A True Calling: The Full Story of Mighty Moms and Woody Overton Too!

Mighty Moms sit down with Local Leaders: The Podcast Host Jim Chapman in Season 4 Episode 19

Mighty Moms is a 501(c)3 organization which organizes programs for children in Livingston Parish.

Through donations, Mighty Moms provides food and hygiene for children throughout the year.

In this episode of Local Leaders:The Podcast Jim Chapman goes in depth with founders Beth McCormick and Dawn Birdsong and discovers the “Why” these Local Leaders do what they do to serve the community! It’s a podcast episode you won’t want to miss!

There is even discussion of RLRC charity LOPA discussed in the podcast!

Connect with Mighty Moms

Video Transcript (Beta)

hi this is crystal hardison from southeastern livingston center i’m the director and you are listening to local leaders the podcast

hi it’s tricia johnston residential realtor with ladder and bloom with your real estate tip of the week today i’m going to talk about two things that i get asked about almost daily the first is interest rates some people are concerned that interest rates have been creeping up while they are a little bit higher now than they were a couple of weeks ago they’re still incredibly low so someone who’s paying rent could easily buy something and have a lower monthly payment than they’re currently paying in rent the second thing is people ask me how long is this seller’s market going to last well i don’t have a crystal ball but what i think is going to happen is when the current eviction moratorium or foreclosure moratorium ends which is currently scheduled to happen on june 30th that after that i think we’re going to start seeing some short sales come on the market followed by some foreclosures when that happens we’re going to see the seller’s market balance out a little bit and then tip over into a buyer’s market so for sellers if you’re thinking about selling get your house on the market before the seller’s market ends and for buyers if you’re struggling to find the right house right now hang in there because more houses will be coming on the market later this year if you have any questions at all about this or anything else to do with real estate just give me a call i’ll be happy to help i’m trisha johnston with ladder and bloom and i’ll be back here next week with another real estate tip for you

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i have two fantastic ladies here and they do a better job at introducing themselves than i could ever do so one at a time just tell me who you are and and uh your non-profit i am beth mccormick and i our non-profit is mighty moms hi i’m dawn birdsong and i am with mighty moms as well awesome i’m glad to have both of you here today on local leaders the podcast and mighty moms has a you know great reputation here in livingston parish very a lot of people are very familiar with what you do and then there’s some that may not be uh they may think you know with the name mighty moms you go around and and you work out and you know all those sorts of things

but so we’re going to educate them today on what you do how did the mighty mom’s uh idea come to fruition for you um so back in 2009 dawn started a prayer group and we were just a bunch of baseball mommies that knew each other and that was something that we really loved and so um that was how our relationship started so she started this prayer group and we would get together on monday mornings and pray for our own children and so um that went on for a little while and and we would do that and so then at one point though we had another mom join us and she just brought to attention to us that in her own personal neighborhood there were kids that would come to her house for snacks after school that they truly were hungry and she just was like i you know i can’t afford to continue to feed this neighborhood and so at that point dawn and i both without really talking to each other really prayed about it and really thought about it and um i personally drove through the neighborhood and before i entered into this specific area i just asked the lord to show it to me through his eyes and i literally didn’t even get through the whole neighborhood i had to pull over and just tears just just crying and sobbing just at the condition that the kids were in and so um how we started was very simple we would pull little red wagons with water uh goldfish just simple little food items and stuff and so that was kind of our first things we would go out there we’d bring our own kids and we’d pull those wagons and we would feed those kids but at that point we established some relationships with those kids and we thought that we really needed to do more and it was more than just going out there every once in a while and giving them a snack and so um that’s kind of where we burnt that and doing really you know put her feet to the ground and we really started brainstorming some stuff to do and that’s how full tummy projects started and so that’s just um full tummy is our our biggest project that we do with mighty moms fantastic and yeah i think when i when i look when i think back 10 years ago um when we first started the prayer group i had just um i really had just um gotten to know jesus really for the first time like i was born and raised catholic and i went to catholic school and i knew about god but i really didn’t know him personally so in 2009 that happened for me and so a lot of things changed in my life and i remember i was my husband and i were doing a garden for the first time and i was like because i was like i want to i want to grow some tomatoes and make some spaghetti sauce and i want to be able to give this to some like i don’t know like god was really beginning to show me some things that i really didn’t realize were going on you know like when you look back you think okay it’s all it was all being weaved into my life in in different times but i prayed that my garden would just blossom and that i would have enough food to share with with people that i you know that might be hungry well at that time i was praying god break my heart for what breaks yours just break it because i you know i mean that we were going along with our lives and you know a little white picket fence world and i didn’t really realize what what else was out there besides what i grew up and knew about and my garden did not do anything that year really i just had a bunch of pests and a bunch of you know bugs that ate my tomatoes but um i think mighty moms was born from that that whole season of my life and beth was i didn’t know beth was going through something similar or you know thinking about the same things and then we started the prayer group and there she was mighty moms was born

