A story of kindness that has and continues to impact so many.
By Sandy Murphy, Founder of Dublin Ohio Moms In The Know
Humble, strong, inspiring and courageous are just some of the words that would describe local humanitarian, Kathy Jackson. She tirelessly spends nearly 20-40 hours every single week to try to make the lives of others in the community better. On top of running a speech pathology practice, being a mother to 4 amazing girls: Megan, Kayla, Anna and Molly (all in careers centered around helping people) and a wife of 31 years to her husband Steve, who knows where she gets the extra energy, time and drive to do so much.
Growing up in Pittsburgh with 4 younger brothers, a father in the steel industry and mother that stayed home, they didn’t have much. To make matters worse, her 9-month-old brother had a stroke and her 2-year-old brother was diagnosed with brain cancer which led to long stays at Pittsburgh Children’s Hospital. During their time there, she watched and helped her family pull together community resources to build a beautiful rooftop sanctuary for families to escape to. This was her first exposure to giving back and engraved a special place in her heart that would forever guide her towards helping others whenever and wherever she could.
Kathy recalled another time in her earlier years when she felt the kindness of others. With nearly no money and a dream, she ventured off to college. For 2 weeks she “lived on nothing but saltines and ketchup packets”, as she had to use the money she had to buy books. That was until some anonymous person started leaving a loaf of bread, a jar of peanut butter, 2 cans of tuna and mayonnaise on her doorstep and that was how she made it through. She always said that if she could give back, she would.
After obtaining her double undergrad in education and speech therapy and a Masters plus in Speech-Language Pathology she ventured to Ohio, started a family and has lived in Dublin for the past 31 years. During her time in Ohio, she helped start the Help Me Grow program, helped public schools start up their preschool programs, brings food and other goods to Blessings in a Backpack, Help My Neighbor, Holy Family and Alvis 180 Reentry and that is just the tip of the iceberg. All together, Kathy is connected to 48 different agencies and helps each one in different ways. She ran out of space to keep all of the donations in her garage, so she is currently renting a storage unit to be sure she can take every last item that is brought to her.
Dublin Ohio Moms in the Know was first made aware of Kathy’s kindness when we were introduced to her Columbus based ‘I Support The Girls’ program. This international organization collects donations of new/used bras and tampons and maxi pads and distributes them to girls and women experiencing hardships. Tampons and pads are charged sales tax because they are considered “luxury” items, and are difficult to afford. “Some of these women are using socks, newspapers, leaves, even cardboard (in place of feminine hygiene products) since they don’t have access,” she mentions. La Senza has played a big role and is “rocking it with their kindness”, as Kathy smiles and goes on about all of the bras they have donated so far. They have even sent their fit consultants to the pop-up shops that Kathy regularly organizes to add an extra sense of dignity to the experience, really making it feel like they are at an actual retail store where bras are beautifully sorted in bins by style and size.
Want to learn how you can help? There are links below to various organizations and lists of donatable products that you would never even think about like: Half-burnt candles (for heat), batteries (music on radios), bras, stuffed animals, tents, sleeping bags, pillows, and sheets; Even cleaned out plastic sour cream containers can be a huge deal for someone that wants to take home an extra helping of soup.