The Midlothian chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. takes pride in being an active member of the Richmond Metro Area community. Through the effective execution of numerous community service projects, our chapter has made an impact on many men, women and children alike. Our chapter has established several ongoing service projects which have allowed us to not only addresses various needs with the community but to also demonstrate the greater impact that comes from fostering long term relationships with individuals and partner organizations. Several of these ongoing projects are highlighted below.
Historic Evergreen Cemetery Clean-Up and Tour
In 1891, Evergreen Cemetery was established as a preeminent resting place for many of Virginia’s most influential African-American residents. These include Maggie Walker, president and founder of St. Luke Penny Savings Bank, and John Mitchell, Jr., champion of African-American rights and editor of the Richmond Planet newspaper. J. Henry Brown, a stonemason by trade, designed many of the tombstones erected in the cemetery. By the early 1970’s, the cemetery had fallen into disrepair. In 1975, volunteers from the Maggie L. Walker Historical Foundation led an effort to restore Evergreen to its original glory. Each participate of the clean-up effort is asked to also donate food for a Thanksgiving meal package.
Bright Beginnings (in partnership with the Greater Richmond Y)
In keeping with the theme of educational support for young children, for the past two years the Junior and Senior teen age groups have served as volunteers in this local program. This program, sponsored by the YMCA and local corporations, provides many young students with the opportunity to shop at Target Stores for back to school clothes during the month of August. Our youth have served as volunteer shopping buddies for the students, providing one-on-one mentoring and guidance to the youth as they make selections throughout the store. They have found this to be a very rewarding experience and have committed to participate again in the 2011 program.
The Giving Heart
The Giving Heart is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit providing food, fellowship and essential items to those in need and serving the Greater Richmond (VA) Metropolitan Area. The Midlothian Chapter will assist by donating food and/or volunteering to collect food and donations to feed the hungry on Thanksgiving.
Chesterfield County Christmas Mother Program
Each age group within the Midlothian Chapter is assigned a family from the Chesterfield County Department of Social Services to assist during the Christmas Holidays. This program has been instrumental in creating warm and lasting memories for needy families in the Chesterfield County area for over forty years. The Chapter sponsors needy families as well as volunteering in December to assist the families chosen to come in to make selections from the County’s Christmas Shop.
YMCA Healthy Kids Day
The Mothers of the Midlothian Chapter of Jack and Jill will be assisting the Midlothian YMCA with set-up, running activities and clean-up at their annual Healthy Kids Day event.
In addition to the many ongoing service projects that the Midlothian chapter maintains, we have conducted several short term projects in past years:
Habitat for Humanity – Participated in building a home for a local Richmond resident.
Feeding the Homeless – The chapter has volunteered at various locations in the Richmond area providing meals to the area homeless.
Support of US Troops – The youth have participated in letter writing campaigns and sent cards to various units overseas to provide support.
Red Cross Emergency Support – The chapter solicited donations on behalf of the local chapter of the Red Cross and raised $1000 for Hurricane Katrina relief.
Richmond Virginia Special Olympics Urban Program – This program allows individuals of all ages, with varying special needs, the opportunity to train and participate in a Special Olympics program.
Back to School Drive/Book Drive – The Midlothian Chapter has collected school supplies for the children of Chalkley Elementary School, Chesterfield, Virginia. The donated supplies are used to fill the school’s onsite supply cabinet. This resource allows teachers to provide supplies throughout the school year to students who may otherwise have difficulty obtaining the things they need.
“Angel Tree” Holiday Project – The Midlothian chapter has partnered with two elementary schools (Chalkley and Falling Creek) and social services within Chesterfield County to identify and adopt families for the holidays.
Youth Coat Drive – For the past two years, members of the Midlothian chapter have donated gently used youth and adult winter coats to Falling Creek Elementary School, Chesterfield, Virginia.
“The Jacks” Mentoring Program – Chalkley Elementary School, Chesterfield County – This program was conceived and designed by our own mother member, Mrs. Julie McClellan Beckwith. The mentoring program speaks directly to one of the aims of the Jack and Jill organization, in that it seeks to provide opportunities for the participants that they would otherwise not experience, similarly to the experiences we would provide for our own children.