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it’s a it really is a beautiful non-profit and from someone i i can relate you know you said it really well in that you sometimes you’re just going through life right and uh you’re focused on what you’re focused on and as i call it your little world and it’s it’s a fish ball sometimes you uh what’s going on outside of that fish bowl you really don’t stop and breathe and focus on so um i would i would be the first to admit before i did a whole lot of research into what you do i did not realize this was such a major issue right right i mean everybody i i know their kids are fed and their kids eat but that’s because it’s my own little world right there’s a whole nother world out there that that i don’t see and that’s where you good folks come in and um what i hope everybody gets out of this podcast more than anything else is the need right right uh to realize that uh the you as a non-profit are so needed um one thing in livingston parish that that is lacking is really like a food bank i’m not personally familiar with with any of of any huge relevance as far as a food bank here in livingston parish and that has been lacking for a long time i think so obviously it’s needed and there’s some stats that y’all supplied to me and when i write over those i was like wow it really opened my eyes to what people need to hear about today uh so it’s my goal to kind of get that out there but i also like people to know about my guests and kind of what you know what what makes them tick a little bit and the best quotes always come out of that so um y’all said some really interesting things and i’m going to take a few from each of you um miss beth you had said uh i asked what person influences you and uh in is a big influence in your life and why and you said daddy so you’re daddy’s

