HOUSTON – Jack and Jill of America Foundation (JJF) marked its 55th anniversary on Monday by celebrating a year of record giving in 2022 in support of its mission to address issues affecting African American children and families. By investing in programs, JJF seeks to create a strong foundation for children to thrive long-term.
JJF is the oldest Black-led philanthropic organization dedicated to serving Black children and families. The public charity supports three philanthropic pillars: education, health & wellness and building strong Black families.
The Foundation was formed during the civil rights era when Jack and Jill of America mother, at the time, realized the money they were donating to majority-led organizations could be better used to serve Black families and children. The mothers started the public foundation in 1968 to direct funding to underserved communities.
“We invest in services, programs and organizations that focus on impacting the underlying issues affecting African American children and families,” JJF Executive Director Pier Blake said. “Our goal is to change the landscape, so that children in underserved communities are afforded opportunities by removing inequities.”
During its 2022 giving cycle, JJF received nearly 300 grant applications from organizations across the country and was able to give $445,884 to a record 65 grantees. The grant awards ranged from $5,000 to $66,000.
MEASURING THE IMPACT
The Houston-based chapter of Young Women’s Preparatory Network received a $5,000 grant toward its year-round “To and Through College Path” initiative. The focus is on helping students attain a college degree, specifically students most at-risk of experiencing systemic obstacles to attending and graduating from college.
Greene Scholars in Santa Clara, CA received a $10,000 grant to support their focus on increasing scholars’ exposure to technology careers and building their confidence in math and science. A $25,000 grant to the National CARES Mentoring Movement in New York supported their initiative to secure, heal and transform the lives of impoverished Black children by inspiring, recruiting and mobilizing adults to mentor and nourish them.
In 2022, JJF continued its commitment to the United Negro College Fund with a $66,000 grant that made it possible for the UNCF to award scholarships to six exceptional incoming college freshmen, and renewed existing scholarships for 18 college sophomores, juniors, and seniors.
Through its partnership with Natural Grocers, the national neighborhood organic grocer chain supports the JJ College GAP Fund each year by donating 1% of sales on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Last year, the donation totaled $33,000, and JJAF expects to have exceeded that amount during giving on MLK Day this year.