Best Friends from Adams County dig into their own pockets to help neighbors in rural communities
NATCHEZ, Miss. (WLBT) - Many times, people who live in rural areas tend to suffer due to their zip code.
In fact, they struggle to get the resources and help they need, which can have a NEGATIVE ripple effect!
Two women from Adams County are hoping to change that.
They started the Black Mustard Seed Program which provides everything from diapers and milk to financial help for the needy.
“When you have access you have needs being met,” Chakatria Fitzgerald said.
Jacqueline Posey and Fitzgerald are passionate when it comes to helping people in rural areas get the resources they need; a problem they say has magnified over the years.
“We have an aging population, we have a disabled population that’s constantly growing, so when you are working with these disabled youth, disabled adults, and then you are working with the poverty and the parents,” said Fitzgerald.
These glaring issues and their altruism led them to launch the Black Mustard Seed Program and a local diaper bank.
“We worked at the sheriff’s office, and when you work there, you always get calls in for welfare checks and other things. So, we had a welfare check on the senior citizen, and upon doing the check, it was discovered that she was reusing her disposable and continence products. We discussed when we start this program next fiscal year, we are going to make sure no one has to reuse any products. While researching, we found out that there was a national diaper bank, which we had no idea existed. She and I just stepped out on faith, and the two of us came out of our pockets and started purchasing products,” said Posey.
They also managed to open a small warehouse on Liberty Road in Natchez.
It’s filled with supplies and other amenities. They say although the small unit has no air conditioning or heat, the goal is to get these free products out to the community in Adams County and the surrounding rural areas.
“We work with new mothers with children until they are one-year-olds. If they have disabled children, there’s no limit on those kids,” said Posey.
“We have the youth, and we have Adams County Sheriff Youth Cadet Academy, which works with our organization and they’re in session now, so we have them six weeks during summer, and on weekends we do things with him,” Posey continued. “We have period products that we take them to the school system for teens 10 and up. Also, the teen mothers, we try to get with the guidance counselors and take their products every month for their babies. We do the car seats for zero to seven-year-olds through our program and we also work with veterans.”
Tabitha Milton is a recipient of the program. We caught up with the grandmother as she was picking up diapers and other items for her family.
“We all know how expensive pampers are. I don’t just get pampers,” Tabetha Milton said. “I also get wipes. For my daughter and my daughter-in-law, I get feminine hygiene products and we get milk. Everyone remembers when milk was in shortage. I sent people over and said, ‘Go over to the Black Mustard Seed,’ and I’m sure that they will help you out over there because you couldn’t find it in the store.”
They were so gracious, and they helped out,” she continued. “In this economy and in these times, when somebody can help you and they do it from the bottom of their heart, they are so charitable and they are so nice and approachable when you come over here. I love it over here.”
All this love and financial help is coming from out of the pockets of these women.
They want to point out that besides some local partnerships, they are paying to keep this program running.
“We are supplying what they need, no questions asked where the night you needed. You can drive up in a BMW if you say your mom needs X, Y, and Z you going to fill out the form and we are going to make sure you get it every month,” said Posey.
These women say they will continue working to meet the needs of their neighbors, but admit they have one wish; to get bigger facilities to serve more people in rural areas.
“My biggest hope is that we get a building where we don’t have to stay in the heat or the cold because we fight the weather,” said Posey.
Until that happens, they are here to serve with compassion and care
“We know faith without works is dead and that is what it is about,” said Fitzgerald.
“We have compassion and we’re not rich, we work jobs, but we haven’t been without, so we’re able to give back,” said Posey.
If you would like to donate or learn more about the Black Mustard Seed Program, please call (601) 807-6528.
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