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Mothers organization in The Woodlands seeks to develop leaders

November 27, 2018

On a brisk Wednesday morning the day before Thanksgiving, more than 100 people gathered in the parking lot of the South County Community Center in The Woodlands.

Mostly, it was mothers and their children who came together in anticipation of an annual event — taking over the Montgomery County Meals on Wheels routes for the day to deliver food and cards to homebound senior citizens.

“(The seniors) have become accustomed to and enjoy seeing the children come and visit during this day,” said LaQuita Carter, who serves as president for the group: The Woodlands’ chapter of Jack and Jill of America.

The group is an black organization of mothers who aim to nurture and strengthen their children’s leadership skills through community service and philanthropic giving during the many community programs they facilitate.

There are almost 50 mothers involved in The Woodlands’ chapter, and they meet monthly from September through May to plan those activities for their children.

“To work alongside that many mothers volunteering their time, talents and treasures for the community at large is truly what community is about,” Carter said. “I sit in a room monthly with ladies who are not just concerned about what’s happening in their own homes, but also in their communities.”

This year, the chapter is celebrating their 30th year here in The Woodlands, being established in 1988. However, the national organization has a birthday, too. As it was founded in 1938, the national organization is celebrating 80 years of operations.

Carter said that being part of the chapter in The Woodlands allows mothers and their children to get involved in things they might not be able to do on their own.

Some programs they run include cleaning up a road through the Adopt-a-Highway program and participating in peer mediation learning programs in addition to age-appropriate activities for different children. They also raise money for scholarships and charities such as the March of Dimes.

“We’re pretty busy, but it’s for fruitful reasons. When I think about our group, we want to go together to make an impact that’s born from faith and friendship,” Carter said.

It’s not only the mothers who are involved in programming — teenagers are elected as future leaders in the chapter.

Maya Monroe serves as the teen leadership president for the organization. She said that it’s an impactful organization, allowiung her to gather with others and experience things she wouldn’t have had the opportunity to otherwise do.

The teen leadership vice president, Samone Knight, has been a member with her mother for years.

“You start to value it when you get older,” Samone said.

That insight is a little piece of the larger goal for Jack and Jill. Carter said they expect the children to take what they’ve learned throughout the years and apply it when they get older.

“They have experiences they can take with them that will set them up to be leaders in society,” Carter said.

jane.stueckemann@chron.com

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