So, lately, I’ve been really frazzled. I’ve stopped sleeping. I stay up in the middle of the night for hours going over every fuck up and even creating things for me to be anxious about if I find myself without enough on the list. I haven’t done this in a long time, not since we moved to California, which was 6 or 7 years ago. Lately the mantra that has been resting my mind and putting me back to sleep is: You are safe, You are loved, You are worthy. Particularly calming is “You are safe.” And it is true. I am safe in all senses of the word. But, what if you weren’t, what if you stayed up at night because you knew you were not safe? And for you parents, what if you knew you were not safe and you also had your kids with you. Yeah…let that sink for a minute.
This is what my guest this week does. She helps families get what they need; find a place to stay or live or get formula or diapers or food or a new Air Conditioner. She helps families find safety and peace of mind and stability.
I started following Simone Gordon who most people know as The Black Fairy Godmother about a year ago. Basically, Simone has created a community around helping families in need…helping each other… Her focus is this: matching people willing to give with families that need help. Super basic. Super easy. Super powerful.
I found out during this conversation there is so much going on behind the scenes, an entire vetting process and additional assistance; really more of a holistic approach to getting people who are struggling not only what they need immediately, but what they need long term. But, again, I did not know this until literally this very conversation.
Here’s what has always blown me away about Simone and really what drew me to her account in the first place. Here’s a woman who says, “I needed help and people gave it to me. Now I’m just paying it forward and helping other people.” But, even more than that, Simone didn’t wait until life was a little simpler or until she had more time or all of the stars had aligned, to get started. As soon as she realized she had the ability to help others in the very situation she had found herself in, she got to work. While going to school and caring for her son who has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and is non-verbal, she saw a way to help and she did it. Period. There is no pretense here, there is nothing fancy, nothing that takes away from the grassroots mission of getting families the basics they need to propel them to a better life. And in this conversation at one point I ask Simone about the top three things she sees that need taking care of – and I don’t’ know what I was expecting, this probably shows my own disconnect to some degree. I think I expected a few underlying things that aren’t obvious, but super necessary for someone who is struggling. But, that isn’t Simone’s answer. People are not looking for obscure things. It’s food, shelter, safety. That is what she is working on for these families. Things I know I take for granted: food, shelter, safety.
This was an eye opening conversation. I learned about Simone’s story, how she came to be “The Black Fairy Godmother,” and the incredible amount of work and depth of service and care and preparation going on behind the scenes of her organization. While the immediate focus and what we see on the squares of social media are basic needs being met, Simone takes things far, far beyond that. There is so much I want to say about all of this…but I want you to hear it all from her and what her bigger vision is. You can find Simone on Instagram under: Theblackfairygodmotherofficial If you don’t already follow her you definitely should.
One final note: I have a horrible time asking for help from people…horrible. Even when it is so absolutely necessary. So, let’s have a minute for the families that have the courage and the willingness to put aside their pride and see the bigger picture toward a better life. Kudos to them. No one gets where they get along. No one. We all need help sometimes. Let’s normalize asking for it.
Enjoy the episode.