girl but you said um you know he was very giving and genuine honest and compassionate but so selfless yes selfless is really a key word for today right yes so um so shout out to daddy yeah she has a good daddy yeah yeah definitely and one of your quotes uh that you said was miss dawn was you said um you said this one got to me a little bit so you said i asked what experience is relative to the nature of your business and you put god called me to do this yeah right a calling’s a strong thing you can’t you can’t run from a calling oh and believe me i’ve tried i’ve tried it’s over the 10 years we’ve been doing this i’ve been trying to run but he won’t let me right yeah if he has it in his plan yeah you know it’s in his plan period my heart was broken for what breaks strong strong uh words there and he has equipped you with everything you need along the way right yep so um nobody really taught you how to do this except for god that’s right that’s that’s amazing and especially as far as you both have come so that really um that really struck struck a chord with me i thought that was really worth repeating um another thing on your questionnaire that i found very interesting was uh you received the angel award in 2013. tell me about that um that’s with blue cross blue shield of louisiana they do that on a yearly basis it’s going on like 20 something years 21 22 years that they’ve been doing it but they pick people from all over louisiana that help with children with some kind of health i mean and of course feeding them that’s related to health and so in 2013 i had a friend who had nominated me didn’t know and um and so yeah i was one of the angel award winners and so now blue cross blue shield of louisiana their angel foundation is it’s wonderful i mean just you once you win you’re an angel and you get your wings so it’s um it’s something that i still to this day get to do luncheons get to do business things and and go and see other people in the nonprofit world and so it’s it’s really great but the biggest thing we got out of the angel award was that um you get twenty thousand dollars that you get to give to your nonprofit and most of the people that work uh i mean that win don’t actually work or get paid and and back at that point we weren’t being paid we were you know completely running this on our own and so um and so it was needed like it was it was huge and the the great thing about the angel award is we stuck that twenty thousand dollars in a savings account and we knew from that very beginning way back in 2013 that we were going to have a food truck well you know of course that kind of has evolved a little bit but um so when covet hit last march we had that money sitting there and a savings account and all those years later we were able to purchase a um cargo van cash out you know and so we went and we got that van and it is absolutely used picks up delivers does everything that’s our mighty mom’s go vans so wow that is amazing so awesome you know god always provides so yeah so it was there when you needed it that’s right and shout out to blue cross blue shield for what they do absolutely oh my gosh it’s so awesome hi this is tiffany c card with homekey mortgage and you’re listening to local leaders the podcast every business owner has a story let jim chapman tell yours yes uh so miss dawn i want to ask you um okay so mighty moms you had this this uh this idea in your head of you know we want to we want to start really ending the hunger around here as much as we can for these children uh but it’s one thing to have an idea it’s another thing to realize all the red tape involved in that idea and you know um especially non-profits i mean there’s a lot of red sadly there’s a lot of red tape uh that you have to go through so what were the early days like of mighty moms i mean i mean i’ll tell you i mean we could probably spend this whole hour telling you about all the things that god has that god has done for mighty moms and you can’t deny it and one of the things was our 501c3 paperwork we met someone early on and she was just dropped in our lap we um she helped us come up with our bylaws and our i mean you know we really didn’t know what we were doing beth’s dad is an insurance agent and so he kind of guided us a little bit on some things um but i can’t even remember who else was really influential with us that at that time but we scrounged up the money for the 500 to pay sharon johnson to help us with our 501c3 paperwork and it usually takes a year or more yeah ours came back in three months three months three months approved no problems got our no kids yeah so we’re like okay another block another another confirmation that this is exactly what we were supposed to be doing but you know the early days were i i will say this that i mean i my husband says i’m the most hard-headed person he knows because i will not ask for help i won’t i will i will just you know i’ll be mad about it but i won’t ask for help yeah but god really kind of um really made me step out of my comfort zone because we needed some gift cards remember that we needed some gift cards and we wanted some gift cards for the for the kids in the neighborhood that we were serving and we didn’t have beth and i were putting our own money in but you know we we our kids were little we really just didn’t have a whole lot of extra money to be you know given all the time so we um god god really showed me like you need to go to to go ahead and ask for some gift cards yeah and i remember sitting outside in my car like banging on my steering wheel like no i don’t want to i’ll just get i’ll just pay for them and i mean i wasn’t i mean i never got the feeling that it was okay for me to do that you know so i went inside and i talked to the little short man guess what he said no no and so i got back in my car and i was crying i was like you knew god that he was going to say no why did you make me do that and i think that it was just to say like it and so many things happened after that that god gave us that he just wanted me to say he wanted he wanted me to try it and say okay even though you’re going to get told no i’m still providing i’m going to still provide for you guys and he has this whole time he really has i mean it gives me goosebumps to think about because sometimes i think i forget about those stories yeah you know way back when but i mean we pounded the pavement beth and i and we told everybody that we knew about childhood hunger we i mean really we we worked our tails off that first year just getting the word out um doing a lot of research on on childhood hunger statistics and just looking around at different things like how can we do this and full tummy was born because i had seen a girl in georgia who was doing something similar and i was like beth oh my gosh this is doable you know and we knew a counselor at school um at one of the school south side elementary passion um and she i mean really everything just happened so great the school board approved us like that like we didn’t even have to jump through hoops it was just laid out for us just to walk through that’s fantastic i mean seriously am i exaggerating at all no no not at all i guess the only thing with that is like that that first initial presenting it to i mean other than the schools that it’s evident that there is hunger yeah when we approach some of the schools they were they they didn’t want to be involved in it in the beginning in the beginning in the beginning you know because they just like you said when you see your world in your world it was hard for them to accept that they had hungry students at their school and so it was you know we you know some of them were like no thank you we don’t we don’t have that problem here yeah and you know it’s it’s really as a community it’s hard to accept you know it’s a it’s a um the thought to me of a child who really has no other choice not eating uh is it you know it’s kind of sickening yeah that’s for real too depressing and it’s it’s um it’s something that all of us as human beings in a community of course any hungry child comes to my house and is hungry they’re going to eat right you know and and uh but it’s different when you make this type of effort i mean to me um people are generally good people uh but with but it’s making the effort that matters and it’s making the the you know basically you started something that didn’t exist right you know and and uh and none of that is easy and you have to wrap your head around that and i’m sure you all had lives outside of this yeah right six kids yeah six six kids wow i think one of the things that people don’t even understand to this day is that it’s just beth and i you know like even though we’re you know we’ve we’ve spent a million dollars in the last 10 years in our school systems with feeding kids a million dollars that’s really but it’s just been i mean we have wonderful volunteers but as far as running the business running the non-profit it’s just her and i so when people get aggravated with us because we’re not responding quick enough or we don’t answer the phone i mean we have to i think you have to take a step back and realize that this this really isn’t i mean it’s important to us by all means and it has come before our families and before our husbands but at the end of the day you know our families are important as well absolutely and it’s finding that balance isn’t right and we still have a hard time finding the balance you know it’s the hardest thing in life when you have a passion uh and i can speak from this myself balance is tough because you want to be both places at once you want to do all things at once and be all things to all people at once and uh i don’t know how possible that is um so it’s a constant well it’s a struggle it’s a struggle for anyone because what you’re doing is so important you know it’s so important but so is your family and so are those things and it’s like whoa yeah it’s it’s it’s something you really gotta breathe step back and and i’m glad you brought up that it’s just you know you two are the main uh of course you have volunteers absolutely you are the the uh spokes on the wheel you you make it work we push it forward yes and uh so jim we’re swamped with these podcasts and i’m in the mood for some local barbecue for lunch barbecue casey the problem with barbecue is the speed that would take forever not at buddy’s barbecue with the drive-through line they can get us fed fast in that sauce mmm yum it is right in the heart of denim springs do they have specials yes they have plate lunch specials every day jim and i bet you didn’t know they offer some of the best catfish plates you’ve ever tasted on fridays and on saturdays they have smoked rib eyes they are as flavorful as you can find anywhere okay i’m hungry what’s the number i’ll call it in no just go online and place your order by the time you’re finished i can head that way that is convenient and really smart yep just like me a local business and you know what i always say oh yes jim chapman loves local correct and that makes me smart oh please if you’re in the mood for barbecue go see buddies barbecue at 105 florida avenue southeast right in the heart of denham springs they’re a proud sponsor of local leaders the podcast i’m glad you brought that up you seem to have a great relationship tell me about youtube’s relationship go ahead i think we say it all the time we’re like mommy and daddy i mean it’s true um i’m more of the dad and she’s the sweet compassionate loving mommy but um i mean just the other day dawn dawn really brought back to my mind that you know we make one really great person like her strengths are my weaknesses my my strengths are hers and it’s so and we’ve learned over this past 10 years immediately that’s you yes you do i mean and it’s it’s very easy for us to recognize where we step in and where we pull back and then just being able to mesh together and i mean yeah just like anything even a marriage i mean you learn over the years how to just make it work yeah and we don’t agree on everything absolutely not i mean we’re human but um what we do agree on is the core issues of what’s going on and i mean we don’t i don’t think we’ve really had too many arguments or disagreements really and so i think god meshed us together from the very beginning and given us a relationship over a friendship of going out there watching our our boys play ball and praying together and um that’s what created that partnership to begin with but that but yeah i mean i think that the main thing that makes the business run the way that it does is that we do know where where we fit we do know what we specifically are supposed to be doing in the business and never get jealous of the other or never get um i want to do that yeah you do you do it no i don’t want to i mean there’s just it’s just the way that it is it flows it’s we definitely have two very distinctive personalities but i think that’s again what makes it so great absolutely and and so important that you have a partner there that uh you know how each other ticks and yeah and and uh even even in my world you know me and casey we pretty much run this this gig and and you know one thing that’s very important when you have someone else there is they have a vote so um you have to respect their strengths and any leader knows that um that you have to be cognizant of what you’re not strong at and then have someone around you that is and then recognize the fact that they are strong at that and have the uh you put your pride aside right and uh okay she or he is just better at this and uh and leaders recognize that and i think that’s what separates successful businesses and successful nonprofits from ones that are not but it’s a parent yeller y’all are great friends yes and uh that sure helps a lot when uh when you are but you know i will say that for anyone who’s thinking about you know like um you know yes sure it’s easy to have a non-profit when you have you know when you have a partnership like beth and don do but you know it took us some time i mean you know we didn’t fight or argue but i mean you know we did get our feelings hurt sometimes in the early stages you’re like oh well he so wants to talk to you or she wants to talk to you or oh you know but i mean really we had to realize that you know what you’re good at this and i’m good at this so let’s stick let’s stay in our own lanes and and look at us ten years later we’re still ticking and going strong and still like each other yeah nobody’s killed anybody yeah not at all i mean we really never fight so i mean um i think that um i think that that’s something to really um like i think i said in one of your questions that you asked me like find a partner stay consistent stay the path and don’t give up keep going even when the going gets tough just keep going if you feel like it’s something that you’ve been called to do or um you haven’t you’ve been called to not to not let go of keep going you know keep going and find that good partner and invest in each other so in the early days did you run into uh people that would say you know you’re just not going to be able to pull this off you know it’s or it’s not going to make a difference or anything like that did you have naysayers i guess would be though no i mean we had naysayers who would say like oh you know those moms and dads they are you know mismanaging their funds so you know those but we always said that those kids don’t get a choice they don’t make that’s right they don’t have a car so if mom’s buying fingernails and a coach purse yeah and her kid is hungry that’s not his fault correct he’s in second grade right what’s he supposed to do you know so i mean we always felt like you know we were gonna we were gonna be obedient to what god called us to do at the end of the day that’s how we laid our heads on our pillows at night went to sleep because we knew we were doing the right thing and if someone took advantage of us oh well that’s that’s that’s just the name of the game sometimes you know people are going to take advantage but you know if i was hungry and i would and i sta to put my pride aside and stood in the food bank line for my kids and i took three peanut butters when i should have only taken one oh well yeah you know i don’t know what it’s like to not have anything in my pantry you know so i might be taking three i might be taking more than i should yeah you know so it’s not us to judge they have to meet god at the end of of you know of their lives as well and they’ll answer for that real answer for us that’s right that’s right and um you know one thing we mentioned the school system and and i think that’s also you know these teachers they kind of see that right they see that um they see these kids on a daily basis and maybe they maybe they noticed some kids are losing an exorbitant amount of weight and it may have nothing to do with them not eating or maybe they notice that they’re not getting lunch or or whatever it may be and so they’re kind of the first line of defense there and one thing i do find about um livingston parish educators and teachers and things like that is that they kind of pay attention a lot of them and and uh and they will maybe bring something to light if if they think it’s not right for lack of a better term um and i think that’s important too i think it’s important from a community perspective that everybody kind of be cognizant and pay attention and because hunger’s different than um than some issues in a community in that it’s an embarrassment sometimes if you’re a parent and you look you’re maybe you’re doing everything you can maybe you’re a single mom you you know you got away from an abusive relationship and um you’re doing everything you can but you just you know you’re you’re struggling to get that child enough food right that’s that in some ways it might be embarrassing yeah so so you’re scared to ask for help or embarrassed to ask for help um and so how do you overcome you know that that embarrassment i think the best way is just to know that there’s no judgment here right absolutely now is the time more than ever to support local business alisa verret interiors and custom workroom is working hard to use made in the usa products for all their clients window coverings schedule your appointment today for a consultation on roman shades drapes shutters outdoor sun shades and even woven woods need a virtual appointment no problem call alisa at area code

