The Cleveland Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated was chartered on September 11, 1949. Louise Kent-Hope called together a small group of friends with the goal of enriching the lives of their children through cultural, civic, and social experiences. The charter members were: Genevieve Bell, Mary Boyd, Martha Collins, Margo Dyson, Harriett Evans, Ethel Graham, Lillian Gregory, Anna Belle Spaulding Hendricks, Evelyn Hughes, Pallie Hunter, Violet Jackson, Melbadhu Mason, Helen Mitchell, Louise Montgomery, Mary George Myers, Lillian Richardson, Gwendolyn Robinson, Ella Mae Sharpe, Eleanor Sutler, Rose Wallace, Nellie White, Connie Wiggins, and Louise Kent-Hope.
The chapter has grown from its twenty-three original members to its present membership of 74 families. The chapter continues to carry out the specific objectives and aims of the national organization. Monthly activities for our children include field trips to the various cultural and civic programs in the Greater Cleveland area, leadership and financial literacy workshops, Kwanzaa and a variety of other activities.
The Cleveland Chapter, along with the Jack and Jill of America Foundation, has made generous donations to combat some of the obstacles that confront children. We have donated to several organizations including, but not limited to, Karamu House Performing Arts Theatre, the Sickle Cell Anemia Association, Providence House, Inc., the NAACP, the Cleveland Food Bank, SAMM (Stopping AIDS is my mission), the Wilberforce University Library Tornado Fund, The Urban League of Greater Cleveland, and The United Negro College Fund. Much of the fundraising for our donations is conducted through our biennial Cotillion and Charity Ball. This signature event raises funds for worthy organizations, while inspiring and uplifting our juniors and seniors, and is the culmination of a journey of their self-development through service, education and friendship.
In recent years, the Cleveland Chapter has led several events in support of our Cleveland area communities. In 2012, the chapter led a lasting community-wide service project that beautified and modernized the Forest Hill playground in the city of East Cleveland. In 2015, our chapter was recognized by our national organization for our inaugural Teen Legislative Summit, "Summit in the 'Land," which educated and inspired teens from throughout the state of Ohio to use their voices for political action and positive change. Our many outstanding years of service in the Greater Cleveland area are a result of the dedication, ideas, planning and implementation of programs by our visionary presidents.