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Simone Gordon aka the 'Black Fairy Godmother' has made headlines for her use of social media to provide emergency services for people in need. Simone has been featured in People Magazine, on the Kelly Clarkson Show, as well as on Good Morning America. What is the inspiration behind her movement? How does she bring hope to marginalized communities? Simone shares her passion for helping others in this episode of Motivational Mondays.
The Black Fairy Godmother Platform
The Black Fairy Godmother Platform is an emergency assistance platform for marginalized families and individuals in need across the US. Simone notes that everyone experienced some sort of tough time through the pandemic. Many people were forced to contact non-profits or government agencies and never got their calls answered. But when someone needs food, medical attention, or utility or rent assistance, sometimes they need it immediately. Simone’s platform is not here for profit—but change. She wants to bring awareness to what’s happening in the world.
If someone is hungry, the Black Fairy Godmother network will send emergency groceries through Instacart. If someone needs medical supplies, they purchase them through Walgreens or CVS. If someone needs housing, they’ll get them an Airbnb or a hotel for one month at a deep discounted rate. Then they work to help them transition into an apartment of their own and help them build stability. Simone and her team get the job done right then and there.
It isn’t just about helping with money and housing, her non-profit also helps with employment services and other resources. They create a 90-day plan that starts with emergency assistance but also develops a plan to help them get back on their feet. Do they need education? Need to get a job? What are they good at? Do they need childcare? It’s about helping people get what they need to get back on track.
The Impact of the COVID Pandemic
Simone had a team of 12 people—before the pandemic—handling 30+ applications a day. When the pandemic hit, they got hundreds of applications daily from those in need of emergency services. People had nowhere to go. Looking for advice, Simone asked her parents what she could do to meet the needs of all of these people. They told her to “be creative.”
So she went on Instagram and asked for 50 volunteers across the country to sign-up and get trained to make a difference. Soon, she had volunteers making Instacart grocery runs. She had people running to the pharmacy for the elderly. She ran fundraisers to get homeless LGBTQ youth housed. That’s when she made an agreement with extended stay hotels where youth and victims of domestic abuse could stay for $30 a day.
How Simone’s Non-Profit Addresses Domestic Violence
The Black Fairy Godmother has a specific fund that goes toward emergency housing, relocation services, food, clothing—whatever is needed—for someone who is the subject of domestic violence. They have a law enforcement team that vets the situation and devises strategies to help get them out.
Simone recently had a young woman who contacted them through a texting app, asking for a plane ticket to get away from her abusive boyfriend and get back to NYC to be with her family. Simone had a volunteer go and wait near this woman’s house until her boyfriend left. They immediately raised the funds for the plane ticket and removed her from the situation. They’re going to connect her with a therapist and a social worker to help her turn things around.
Bringing Christmas to Homeless LGBTQ Youth
Throughout Simone’s career, she’s been able to do amazing things with different schools, shelters, and churches. One particular shelter touched her heart. It was full of LGBTQ teenagers who didn’t have a home or family. Simone had a chef cook them food and provide hot cocoa. One Christmas Simone took it upon herself to play Mrs. Claus. A donor gave a bag full of gift cards from various stores. Simone got stockings from Walgreens and stuffed them with those gift cards. She was a stranger that didn’t know any of the young people personally but she felt compelled to make Christmas special for them.
She emphasizes that “We take things for granted. We take our parents, we take our family, we take our jobs, we take our friends for granted. These young people don’t have anything.” Simone felt blessed to give them a meal, gift cards, and hot chocolate. She will never turn her back on that shelter.
In this episode, Simone also talks about how she was asked to be on the Kelly Clarkson show and how it snowballed into Oprah partnering with one of her initiatives. She also talks about bringing awareness to the issues of food insecurity in the United States (and where food banks get things wrong). Listen to learn more about getting involved with the Black Fairy Godmother.
Listen to this episode to learn about...
- [0:31] The Black Fairy Godmother Platform
- [3:14] The impact of the COVID pandemic
- [5:13] How Simone addresses domestic violence
- [8:05] From the Kelly Clarkson show to partnering with Oprah
- [10:17] Bringing Christmas to homeless LGBTQ youth
- [12:36] Food insecurity in the United States
- [14:00] How to get involved in the Black Fairy Godmother network
Listen to the bonus episode to learn how ‘The Black Fairy Godmother’ platform is expanding its network and how strangers on social media helped an elderly stroke victim with no family.