Our story began in the residence of founder Jackie Smith, who in 1976, invited a group of twenty mothers to her Granada Hills home to organize a chapter for the mothers in the San Fernando Valley.
In 1978 under the sponsorship of the Pasadena Chapter, the San Fernando Valley received its charter as an active chapter within Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated. Dr. Gertrude Paxton, the National Corresponding Secretary, presented the chapter. Assisting Dr. Paxton was the Pasadena Chapter President, Iris Hackett and the Far West Regional Director, Edna James.
Currently, our chapter consists of 46 dynamic, creative, intelligent mothers who strive to support the needs of all children in the San Fernando Valley.
Every year, the San Fernando Valley Chapter awards scholarships in memory of our beloved sisters and educators Darnell Avery Rucker and Carolotta Grigsby Walker. The purpose and devotion these trailblazers brought to the San Fernando Valley Chapter will continue as a tribute for us to emulate for future years to come. Last year, we were honored to award 10 scholarships in total, the most we have ever awarded, in the amount of $19,000.00. Five of the recipients were awarded a “Special Needs” Scholarship benefiting students with Autism, Asperger Syndrome, Down Syndrome or Developmental Delays. It was an especially proud moment for our chapter when these unique recipients spoke at the Scholarship Award Ceremony. Due to our philanthropy, our chapter was awarded 1st Place for Fundraising in the Far West Region. Consequently the previous year, Jack and Jill Foundation acknowledged our outstanding philanthropic endeavors with The Incentive Award of $3000 for the highest contribution per capita by mothers in a mid-sized chapter.
When it comes to service to the community, the San Fernando Valley Chapter has always had a hands-on approach. We have worked closely with other non-profit organizations such as the Ronald McDonald House, Penny Lane, Children’s Hunger Fund, and Heal the Bay donating our time and energy to help service those who need it most. We are hosting a Jack and Jill Christmas Store for Penny Lane to help make the holiday season for the children and families that Penny Lane services a little brighter. We can proudly say that our chapter was the first to utilize the Jack and Jill Foundation for an online Scholarship Drive and now other chapters can take advantage of the unique opportunity.
During the 2008-2009 year, the San Fernando Valley Chapter was proud to sponsor and install our very own Associate San Fernando Valley Chapter. As our mother’s graduate out, they now look forward to continuing the bonds and relationships they have grown over the years to bring valuable experience and “words of wisdom” to current mothers of our chapter.
Our chapter has also contributed to our Regional and National organization by serving on various committees. We have had 2 Regional Officers emerge from our Chapter, former Member at Large Lorraine Armelin and our present Regional Director, Kathryn Cunningham.
The San Fernando Valley Chapter has been recognized and awarded for our efforts, but our greatest happiness comes from seeingthe difference we make in the lives that surround us. We look forward in continuing our motto of sisterhood and service for many years to come.
The San Fernando Valley Chapter currently serves the following Valley cities: Agoura Hills, Arleta, Burbank, Calabasas, Canoga Park, Chatsworth, Eagle Rock, Encino, Glendale, Granada Hills, Hidden Hills, Lake View Terrace, Mission Hills, North Hollywood, Northridge, Pacoima, Panorama City, Porter Ranch, Reseda, San Fernando, Sherman Oaks, Simi Valley, Studio City, Sunland, Sylmar, Tarzana, Thousand Oaks, Toluca Lake, Tujunga, Universal City, Valley Village, Van Nuys, West Hills, Winnetka, Woodland Hills.