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right i mean i guess really honestly with the way that we that we do the program we kind of take that out like we’re taking out the the part where they’re being targeted or it’s something that they um could even possibly be picked on but they get a full tummy bag and it’s it’s sort of a discreet kind of way that they get their food they don’t have to i mean they’re not wearing a badge they don’t have to go check in for it or anything like that and so each of the schools do it a little bit different but when when they get their food there’s there is no embarrassment in it that is something that dawn and i have always said from the very beginning that um these kids shouldn’t feel any shame for for grabbing a thing of food no matter if they’re a kindergartner or a high school senior yeah and so we’ve created an environment that i feel like is is safe and it’s it is it is different and and the parents they’re not involved i mean it’s completely through the school i mean the parent signs the permission slip but from that point forward um nobody knows those parents that yeah that are getting you know and so that that’s i think something that that really helps out take the stigma off of the child indeed well and also i think that on the other on the flip side of that i we wanted to really in the beginning with our own kids who were in elementary and junior high school i guess they were all in elementary school at the time but we wanted to make sure that they knew that we brought them with us to to this neighborhood and and they met friends out there too and they saw people they went to school with and so we wanted them to realize you know just because someone doesn’t smell right or they have dirty hair or um they you know dirty uniforms whatever it might be um that look where they come from so you better not be teasing or picking on somebody or being ugly to somebody because they don’t look like you or smell like you or whatever so i think another part of mighty moms is just really students against hunger we’ve really made it a point to have the schools get involved in um in realizing that you you know you do have kids that are hungry in your classroom but you also have kids because we we want our kids to grow up looking out for other people too not just being self-absorbed which is what our kids are all about these days self-absorption you know i don’t know my kids are or they were you know now that they’re older they’re you know my youngest is in college but you know it’s it’s um it’s really important it was important to me and i know it wasn’t important to beth to really make sure that you know don’t don’t tease you know and stand up for somebody if you see so if you see someone picking on somebody because of they’re different than you you don’t know what’s going on and our kids saw in that neighborhood in the heat of the summer what was going on in that in those homes there was no power there was no electricity they were hot they didn’t have cold water i mean like so when you think about that and then you think okay when they come to school they might not have their own bed you know so yeah they look different from you and they might even be acting out at school you know because they’re tired or they’re frustrated or whatever it might be and so it’s important that that that’s something that’s really you know students against hunger is important to me i want kids to realize that they can make a difference it doesn’t have to be some big thing like mighty mom yeah you know bring a cane of ravioli when your teacher asks you to and everybody in your class bring in a can of ravioli then all of a sudden you have 30 cans of ravioli right so that second grade class look what they’ve done you know it’s huge it’s huge well and what we’ve done too is we have childhood hunger awareness day and so we actually go into the school systems and so it’s really great i mean we didn’t get to do it this year but um we would go in and read a book and so we would have volunteers dawn and i would go we would go into these classrooms and we would read them this book it’s called maddie’s fridge it’s wonderful such a cute little book but it really goes over two friends that one friend realizes that the other child doesn’t have food in the refrigerator the same way that she does and so that she’s she’s suffering from food insecurity and that sometimes she’s hungry some of these kids just look at you with these big old eyes and they’re precious and they ask questions and it’s a time to interact with them and you bring light to that to these kids who maybe are the ones that have the empty fridge or those who have a pantry full of everything but still say we have nothing to eat and so yes it’s i mean it’s true you know you’ve got one end of the spectrum to the other sitting in a classroom together and so it’s gives us the chance to get the kids to recognize those issues and so i think it’s kind of that too takes the stigma away you know that you look at a kid and and after that when we go in there and talk to them it’s amazing to see what some of these kids and we hear from teachers and and then the kids want to do stuff i’ve had parents after we have um childhood hunger awareness calling us and emailing us saying hey my kid came home and they want to do something what can they do they want to do a food drive they want to do things and so kids make a difference oh my gosh the littlest things when we’ve said that from the very get-go if we had a lot of people help a little it’s so much easier and a greater impact than a little bit of people helping a lot like it it’s huge and and getting kids involved is they’re our future i mean that’s something that we love about our parishes that they really do recognize the fact that these are this is our future leaders of livingston parish absolutely absolutely important and you know you’re teaching them young right and and uh you develop habits when you’re when you’re you know well when you’re really young but all the way up to high school years you’re developing habits and beliefs and things like that and you’re being uh mentored either good or bad and so uh hopefully they’re learning this early on and uh and then taking it into their adult lives at some point

