JACK AND JILL OF AMERICA, INC. ASSOCIATE MEMBER HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE
The concept of the Associate member was formed in the early 1980’s as a result of an overwhelming desire amongst members who had graduated out of Jack and Jill to have an opportunity to give back to the organization. The National leadership and membership agreed to investigate a way to formalize and accommodate this desire. As a result, the membership category ‘Associate’ was created. During the 1984 convention, Geraldine Tolliver gave the Associates Report in which she stated “The Associates represent a past which was inspired by the vision of a future of greater possibilities for our children, and today we work to shape a reality of that vision” At that convention, new ideas were introduced for the Associate Program, including the adoption of the positions of National Associate Chairperson, Regional Associate Chairperson and National Associate Chair ex-offico member of the National Advisory Council. Chair Tolliver also predicted that ‘the rosters of Associates will increase as well as the number of Associate Groups.” The option of Life Membership was ratified in during the administration of National President Nellie Thornton in July, 1992. The first Life Member was Sue Ellen Gleason Hurt from the Chicago, Illinois chapter. Indeed, as predicted almost 30 years ago, the Associate Program has grown and flourished. Across the nation, we are proud and appreciative of our Associate Groups which number over 100. They collectively represent a strong and committed support team for all the chapters within Jack and Jill of America, Inc.
PURPOSE AND DEFINITION OF ASSOCIATE MEMBERSHIP
The purpose of Associate Membership is to allow tenured mothers an opportunity to continue to support our organization by supporting their local chapter and the Jack and Jill of America Foundation. This membership category strengthens our organization by addressing the unique needs of Jack and Jill by embracing the institutional knowledge and wisdom of our tenured members.
Definition: “A mother may become an Associate member of the organization when either the youngest child completes high school or when the youngest child reaches age twenty and the mother completes tenure in good standing, by paying the national and regional per capita tax and any fees upon which the local chapter and Associates agree.” (2004 Bylaw) Upon the death of an only child or the youngest child of a member in good standing, a member may continue her affiliation with the organization as an Associate member. A mother who meets the criteria of an Associate and is a financial member of an Associates Group or Mothers Chapter is referred to as a Regular Associate. Associates and Life Members may, but are not required to, attend chapter meetings, regional conferences or national conventions as a non-voting member, but cannot be elected to an office or chair a local, regional or national committee other than the Associate Committee.
Definition: Life members are Associates who have met the active membership year requirement and elected to pay a one-time life membership fee (vs. a yearly per-capita Associate fee) “Any mother, female legal guardian or female custodial caretaker who has been an active member for at least 10 years, has completed her tenure in good standing and has reached Associate status may apply for Life Membership.(2008 Bylaw) A one-time Life Membership fee commensurate with the number of years of active membership must be paid as indicated to the National Treasurer. (2008 Bylaw)