Meet our President

Yolanda Caldwell






We are excited about this year and look forward to working, learning and growing with each of you to make Jack and Jill of Greater Albany, a premier chapter for our national organization. The objectives of Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated are to "create a medium of contact for children which will stimulate growth and development and provide children a constructive educational, cultural, civic, health, recreational and social programs." Since 1938 these objectives have been at the forefront of the development of children, particularly in the African American community.

I hope that you find our website to be a convenient way to learn more about your local chapter as well as to link into what Jack and Jill of America is doing on a regional and national level. As you explore our site, you will learn about our remarkable programs and charity work throughout our local community. Through this website and today's remarkable technology, you can see pictures of our children and programs in action. If you have feedback on this website, please let us know through the "Contact Us" portion of the website.

Jack and Jill members continue to revolutionize the development of leaders and make a difference in the communities we serve. Following in the footsteps of our Founders, we are guided by our national programming theme, "Achieving Excellence, Inspiring Greatness, and Motivating Our Youth to Lead and Serve! (AIM)."

Yolanda Caldwell

Greater Albany Chapter President




General Membership

Membership in Jack and Jill of America, Inc. is by invitation only. We have several recruitment opportunities throughout the year. Prospective Mothers that are selected exemplify the same commitment and dedication to their children that each of the Mothers of the Greater Albany Chapter shows to our own families.

Our Members are actively involved in educational, civic, and/or community activities and dedicated to increasing their knowledge of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. through participation in local, regional, and national meetings and activities.

Legacy Membership

Legacy status is granted to each child (male or female) who graduates from a Jack and Jill Chapter and whose mother is a member in good standing at the time of the child's graduation from the chapter.

If you are a Legacy and desire to become a member of Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated, click here to obtain the Legacy Membership Request form. To learn more about Legacy membership, click here to view the Legacy membership brochure.

Please submit your request form before January 31st of the year if you are requesting legacy membership.

  • Contact Us
  • Greater Albany Chapter
  • Community Service

Greater Albany Chapter of
Jack and Jill of America, Inc.
P.O. Box 5083
Albany, NY 12205

Linda GillisChapter History

In January 1989, Mrs. Linda Gillis attended a brunch at which she participated in a conversation expressing the need for a Jack and Jill Chapter in Albany.  Mrs. Gillis moved to the Albany area in 1985 from Seattle, Washington where she had been an active member of Jack and Jill.  Another guest at the brunch, Mrs. May Bryan, forwarded Mrs. Gillis’ name to Mrs. Charlie Mae Brown then National Vice President.  In February 1989, Mrs. Gillis received a letter from the Regional Director, Mrs. Nellie Thornton, inviting her to organize a chapter.

Mrs. Gillis solicited names from the community and held the first interest meeting on March 31, 1989.  In attendance, in addition to Mrs. Gillis, were:  Mrs. Vera Bryan, Mrs. Elousie Crowder, Mrs. Robin Flanagan, Mrs. Rolene Ford, Mrs. Denise Houston, Mrs. Renee Johnson, Mrs. Carolyn Morgan and Mrs. Rita Pete.  The Regional Director was also present at the meeting to respond to questions.

A planning meeting was held and nine individuals shared ideas and additional names to contact for membership.  During the planning meeting, elections were held and the following officers were elected by affirmation: Mrs. Linda Gillis (President); Mrs. Robin Flanagan (Vice President); Mrs. Elousie Crowder (Corresponding Secretary); Mrs. Rolene Ford (Treasurer); Mrs. Rita Pete (Historian); Mrs. Vera Bryan and Mrs. Ford (Program Co-chairs).  Mrs. Bryan later became the sole Chair of the Program Committee.

Shortly thereafter, Mrs. Gillis asked Mrs. Denise Houston to accept the position of Recording Secretary, Mrs. Rene Johnson the position of Membership Chair, Mrs. Carolyn Morgan the position of Parliamentarian and Chair of the Constitution and By-laws Committee and Mrs. Diana Ritter the position of Financial Secretary and Chair of the Budget Committee.  All accepted these positions.

A second interest meeting was held and the group established a membership of thirty families and agreed to be called the Greater Albany Area Interest Group of Jack and Jill of America, Inc.

In October 1989, the group lost one member, and in November, two members transferred from the Syracuse Chapter.  In January 1990, the group established an active membership roster of twenty-eight members.  In June 1990, the Greater Albany Area Provisional Group submitted twenty-six official members’ names to the National Treasurer, Mrs. Bennie Tolles, to be recognized for membership by the National Office.

On July 19, 1990, The Greater Albany Area Provisional Group was approved at the National Convention in Memphis Tennessee to become the Greater Albany Provisional Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc.

On October 6, 1990, the Greater Albany Provisional Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. was installed as the Greater Albany Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. with twenty- four charter members.  The twenty-four charter members were Vera Bryan, Elousie Crowder, Sandra DeMond, Robin Flanagan, Rolene Ford, Linda Gillis, Denise Houston, Robin Jacobs-Yanthis, Cheryl Holley James, Renee Johnson, Beverly Littles, Carol Livingston, Carolyn Morgan, Marsha Mortimore, Juanita Murray, Desiree Nix, Stefanie Perez, Rita Vann Pete, Jacqueline D. Peterson, Diana Jones Ritter, Esther Sargent, Barbara E. Taylor, Morena Walker-Howe and Carolyn Williams.

March of Dimes Walk








Grade Group I - Loose Change for Education

This age group will collect change throughout the year.  They will learn that a little bit of money saved for adds up.  They will also learn that giving to others that are less fortunate is rewarding.

Grade Groups II – IV Food Pantry Collection

These age groups will collect items to donate to the food pantry to be donated three times per year to a community food pantry.  The food pantry has asked us to focus our donations on baby care needs such as diapers, formula, and baby food.  The children learn the rewarding feeling of giving back from an early age.

Grade Group V (TEENS)

Equinox Thanksgiving Celebration 

The teens will participate in two community service projects.  They will participate in the food preparation process for the Thanksgiving dinner provided to 100’s of families in need in the Greater Albany, NY area.

Underground Railroad

The teens participate in with the Underground Railroad Project in Albany, NY.    They work with the project coordinators to assist with the planning and implementation of this yearly event.  They assist younger children with various educational activities.

GRAL Mothers –

 St. Sophia’s Simple Day of Giving

The mothers of Greater Albany Chapter of Jack and Jill participate in this yearly activity that enables people from all around the Capital region an opportunity to give back to others who are less fortunate.  As a chapter, we prepare soup packets made up of various beans and select dried seasons.  We place ingredients in decorative bags along with a recipe card.  These soup packages are sent out to food pantries during the holiday season.

Donation to Worthy Families

The mothers of Greater Albany Chapter of Jack and Jill several purchased household items to help a single mother and her son with the basic necessities as she moved into an apartment after living in a homeless shelter.  The children’s and teens that helped bring the items into the apartment got a firsthand understanding of how good it feels to give to others.  The mother who moved into her apartment that morning, was truly grateful for the much needed items.

GRAL Supports The March of Dimes

GRAL Supports The March of Dimes

“The Power to Make a Difference”