From the moment Jen Hanson joined Random Acts as a DEI Specialist, she knew she wanted to put Random Acts’ resources to work to help her community in a big way. She knew of the nonprofit organization GrassROOTS Community Foundation from when she worked in New Jersey and wanted to get involved. One of the ways GrassROOTS helps girls and women from underserved communities is through supporting them as they escape situations of economic distress, and in some cases, domestic violence.
“Seeing firsthand the challenges experienced by black and brown women, and knowing the grassroots efforts made by GrassROOTS, it was a privilege to partner with them in this effort,” Jen said. She contacted Lisa Maxwell Anekwe, a board member and representative of the GrassROOTS team, to talk about what they needed most. They decided to create Super Mom Go Bags to help uplift the hardworking and often overlooked women of their communities, especially those who have been escaping violence.
GrassROOTS offers tiered levels of courses and community for women and girls, starting at Seedlings (grades one through four) and going all the way up to Roots (adult women and mothers). Jen noted that “many of the victims are mothers who often have to go to great and courageous lengths to protect themselves and their children from abusive partners.”
Jen went on to say, “Everyone deserves to be free of violence. Yet according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, one in four women will be a victim of domestic violence.” Regardless of race, culture, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic class, or religion, any person might experience intimate partner violence, and it is important to highlight this fact. When a topic like domestic violence is approached and spoken about and treated, instead of hidden, more people may also find the resources they need to get help.
With the help from Random Acts and Monami Entertainment, the GrassROOTS Community Foundation created 40 Super Mom Go Bags. The bags included beautiful gifts, health and beauty supplies, a SuperFlyMom tee, and Twigged Out 25 earrings.
President of GrassROOTS Community Foundation Dr. Janice Johnson Dias and community organizer Kym Gilchrist traveled to Sierra House, a home for displaced and at-risk women and girls in Orange, New Jersey. For the safety of the people in their care, the staff members distributed the gifts. The women who received the bags were touched and grateful to be thought of during this difficult time. GrassROOTS and Jen Hanson were happy to help.
“In spite of the inconveniences I am personally experiencing due to the COVID-19 pandemic such as sheltering in place, not being able to see friends and family, wearing masks, to state a few, I am reminded how lucky I am and how many people are truly suffering, including women who are escaping violence,” Jen said. “Thanks to Random Acts, a difference was made in these women’s lives, and I’m proud to have been able to be an agent of that kindness.”
If you know of an organization that could use our help, Random Acts is here to provide help for communities or families who could use it. Learn more about how you can donate or take part in your own act today. You never know how one act of kindness might inspire another.