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um and you you mentioned you know we talked about funding a little bit just now with uh with the you know like you say it’s better for a bunch of people to help a little than a little amount of people to help a bunch you want it all but absolutely yeah we’re not trust me yeah but um uh so i asked you what spec specific situation has or will affect your business and what have you learned from it and you said private funding you know you’re dependent on donations right um show me goodness of the community and that i live in so um tell me about the you know somebody’s listening to this right now and they want to get involved whether it’s uh whether it’s a mother who or a father who only has maybe a hundred extra dollars every week to apply towards that but he wants to help or she wants to help how does this process work well it’s super easy you go to mightymomsgo.org and you hit the donate button but

yeah that’s it but no i mean i do feel like because we’ve been so obedient in this god has provided for us in so many ways but don and in the very beginning didn’t want to get caught up in red tape of state and federal grant money yes so we are 100 privately funded and our community is absolutely phenomenal i mean just to hear the number in 10 years that we’ve we’ve done you know we have provided a million dollars worth of food to the livingston parish school that’s amazing that’s amazing think about that that’s because of y’all but no people like you it’s because of livingston parish the donations that have come in i mean and that’s the truth i mean for them to hear our community has provided 1 million dollars in 10 years to feed students and that’s huge it’s it’s not federal money it’s not state money it’s money from the good people that take out their checkbook or get on the website and donate with a you know their debit card but it’s that that i think is what has been the biggest thing when i read that and we just had those statistics um given to us just in the past couple of weeks and so when i read that it just hit me i mean i know what we’ve done i know what our budget is i know what our operator i mean i know all those numbers yes but when you’re sitting down doing the business of it and you’re seeing the numbers and you’re working all of that and you know in what you’re spending but to really read that and to really take a step back and go a million dollars has been provided by people yes just every day people that live in our community that care it’s amazing it is it was huge it really is amazing and we ain’t stopping yet right no no no so uh you know you’re you’re moving right along here but let’s say you have some uh some people and maybe they don’t have extra money but they want to still help and we discussed volunteers a little bit and how does that process work so if you want to volunteer we have a volunteer calendar and so that just kind of makes it simple because like we said it’s just the two of us it’s hard to well how can i help well go to the website and say um if you go on the website it’s got the the dates on a calendar that we need help that we need some volunteer hours and so you just click on that day and write your name down and how many people are showing up um it’s simple it’s easy we and you know if there really is a something that you want to do and come help with you can find something yeah to come do come help us sort some food come help us organize some food but there are other opportunities too that people have them when we have a monthly food pantry the thing is is that we have never lacked in the volunteer department in fact there are so many times that we just don’t have anywhere to put somebody but and that right there too shows just as much as people are giving they’re giving up their time yeah um the full we have full tummy moms that are our delivery mothers they don’t want to give their jobs up like they want to keep it from school year to school year and that’s my school you know i mean i love that oh my gosh and they are so committed to that it’s amazing dawn really has more of a relationship with that’s that’s kind of her thing with these full-time moms so when i get to see them come in and because i’m not the one speaking to them all the time like it just reminds me that they know the schools they know the counselors they have such a relationship that they have built and bonded and they’re such a wonderful representation of mighty moms i mean we couldn’t run it without our our wonderful delivery 28 moms who who signed up for the whole year the whole school year rain um snow covered whatever yeah they are picking up bags every week and some of them are pretty ice storms yeah right ice storms right so um yeah i mean those with those moms are amazing and the pack team same same thing the ladies and men who pack the bags every week i mean we really and they are committed thoughtful people who show up who don’t just sign up and say oh i’ll do it and not show up they show up yes i don’t even have to check on them can’t be stopped no no and they don’t want to stop you’re not having my school that’s right that’s right i love it so good you know it’s very important and and um we

