Jack and Jill of America

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Jack and Jill of America

Jack and Jill of America, a nonprofit philanthropic organization, was founded in 1938 in Philadelphia by Marion T. Stubbs Thomas with the primary aim of serving African-American children from the ages of two to nineteen. The group grew out of volunteer community work by African-American women during the Great Depression. Along with several other women of the Philadelphia black elite, Thomas agreed that most of the women who associated socially and professionally had children who did not know one another, so the women sponsored cultural events and created a network for parents and children. In 1939 Jack and Jill of America expanded to New York, and by 1988, its fiftieth anniversary, it had expanded to 187 chapters across the nation.

Through the 1940s and 1950s, Jack and Jill of America raised funds for a variety of charities, including those concerned with children's health. The leaders of Jack and Jill, without representation on the boards of charities that they supported, decided to form their own Jack and Jill of America Foundation. It began in 1968 and is involved in a variety of efforts in areas such as health, education, science, and culture. It works with local chapters of Jack and Jill and other groups in most of the United States and in the District of Columbia.

See also Philanthropy and Foundations


Baker, Adelle W. Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated: Into the New Millennium. Orlando, Fla.: LBS Publications, 2000.

Hine, Darlene Clark. Black Women in America: An Historical Encyclopedia. Brooklyn, N.Y.: Carlson, 1993.

Roulhe, Nellie C. Work, Play, and Commitment: A History of the First Fifty Years, Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated. 1989.

thomas pitoniak (1996)
Updated bibliography