spiraling downfall of our nation’s youth, Jack and Jill of America, Inc. is finding solutions that inspire, encourage and assist mothers and children across the country.

Founded on January 24, 1938 by Marion Stubbs Thomas in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the organization has grown exponentially since and now boasts over 220 chapters nationwide, representing more than 30,000 family members. Each chapter plans annual events under a national theme designed to stimulate the growth and development of its youth.

In 1974, Geraldine Williams, formerly of the Westchester, New York chapter of Jack and Jill, challenged a local group of mothers to partner with the organization and in 1976, Macon became the 154th chapter of the organization, functioning under the sponsorship of the Atlanta chapter until its charter and installation ceremony was held on February 26, 1977.

Since 1977, mothers of the Macon chapter have committed themselves to fully implementing the educational, cultural, social and service goals of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. Contributions and volunteer services have been extended to the Booker T. Washington Center, the Ruth Moseley Center, the Douglass Theatre, Ronald McDonald House, the Children’s Methodist Home, the Tubman African American Museum, the Museum of Arts and Sciences, the Children's Museum, Relay for Life, the Salvation Army and many more.

Paula Sims

"Being a member of the Macon Chapter Jack and Jill organization has been a great experience," said Publication Coordinator Paula Sims. "I have enjoyed the leadership, community service projects, and the cultural exposure my 13yr old daughter Triniti has encountered. I am especially excited about being among other professional mothers who share both parental and family values and goals as I," she continued. "Fathers are also an integral part of the functioning of this organization as they are included in many activities throughout the year. Jack and Jill by far is one of the few organizations I am affiliated with whose members, activities, goals and objectives equal the Perfect Outcome."

In the Spring of 2013, local mothers of the Macon chapter partnered with Rooms From the Heart and accomplished a total makeover of a local teen cancer patient's bedroom, providing many accessories and donating $500 to the organization for its next project. In May of last year, the chapter held its first "Mom's & Martinis" fundraiser, an evening of jazz, martinis and spa services for women that benefitted the Crisis Line & Safe House of Central Georgia. Several local businesses (mostly owned by women) served as vendors that evening. In December, a Christmas party for local youth was hosted that included photos with Santa, crafts, a secret Santa shop, a kid-friendly DJ and a candy bar. "Pink and Blue Winter Wonderland" replaced Breakfast with Santa, the winter fundraiser that chapter had held every year since 2008. Most recently, the chapter celebrated its Founder’s Day Observance on February 1, 2014 at the Ruth Hartley Mosley Women’s Center, located at 626 Spring Street in downtown Macon. Macon charter mother Geraldine Williams was present for the ceremony and member mothers hosted a tea immediately following the observance, complete with hats and gloves for the occasion.

Macon Chapter President Marqueta Hall is excited about the upcoming projects planned for the Macon Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. "We are proud to be the sponsor for Bookworm Jog for Kids for the Junior League of Macon," she said. "The event is scheduled for February 22, 2014 at Stone Edge Church on Zebulon Road in Macon. It only seemed fitting that the Macon Chapter would support an event that is focused on children 12 and under and is aimed at increasing literacy and school-readiness. The chapter is also gearing up for Jack & Jill children's cluster," she continued. "This event will take place March 29th and the chapter will be hosting other Jack & Jill children from around the state. The theme is Me: My Legacy. It will be a day of hands on activities for the children in areas such as genealogy, science, technology, cultural heritage and will also feature a spelling bee! The chapter will culminate its program year in May with its second annual "Moms & Martini's". As you can see, The Macon Chapter is steadfastly following the national thrusts of the organization to seek for all children the same advantages which we desire for our own and to support activities aimed at bettering the conditions of all children."

 

© Copyright 2014 by The Informer, Inc.
P.O. Box 564, Macon, • GA 31201 * Ofc:  478-745-7265 * Email: gainformer@yahoo.com

 

Gwenette Westbrooks
Marqueta Hall