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Inspiring Conversations with April Jackson of Gracious Helpers Foundation

Today we’d like to introduce you to April Jackson.

Hi April, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Hi, my name is April Jackson, born and raised in Saint Louis, MO. I’m a mother to 3 amazing boys (Jabori, Gregory and Kaden). I’m the first generation in my family to graduate college with a bachelor’s degree. I’m also the owner of a 7-figure commercial janitorial company (Customs Cleaners). Growing up in Saint Louis, I’ve endured a lot of challenges in my life( foster care) which I don’t hold onto, because it molded me into the person that I am today. As a kid, I’ve always wanted to start a business to help families in the community, who’s currently going through what I’ve endured as a child and young adulthood. I want to be the voice for our community and let them know, the past is the past, there’s nothing we can do to go back and change our childhood traumas, but we can change the future for our kids.

I started my nonprofit organization in January of 2021. Gracious Helpers Foundation, provide assistance to less fortunate families in the Saint Louis region such as food, clothes, household essentials, and help with their utility bills.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It hasn’t been easy operating a nonprofit organization, there are dozens of nonprofits in the community who offer the same services as me.

I didn’t let that get to me, I continued to come up with different programs and community events to get my name out, so families can get all the help they need in order to provide for their families. At one point, it was difficult to get grants, I was devastated that I had to tell families I don’t have any funds at the time.

I had to find a different approach to the situation such as doing monthly online fundraising and partnering with local businesses to help serve more families. I even took money from my savings to help those in need.

We’ve been impressed with the Gracious Helpers Foundation, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Our main focus is on raising awareness about some of the most pressing issues facing today’s society, which is poverty.

For families who are struggling to get food, clothing, and household essentials for their children and themselves, we provide them with those items when signing up for our program. What set us apart from others, we don’t deny any application, every one is approved. I realized that you could have a good stable job and still fall short somewhere.

I want the community to feel comfortable reaching out to us if they need help with getting those items and paying disconnect utility bills. Gracious Helpers Foundation is in the business of changing and shaping lives, we make sure our team and partners are empowered by creating opportunities for families within our community.

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