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Exploring Life & Business with Jamie Lackey of Helping Mamas

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jamie Lackey.

Hi Jamie, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
After nearly 20 years as a social worker, I saw first-hand that the mothers we served couldn’t afford the basic necessities to care for their babies and children.

The statistics remain staggering – one in three women in Georgia can’t afford diapers. So, in 2014, I took a leap and founded Helping Mamas, with a mission to collect and donate baby supplies to organizations who serve women and children in need in Georgia.

Since 2014 we have served over 150,000 individuals and distributed over 2 million essential items to the community.

In my role as CEO, I oversee the strategic growth of our organization which, includes our expansion to Knoxville, TN, and I work with our dedicated staff, volunteers and board of directors to move our mission forward.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It’s been a great ride! But, as with all startups, we’ve had our share of ups and downs.

What started as a dream quickly evolved into a logistics conundrum. When we put out word that we needed baby supplies, we received an outpouring of donations. But we had no place to put them. So, my best friend lent us her basement. We soon found office and warehouse space so what started as a little side hustle out of my friend’s basement became a legitimate business.

Obviously, the pandemic increased the demand for baby supplies and period products as kids couldn’t go back to school and their parents lost jobs. With Covid protocols, we couldn’t let our volunteers back to help in our warehouse. But through a lot of hard work and dedication, we provided a record 1 million baby supplies to 50 thousand families in need last year alone.

We also realized that we could serve more geographic areas if we could bring the supplies to them. That way, our partner agencies in other cities could continue to do their good work and not spend the time driving to us. Fortunately, some very generous donors helped us purchase two vans.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Helping Mamas?
Helping Mamas is Georgia’s only baby supply bank. After years of working as a social worker and in the nonprofit sector, founder Jamie Lackey saw a gap between the hard work she did as a social worker and the need from those she served for basic baby supplies.

Her aha moment came when she saw moms washing disposable diapers.

With one in three women in Georgia unable to afford diapers, she launched Helping Mamas to bring relief.

To date, Helping Mamas has served over 150 thousand children in need and has distributed over two million essential baby supplies to families living in poverty. Helping Mamas currently works with over 150 partner agencies across the state to supply mothers in need of essential items.

Have you learned any interesting or important lessons due to the Covid-19 Crisis?
No matter how insurmountable the obstacles may seem, through hard work, dedication and an amazing team of dedicated professionals, there’s nothing we can’t do. Covid shut down our fundraising events, which we rely on for operating capital. But the money somehow poured in. When demand increased, so did the generosity of our donors.

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Image Credits

Credit Courtney Ray

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