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Name: Jamie Lackey
Kid(s) and Ages: I have 2 kids. Bailey who is 14 and Sawyer who is 10.
Where do you live? Snellville, GA
In 2014, I realized a gap in services through my work as a social worker. There was no coordinated effort to get essential baby/children supplies to families in need. My aha moment came when I heard moms I served were washing disposable diapers. With one in three women unable to afford diapers, I launched Helping Mamas to bring relief. Today Helping Mamas provides diapers, period products, clothes, wipes and more to over 150 agencies who in turn distribute them to families in need.
See below for our most updated numbers.
Updated numbers in 2020:
One of the most influential women I believe in our time (although I don’t know her), is Jen Hatmaker. She has a unique ability to speak the truth about issues that relate to women, families, faith and children. She does this with sincerity and compassion. She just seems to know what we need to hear and how we will best receive it. Jen shines a light down the path for women to follow. She is the example I follow when I refuse to be silenced.
Refusing to be silenced means to me that you speak your truth no matter the consequences. It is so important in every day life that we encourage all individuals to speak their truth, to share their needs, wants, goals and dreams. We are living in a time when using your voice for positive can literally change the way society views issues. At Helping Mamas we use our platform and our voice to speak out for those who are marginalized by society. I love when we share history and facts about how women have changed the world, particularly women of color. Their stories are remarkable and should have spotlight shined on them. I believe that everyone has a story and that story can change the world, so they should be told. Regardless of the consequences. How can we tell our children they can be anything they want to be, when we continue to silence stories that matter?
Today during a pandemic (even coming out of a pandemic) the biggest issue women face is gaining back the moderate ground that had been made in the workforce. The pandemic has impacted women in the workplace more than men. Women have been the ones to quit work and stay home while our children learn virtually. Or they are doing the incredibly difficult task of balancing working from home and teaching! It is astonishing to me that women today are still paid less than men in most roles.
I’ll never forget being a graduate school student and something a professor said. There was one male in the class (social work major!). The professor looked at the male and said “You will be a CEO at agency before any of the women here because you are a man.” Right then and there it became my passion, my mission to be a CEO. So I started an agency and became one! Now my commitment to women in the workforce it to provide meaningful gainful employment. Where women can make a difference in the world while also being present in their family life. No one should have to choose between their passion of work or family. It is possible to do both if we create the right environment. Every day I wake up and think about how we can make HM the best work place for anyone to work. I spend time mentoring young women that come through our doors as interns and VISTA Members (Peace Corps in America). I want them to know they are worthy of any job, any salary and can still have a family. We’ve lost so much during the pandemic. It is time to build back women in the workforce and create environments where we all thrive.
Kamala Harris. Hands down. No question about it. When they called the election for Biden and Harris, I cried. It was the first time I truly felt women could do anything, hold any office. She shattered the ceiling and I am happily dancing in the glass! Her grace, compassion and class shines in all that she does.
I’m petrified of taking risks any risks. Yet I quit a stable job to start an organization from the ground up. I play everything safe and now I am living out of my comfort zone.
Good question. My honest answer is there is no real balance. We will never do everything perfectly equal. Sometimes work will take a front seat and sometimes family will. My goal is to show up and be present wherever I am. There will be days I work late and might miss something at home. Then there are times when I might miss something at work because I am needed at home. I’ve learned both are ok. My children are strong and independent. The most important thing is they know their father and I love them dearly. Work knows how to function without me for a bit if needed. I’ve built an incredible team that is capable of filling in during any absence. For me what has worked is that I am surrounded by incredible people both personally and professionally. When one of us falls the other one is there to pick you up. It makes you feel like you don’t have to be Super Mom. My friends, family, and colleagues are there to fill in the gaps.
Resilience. We learned at Helping Mamas that we are strong and resilient. We learned how to adapt to our situation and serve more families with greater efficiency. It quite literally changed our operations for the better. We had time to evaluate what was working, what wasn’t working and how to improve. Our mobile program was born out of the pandemic and now allows us to serve thousands more women and children. Personally our family has grown so much closer, we’ve learned what really matters and we appreciate the little things.
Similar to what I mentioned earlier that it feels like we might have to work twice as hard as we did before to re establish a presence for women in the workforce. On a positive note I am hoping that more companies will realize how possible and productive it can be to have employees working from home. This would allow women and families to have more time together, less time rushing around.
Feel all the feelings! It is true you should enjoy every minute of it, but it is also true that there are some really hard times. The most important thing to remember is that all your feelings, the good, bad and ugly are real and have a place in motherhood. Being in touch with how we are feeling will help us guide our children through hard times in life. Motherhood is amazing, it is hard, it challenging, it is rewarding. Feel all those things. Express those feelings when you need to!
Anyone can make a positive impact. It doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking like starting a nonprofit. There are small ways you can make significant impact on your community. Use your gifts and talents to be a part of that change and encourage your kids to do the same.
Last show you binged: The Marveolus Mrs. Maisel
Last book you read: Revenge by James Patterson
Go-To Family Dinner: spaghetti and meatballs
Favorite Beverage: Coke
Favorite Take out: Mexican food
Favorite Dessert: Ice cream
Summer or Winter? Summer!
Dream Vacation: Anywhere in Alaska
#1 Beauty Product you can’t live without: Maybeline Super Stay Matte Ink
App you can’t live without on your phone: Weather Channel. I’m obsessed with knowing the weather!
For more information on Helping Mamas and how you can get involved, CLICK HERE.
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