28 Apr Travelers Aid Society of Greater New Orleans Gives Mom Hope
Ms. April is a loving mother to four beautiful children. She is a woman of faith, strength, determination and passion. April has faced obstacles as a mother that no mother should ever have to face. Her four-year-old son Jayshawn, nicknamed “Babbie Jay”, was born with two extremely rare conditions- Hydrocephalus and Frontal Encephalocele. Doctors told April he may not survive past birth. Jayshawn has to persevere through many challenges each day, but April’s dedication, support and mother’s love has helped give him the best quality of life possible. Jayshawn’s smile lights up the room and he is April and her family’s miracle.
COVID 19 put added stress on April both at home and professionally. With Jayshawn’s health issues and compromised immune system, the family had to be extra cautious during the pandemic. April was also furloughed from her job as a security guard. She immediately sprang into action to find resources to help her family during these challenges and signed up for the rental assistance program with the State of Louisiana. She was referred to Travelers Aid Society of Greater New Orleans (TAS) for job search support and additional resources through their Homeless Prevention Program.
While talking with her social worker at TAS, April mentioned she always wanted to have her own small business one day, a food truck. April wanted to be independent and also have a career that allowed her time to care for Jayshawn. Travelers Aid Society of Greater New Orleans partners with Full Circle NOLA to offer assistance with new business startup, LLC, EIN, business coaching, business development and design. Full Circle offers job readiness and entrepreneurship trainings for service providers and community-based organizations. TAS strongly encouraged April to take part in the program to help her reach her goal of owning a food truck. April was excited but also resistant to try something new with so much on her plate already.
April stayed strong and determined and through this program, she has successfully established “Sweet Babbie Jays” Chicken and Fries, a food truck that will be opening in New Orleans late summer, early fall 2021. Between the team at Travelers Aid Society and Full Circle, April had the support to help create the foundation for her business, from getting permits to establishing a website. They were the cheerleaders she needed to help her achieve this dream. April saved all her tax return and stimulus earnings to help put a down payment on the food truck. She has named the food truck in honor of her son Jayshawn, “Babbie Jay,” and partial proceeds of all her earnings will go toward helping children uniquely born like him. Her food truck slogan is “We drive to feed your hunger and heart.”
When asked about Travelers Aid Society of Greater New Orleans and what the organization means to April, she said “Hope is here.” “They give people hope.” April said the social worker listened to her and gave her a different outlook on her very challenging situation during COVID 19. Travelers Aid Society of Greater New Orleans gave April access to resources and the emotional support to try something new to provide for her family. TAS is so proud of April and is looking forward to supporting her business Sweet Babbie Jay’s Chicken and Fries!