casey have you called the plumber about the sink in the break room yep they came this morning i can’t believe you missed them what was their name again giotts plumbing wow that was quick and they did a great job they did and when you need plumbing services of any type give giott’s plumbing a call with over 50 years combined plumbing experience the team at geots plumbing can handle all of your plumbing needs so whether it’s residential commercial new construction or reconstruction give geats plumbing a call at 907-6282 and get scheduled fast geats plumbing a proud sponsor of local leaders the podcast talk about callings and we talk about god leading you to things sometimes and you just you know sometimes it’s just a feeling right so the here’s an interesting thing i was going to kind of save this for the end of the episode so um woody overton real life real crime is a podcaster and of course i’m a podcaster and we communicate and he has a non-profit uh that he is dear to his heart and it is called lopa and what lopa does is organ donation so um very close to his heart and so every episode he promotes you know it’s his commitment that one thing he can do as a podcaster and someone that is is very popular in this community is i am going to uh mention lopa every episode at the end of the episode and i thought that was a great thing so from my perspective i’m like you know we’ve been very fortunate here at local leaders that we have gained a following and we you know our episodes now are getting 20 to 25 000 views uh we have 6 000 subscribers on youtube majority of all this is local people which is good it’s about a 50 mile radius um and so i felt like after researching all this i’ve been searching for a non-profit that i want to mention every episode and and so i’m gonna i’m gonna do this with mighty moms and this is gonna be something that i’m gonna commit to and casey over there is gonna hold me to it i’m gonna make her remind me every episode not that i would forget but you know i’m getting old yeah yeah so yeah i get on a roll and so but every episode i will mention about 30 30 seconds to a minute of mighty moms and and uh how important those donations are shout out your websites and things like that but something that i hope helps because um i am blessed that i have a voice uh and so i need to use that for good when i can and and uh your your non-profit really touched me and i’m glad because i did not know a whole lot about it this is what i love about what i do uh whether i’m sitting down with non-profits business owners you name it i learn more about people so that’s something i’m going to commit to doing and i really hope that helps so all y’all out there listening now you’re on the spot so go go do some good with that now also um you mentioned a word in both of your questionnaires both of you had this and when i was looking over these and i interviewed two people i always look over them and look for consistencies and things that they really agree on and the word selfless came up with both of you especially when you uh describe what you felt a leader should possess um and miss beth you said a leader is someone who is easy to follow selfless they lead with love and compassion um okay so and you said miss dawn uh i’m gonna find yours down here same thing basically servant leadership lead with compassion selflessness um when i personally went into leadership livingston and sometimes i go on a uh almost on a a pulpit with this because of of how it changed me in many ways um so i have always always since i’ve been a young man very young with hair i have always been very driven um almost to a fault like and i would say that admittingly um but i was also very self-absorbed and not not you know sometimes when people say that they think cocky and not that it’s just in my world i always wanted to be number one i always competed i was a football guy and and uh no matter what i did i always wanted to be number one and i don’t think anything’s wrong with that per se if you keep your priorities in line it’s okay to want to be the best at something um that being said my giving back was not really where it needed to be now look i gave to my church i did you know the normal things that you feel good about yourself and you’ve you’ve done though you know you’ve done your duty and you’ve got a place in heaven right right um i went to leadership livingston and in my mind i’m gonna learn how to be a better leader and to me that meant learn more skills on how to be number one went through the whole class and when i came out of it i realized uh i wasn’t a leader that’s what leading is all about right i mean it’s not you know it’s important to be successful and it makes us feel good but if you’re not giving back for your success you are missing the point yeah yeah sometimes it takes an effort yeah yeah i mean it’s easy is it really giving of anything yeah you know that’s right i mean if you know uh if you have the money and you’re giving those people you know they they’re appreciative of it but um but give a little bit of yourself too yeah no matter what your passion is there’s there’s a non-profit i’m sure someone that matches it and and what a better what about you know who doesn’t want every kid to be uh full at the end of the night and and uh that’s that’s what i love so much about you two folks and your uh non-profit is that is what it does and it probably you know if these kids they get full bellies and they’re kind of seeing you know they’re singing what you do it probably makes them better people too as they as they grow through life and they’ll give back maybe they’ll you know i’m sure a lot of these kids will remember this stephanie berthelot and the crew at sr enterprise can handle it all from sheetrock to texture to paint give stephanie a call at 504-432-9284 sr enterprise where they spread the paint and you spread the word

