Southern Maryland Chapter – Our Story
Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s Counties (known as Southern Maryland) are predominantly rural areas with a small but growing minority population. Most of the life-long residents of these counties were unfamiliar with Jack and Jill. So what do you do when you are new to Southern Maryland, you know very few people and the people you do know have never heard of Jack and Jill? You become an active campaigner for the organization. Dee started “chatting up” moms at grocery stores, the library and at the local schools. She handed out flyers at churches and local festivals and she ran ads in community newspapers. In other words – SHE BUGGED THE HECK OUT OF EVERYONE!!!
She held meetings where NO one showed up, often times Dee and her kids sat around the Calvert library eating cookies and coloring waiting for someone to attend the meetings. Then, finally through word of mouth, interest started to grow. Moms began to answer the newspaper ads and began calling her on the phone asking about joining the group. By August 2005 the Chesapeake Bay Moms had finally grown to the required number of 15 members to become an Official Provisional Group of Jack and Jill!!!
After a lot of hard work and many struggles the group grew to 26 and was formally installed as an official chapter of the national organization on November 12, 2006. The names of the 26 Charter members include: Star Benjamin, Desney Bowen, Virginia Dennis, Delecia Eller, Kamila Fenwick, Rane Franklin, Vera Glover, Earlene Greene, Nadine Hunt, Michelle Johnson, Angela Jones, Jean Jones, Stephanie Jones, Stephanye Maxwell, Valinda Nwadike, Gwendolyn Phillips, Kim Pope, Karen Prout, Deidre Reid, Marissa Rivero, Lisa Smith, Gwen Spriggs, Rachel Thomas, Tamika Tremaglio, Dawn Tucker and Eunice Washington.
Also, the History of the Southern Maryland Chapter of Jack and Jill would not be complete without mentioning all the hard work of Mrs. Deborah Riley who worked tirelessly in helping the Chesapeake Bay moms navigate the chapter establishment process.
Today, the chapter has grown to almost 50 members and almost 100 children. Our chapter mothers work tirelessly not only to support their own families but also to assist in efforts to support families and children not only in Southern Maryland but across the country and the world.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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
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.