Natchez charity joins National Diaper Bank Network
Published 6:00 am Monday, December 26, 2022
NATCHEZ — Natchez now has a certified member of the National Diaper Bank Network supplying clean baby diapers, incontinence products and period products for free to those in need.
What they need now are donations to help the cause.
The nonprofit group Black Mustard Seed Community Group, founded by Jacqueline Posey and Chakattria Johnson, began in 2021 when the pair noticed a community need as coworkers at the Adams County Sheriff’s Office.
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They found that, particularly in the senior population of Natchez, some were attempting to wash, dry, and reuse their incontinence products because they couldn’t afford to buy more.
They sought grants to help remedy the problem but found none.
“In spite of not having any finances, we decided to go ahead and serve the senior citizens of the community anyway just because it was the right thing to do,” Johnson said.
Black Mustard Seed gets its name because the operation began on faith, Posey said.
In Matthew 17:20, Jesus is quoted saying, “… Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
If faith as large as a mustard seed can move a mountain, surely a group of devout women can start a charity without funds—and that they did, Posey said. She thanked volunteers including Belinda Thomas, Sheila Cornwell, Darlene Williams and Evonna Turner as well as the Adams County and Concordia Parish sheriff’s departments and the United Cajun Navy.
The organization obtained 501(c)3 status in August 2021 and had its first community baby shower the following December.
“We’ve been paying out of pocket and accepting donations for everything that we have,” she said. In January, the doors to the diaper bank at 396A Liberty Road were finally opened to the public, Posey said.
“We have done a year’s service to babies, teens, and seniors to prove that we are servicing a need in our community and because of that, we were able to apply to the National Diaper Bank. They’ve just accepted our membership last week. There are only two in Mississippi. One in Clarksdale and now us. With that, we are able to buy bulk products and it gives us the opportunity to pursue grants. It’s a big deal.”
People have come here seeking products from Vicksburg, Port Gibson, Centerville, Woodville, Magnolia, McComb and Brookhaven as well as Ferriday, Jonesville and Vidalia Louisiana, Posey said.
Black Mustard Seed is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and there are no income qualifications, she said.
“All we require is a photo ID of the parent and a birth certificate or crib card,” she said. “If it’s for an adult, all we need is their photo ID. For teen mothers, we get recommendations from school councilors and we box them up and take them to the schools and let the councilors distribute those.”
Johnson added, “We’re not based on income. We’re based on need. There are so many families who are struggling, including middle-income families. We have no boundaries. If someone calls us and they can pay for shipping we can send that month’s supply of diapers to them.”
The organization needs donations and volunteers, Posey said.
“We have to be a member of the National Diaper Bank for three months before we can start purchasing their products,” she said. “We have just started to fundraise for it.”
Johnson said they also accept donations of new unopened diapers, wipes, bed pads, adult incontinence products and sanitary products as well as gently used and clean baby goods like walkers, toys and clothing which are gifted at community baby showers.
For more information, or to donate, visit blackmustardseedcg.com.