uh yeah we pray they do yeah we we um yeah well i think that you know not just i always say that you know not everybody’s heart is broken for childhood hunger you know some people it is i mean of course everyone feels bad and doesn’t want that to happen but um you know homelessness um veterans um you know domestic abuse yeah just fine just something that breaks your heart you know just find that thing you know and do and do something there and it doesn’t have to be something huge sometimes it can just be i mean i don’t i don’t even know sometimes it’s just getting on your knees and praying for a family that you know who’s going through some some hard times or you know a veteran who is you know having some heart having hard times i mean there’s all kinds of organizations you just have to like you said you have to do a little bit of work to fig to find them yeah and everybody everybody no matter who you are the the biggest the most popular term that i hear on this show and y’all said it in here as well i saw it several times i call it a keyword and almost every guest i have says this word and i never bring it up they do and that word is passion um you know for example you mentioned miss dawn uh do you have a business motto it was nurturing hungry children to success is our passion um strongest word in english language to me because passion is depth it’s a very deep word um it’s one thing to love football it’s another thing to be passionate for it in my case uh it’s one thing to love the fact that you you know you’re helping uh children who are hungry not be hungry it’s a it’s another thing to be passionate about it because that that’s the depth that’s what pushes you when you’re tired that you’ve got six kids and and you know they’re driving you crazy i’ve been there with three um and uh through all of that you gotta be pretty passionate to continue doing what you’re doing on the other end of it absolutely so super you didn’t have that i don’t think you could keep going i mean that’s the truth you know and a lot of things that you’re passionate about it doesn’t matter how good or how bad the day is that that’s what matters is that you’re passionate about it right and sometimes i think that it’s okay if your fire for something kind of you know needs to be stoked a little bit you know like when the flood happened you know we both flooded our mighty mom office flooded and i was just like i’m done i can’t do it anymore i i can’t i i’m just doing the best i can just holding on to my own sanity and you know we have we were all displaced and all of that stuff but you know what i mean so other people surrounded us you know lifted us up those are our of our friends who didn’t flood they came and got stuff from our houses because i’m like people are dropping stuff off from mighty moms and i i can’t i don’t even have a car to drive it around you know so my our friends came and did it and you know as as time went on and then we watched you know our friends rally around us and our community rally around us and you know we’re like okay so we’re okay yeah we’re okay you know we’re going to keep on going we’re going to come back stronger it came back right the opportunities that were presented to us post flood are amazing we are now in a three-time size building that you know we have a office space warehouse space i mean it is it’s amazing to see what what came about that point of feeling like you just want to give up yeah right and i’ll tell you this uh this i’m about to take you all around the world and tie this all the way okay okay so i’ll give you a quick story uh yoko oh no who was married to john lennon um somebody asked john lennon when did you fall in love with yoko and he said i went to an art museum and she was an artist and he said i saw her art and it was a ladder and it was a six foot ladder and you climbed that ladder and there was something written at the top on a piece of paper so i climbed the ladder and i read the paper and it said breathe and uh i think that’s something that is extremely deep um sometimes we get so far going with what we’re doing whether it’s podcasting or feeding the hungry or whatever it is we never breathe and um he climbed that ladder and realized i need to breathe yeah and she pointed that out to him but that’s a very very deep thing to me and and it’s very hard to do especially when every time you stop you feel like you’re letting a child down maybe that’s hungry and wow how do you you know how do you make make sense of that and so sometimes god will force you to breathe right yeah yeah a flood a flood covered i mean uh you know how many people you know covet was a horrible thing and a lot of too many ways to talk about um but one of the maybe the positive things came out that some of these dads like me uh went home and was you know kind of forced to focus on family for a little while and you hate you use that word no it’s true though forced but you know um uh so many people got to spend time with their kids that maybe they wouldn’t have normally because we weren’t stopping and breathing that’s right that’s right and we burp i mean you know i try to find a silver lining and everything that’s the one i find with that um so i’m going to read the facts that you sent me and let everybody kind of digest this food for thought 11.1 percent which is 14.3 million households were food insecure last year means they lacked the amount of food they needed in that family in that household uh they had difficulty at some time during the year providing enough food for all their members due to lack of resources it’s where you come in right and where we all come in and and uh nobody should go and that shouldn’t happen not here can i say one thing real quick yes um i wanted to say that uh about 80 of the people that we help are working class poor yeah so it’s not like we’re helping all these people who are sitting on there that’s a great point right yeah or working yeah you know they just aren’t making enough whatever reason yes and that’s a great i’m glad you brought that up because you always have people that say well i mean you know go out and get a job yeah they could go get a job yeah right what if they are working yeah right and the word food insecure i think like to really just think that these aren’t people who have nothing to eat they just don’t have enough to eat yeah food insecurity among children was so severe last year that caregivers reported that 220 000 u.s households had children that were hungry skipped a meal or did not eat for a whole day because there was not enough money for food that’s a lot people a whole lot yeah um rates of food insecurity and hunger were higher than average last year for households with children especially high in households with children under the age of six where 14.3 percent of american households experienced hunger another crazy uh stat there and here’s one on louisiana louisiana ranks third highest of the 50 united states and prevalence of household food insecurity i never would have thought that no because think of louisiana our whole social life’s crawfish balls yeah absolutely and so but that’s there again it’s just you living in your own your own world yeah yeah it really is it’s a fish ball and you got to get out of that fish ball sometimes and and uh it takes about 120 000 to supply the necessary food for livingston parish students to make it through each weekend of the school year without going hungry a lot more than you would think yeah and uh and here’s another one for livingston parish the number of food bags and livingston parish students needed last school year was 21 553. yep that’s our full tummy number for last year you know how awesome that is yes

