Chapter History

The Orange County Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated has been in existence since 1980, in a county compromising of less than 2% African Americans.  For 4 decades, we have made a significant impact within our surrounding communities through our activities, community outreach and the leaders we have developed over the years.

Our chapter began as a result of the 1980 census report which indicated that Orange County had a Black population of well over 25,000 people with a median age of thirty-two. Many of the adults reflected in the census data were parents of young children seeking communication, fellowship, and the preservation of cultural values for their families. Like other parts of the country, it was necessary to provide an organization where African-American families could interact and keep in touch with their roots.

The founding members of our organization felt strongly that the establishment of an Orange County Chapter would offer an excellent vehicle to provide a positive, supportive environment for Black children to develop healthy feelings about themselves and others. On Sunday, February 6, 1983, the Orange County Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated was officially installed by the newly elected National President of the Far West Region, Mrs. Ramona Arnold. There were fifty charter members.

Since then, our organization has worked to support programs throughout the Orange County community. Service programs include: food drives for homeless and child abuse centers; letter writing campaigns to local representatives; care packages sent to our Armed Forces stationed abroad; registration drives conducted by our teens to increase voter participation; shoe drives to benefit Soles4Souls charity for families in Kenya and Tokyo; annual collection of toys to distribute to disadvantaged youth at Christmas; fundraiser donating $10,000 to the Sickle Cell Anemia Foundation of Orange County and thousands of dollars raised for our local March of Dimes walk. In addition, we come together annually on National Day of Service to honor Rev Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy. This tradition has included organizing and packing boxes at the Orange County Food Bank and donating thousands of boxed and canned foods to local Food Banks over the years.  In 2022, our children & teens packed and donated over 1,500 hygiene kits for the OC Rescue Mission, becoming their largest kit donor during the pandemic.

As a chapter, our mothers are proudly committed to stimulating children’s growth and development through educational, cultural, civic, health, recreational and social opportunities. As we head into our 40th Chapter Anniversary in 2023, we will continue to strive towards our organization’s mission and make a difference for all children to succeed in every way as they develop into future leaders.

About Jack and Jill of America

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 262 chapters nationwide, representing more than 50,000 family members.

Each chapter plans annual programming activities guided under our five point programmatic thrust:

Cultural Awareness

We remember the ways of living developed by communities and passed on from generation to generation, including customs, practices, places, objects, artistic expressions and values. Through our cultural heritage we honor and preserve those who are making a difference in our community by teaching our children to cherish their past and be excited about the future.

Educational Development

The core of the Jack and Jill of America philosophy is that every child – if given the proper guidance and opportunity – can be developed into a leader. Whether it is through skill enhancement or understanding the concepts of integrity, Jack and Jill has become a national icon in creating effective leaders.

Social/ Recreational

We are social beings with a need for balance to function and maintain healthy lives. We believe it is necessary to engage our children both socially and recreationally, learning to interact with peers and others in a healthy, positive and productive manner. These activities promote processes that help to refresh and reinvigorate both the mind and body.


Chapters continue to embrace the importance of being more aware of health issues that impact our communities, resulting in an organization that is more health conscious. We are committed to providing healthy behaviors and personal empowerment programming and training for families to live healthy lifestyles.


Since our inception, we have been committed to legislation aimed at bettering the lives of all children. Past and present legislative advocacy focus has been on violence in the media, health and wellness initiatives, voter registration, responsible gun laws, and equal access to quality education.


We are a membership organization of mothers with children ages 2 to 19, dedicated to nurturing future Leaders by supporting children through leadership development, volunteer service, philanthropic giving and civic duty. Jack and Jill has 262 local chapters within 7 geographical regions in the United States.

Become a Member

If you are interested in becoming a member of this chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc., you must be sponsored by a member(s) of the chapter. You will be invited to attend a meeting where pertinent information, such as the qualifications, cost, selection process, and other information will be discussed

An individual meeting all requirements and qualifications must then be approved by chapter vote to complete the selection process. Each chapter is autonomous and has specific criteria for sponsoring new members.

Legacy Membership

If you are a child or the spouse of a child whose mother graduated from a chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. in good standing and you meet the other criteria for membership, you are eligible for membership as a Legacy Member. Legacy forms can be obtained from our National Office.

    In the Spotlight


    Our Chapter’s Leadership Board

    Shanaeya Nelson

    Chapter President

    Tecoa Turner

    Chapter Vice President

    Kalkidan Brown

    Chapter Program Director

    Nicole Forbes

    Chapter Recording Secretary

    Courtney Howard

    Chapter Recording Secretary

    Dimetria Jackson

    Chapter Corresponding Secretary

    Tracee Jones

    Chapter Treasurer

    Maaza Martin

    Chapter Financial Secretary

    Kimberly Collier

    Chapter Editor

    Community Service

    Local Philanthropies that we have had the honor of partnering with

      Contact Our Chapter

      We look forward to hearing from you about membership or how our members can serve your philanthropy and our community.