National History

National History

During the 1940s and 1950s, Jack and Jill of America raised large sums of money for various charities involving
children. Initially, Jack and Jill of America national and its local chapters primarily supported health issues affecting
children. Jack and Jill gave $85,000 to the Rheumatic Fever Foundation to find a cure for Infantile Paralysis, what has
since been re-named Poliomelitis; and underwrote "A Parent's Guide: When a Child is Mentally Ill" for the National
Association of Mental Health.

However, as significant as the Jack and Jill of America contributions had been, none of their officers were afforded
representation on the boards of these recipient foundations. Jack and Jill had no input into the policy-making of the
foundations, and rarely received itemized accounts of the expenditure of its donations.

By the 1960s, with young African Americans protesting with sit-ins and boycotts, and with a flickering light seen
dimly at the end of the tunnel, Jack and Jill of America paused to examine its policies and their implementation. So
evolved the idea of its own charitable foundation--one which would come to grips with and be relevant to the
contemporary problems facing our children today. And further, the foundation would be an organization that would
accept our input, both financially and service-wise, while allowing us to utilize the wealth of expertise and knowledge
throughout Jack and Jill of America, Inc.

In 1968, Jack and Jill of America, Inc. became the first among African-American organizations to create a
philanthropic arm dedicated to the betterment of children, especially African-American children.

For more information, visit the National website at

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