y’all are yellow yellow are angels amazing uh mighty mom’s organization has distributed more than a million dollars of food assistance to livingston parish elementary middle and high school students just since you’ve been in school yeah yeah wow yeah and that’s thanks to the good people of livingston parish we couldn’t have done it you know we couldn’t we couldn’t do what we do without our volunteers our contributors are you know just people that are praying for us people that are just loving us from support and encouragement yeah right you you really couldn’t but i do want to say that um y’all lead that and and um you deserve a lot of credit and i know y’all would never take it but i’m gonna give it to you oh thank you um it takes it takes people at the helm to make those things work thank god for you too right it’s uh it’s not easy and what a commitment and these are mothers man i’m telling you from a father’s standpoint mothers or the cats meow i mean they’re the ones that look that’s right then guys go to work and they’ll they’ll work 12-hour shifts and all those sorts of things but you put them at home with three or six kids or whatever and it’s like i want to go to work that’s right because y’all are the real you know y’all are the glue right and and uh in between all of that you’re doing all this good it’s just it makes me feel very um very inadequate maybe i am not doing enough hey just a little shout out about all those wonderful statistics our president of our board justin wax put those together for us thank you justin yes he’s a we ha we do have we have the best board of directors we do and there are some amazing leaders in our community that sit on our board and we we don’t ever want them to get off we don’t we finally figured out that we needed seven other people that were seven distinctly unique people that brought something different to the table for us and so once we did that oh my gosh that yeah like four years ago yeah yeah yeah okay yeah and before that we were just running on the seat of our pants yeah we had all of our friends on the board yeah it was it’s it’s been great so yeah i mean absolute shout out to our board because they are the best yeah absolutely well shout out board yeah very good job um let me ask you now someone you know do you take like i’m sure you have people that bring you food actual food is that something you accept or yeah we do we do um i guess the biggest thing about it is what makes the greatest impact kind of food is single-serve individual foods that that a kid’s going to eat yeah ravioli friendly raviolis vienna sausages yes things like that even ramen i mean kids like ramen um there are just those kinds of things that you think your kid would snack on dawn and i say all the time if you wouldn’t eat it or you wouldn’t serve it to your child don’t bring it down you don’t want it we don’t want it i mean we want to treat every child and the way we would want to treat our own kids we don’t want hand-me-down clothes that have holes them we that’s we don’t want expired canned goods that’s right you know you wouldn’t eat it or serve it to your own child that that’s not the donations that we want and so i guess that’s the biggest thing but absolutely my gosh we have a van full of food right now from one of the elementary schools that i picked up yesterday beautiful uh amazing how much food the high school denim high school just did a fundraiser the amount of food that they raised was unbelievable so yes yes right and if somebody’s interested in what what we need they can go they can email us or go to our we’re about to post our summer needs so we’ll be changing up some food items for the summer but we would love people to help us with that as well yes and and of course i personally am going to link every you know okay all the stuff we talked about today it’ll be linked and i’m going to make it uh my business to do that and i’m going to test casey who’s off camera right now she loves when i talk she loves her i’m going to task her with really brainstorming one of the things she’s great at is just brainstorming things and and sometimes it’s like you know but there’s some genius in there you just gotta work through you gotta pull it out but i’m gonna task her with really coming up with some innovative ways that we can help other than just the shout outs so we wanna really get involved here with with mighty moms and if if we’re going to make a commitment to make that kind of our home charity we want to make sure that we’re we’re doing things to kind of raise money and and whatever we can do to help so congratulations casey you draw a short straw and i’ll tell you what casey casey has been involved with mighty mom since some years ago too she was involved in the in the prayer group at my house and our kids were growing up we talked yesterday about how some of the crazy things about you know 10 years ago how we met and you know all kinds of crazy sweated out in the summer with us

it’s god had a plan for that relationship it’s cute i mean just a little fun fact about sweet casey is that all three of us have boys that are the same age and so they went to elementary school together they played ball together and so so yeah we know us from casey oh yeah she’s a great guy she is crazy in a good way um so give us a shout out on your facebook okay we will absolutely no i mean like tell people what your facebook is sorry but you can give me a shout out too i think it’s just yes it’s my okay you can go there and search mighty moms and it’ll it’ll pull up website you know your web address mightymomsgo.org there you go so we’re gonna as i said link all of that to this episode uh thank you for coming by did y’all have fun that’s the goal that’s the goal to have fun and really shed a light on what you’re doing y’all are some beautiful women who are doing some amazing things right here in livingston parish and uh i’m sure i speak for all my listeners and viewers when i say how much i appreciate that really our pleasure uh thank you very much casey mcmurray is off camera but she is the executive producer of local leaders of the podcast and i could not do any of this without her so thank you very much casey for that i want to thank all my sponsors at local leaders the podcast i could not do any of this without all of you uh until next time i am jim chapman reminding you to love your community support local business support your non-profits especially mighty moms and keep leading thank you

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