By Windy Locke
Jambos is a nonprofit organization that partners with local churches, schools, and businesses to host pajama drives. The pajamas are then distributed to local organizations who get them into the hands of Georgia’s foster kids. The North Gwinnett Voice met Rebekah Black, the founder of Jambos, last year and shared with readers her inspiring story as she launched Jambos, turning her passion into action. Rebekah shared with us the staggering statistics that there are over 14,000 foster kids in the state of GA with over 1,000 of those in Gwinnett and Hall County alone. Often times the children are transitioned into foster care with little to no warning, bringing very little to none of their own belongings with them. With this knowledge, Rebekah set out to make a difference in hopes of providing comfort to the children in the form of a new pair of pajamas to call their own. We recently had a chance to catch up with Rebekah as Jambos approaches their one year anniversary.
Rebekah shared her story and hopes for Jambos with our readers during Foster Children Awareness Month last May. Reflecting on their journey over the last year, Rebekah said, “The article turned out to be a gateway to get traction and recognition in the community.” It gave the organization energy as they realized that others were interested in helping their cause. Jambos had a first-year goal to serve Gwinnett and Hall Counties and to eventually grow to serve all of Georgia. Following last year’s article, it successfully spurred local organizations like South Hall Rotary Club who hosted a drive for Jambos and donated 500 pairs of pajamas. They have also partnered with Buford City Schools and an amazing Buford Academy student named Christian Stahl who coordinated a pajama drive that produced an amazing 1,100 pairs of pajamas! In 2018, Jambos was able to donate over 6,000 pairs of pajamas and serve over 55 counties in Georgia. They are well on their way to reaching their goal of serving all of Georgia’s foster kids.
When asked about the future for Jambos, Rebekah replied, “We would like to serve double the number of kids as we did last year and to master the process used, when working with Christian, to establish Jambos Kids”. Rebekah says Jambos is a perfect match for Scout Troops, Jr. FBLA and Jr Beta clubs and other organizations made up of children looking for a community service project that they can get excited about.
How Can You Help?
Pajama donation is at the heart of what Jambos is all about. Groups and organizations can partner with Jambos to host a donation site. The Jambos team will be there to help and give advice every step of the way. Individuals can also donate pajamas directly to Jambos and they even have an Amazon wishlist to make ordering easy! In addition to pajamas, Jambos relies on partner donations and fundraisers to keep them going. They accept monetary donations directly on their website or can be contacted to see how best to partner with your organization. For more information and to explore ways to become involved visit their website at www.jambosdonates.com
Upcoming Jambos Donation Sites:
March 10th Gwinnett Church will host a pajama donation site.