The “Real Mamas of Mt. Juliet” is a Facebook group started by Stephanie Godwin in September with the intent to do some good in the community.
“I just felt like there was a lot of negativity about our country, about our schools, about our teachers and about our parents,” said Godwin. “I wanted to start something that was a little more positive.”
In December, the group raised money to pay off school lunch debts at 11 schools in Wilson County.
“I have a lot of teachers and principals come into my salon, and I would talk to them about stuff,” said Godwin. “They told me that they had a ton of kids who couldn’t afford breakfast and lunch and weren’t getting to eat at home. They were taking money out of their own pockets so these kids could eat. Kids can’t perform; they can’t do well on these tests we give them when they’re not getting to eat. Instead of griping, I wanted to put hands and feet to the problem.”
This month, the group took its giving attitude back to Wilson County Schools and gave 16 school resource officers each a $20 gift certificate to the Corner Pub in Mt. Juliet, along with a note that said, “Thank you for instilling a sense of safety for our children.” Members of the community were quick to show support for the act on the group’s Facebook page.
“I can’t say thank you enough for doing this. My husband is an SRO,” said Brittany McPeak. “It has been a tough job as of late, and this thoughtful act made his day and mine. We know how much he loves his job and looks forward to interacting with the kids, but for it to be noticed by others was just awesome.”
According to Godwin, the act of kindness is far from the end for the group. She said she would like to start doing a monthly Real Mamas project to benefit the community. She is currently working on organizing a project to bring baby dolls to patients in local Alzheimer’s facilities. Godwin said she would like for as many people as possible to be involved in the group’s activities.
“A real mama isn’t based on the amount of money you have,” she said. “Real mamas are women who love and care for their children, their grandchildren, their friends and the ones that are for support in the best of times and the toughest of times. It’s about community, coming together and loving a friend in need. We would love nothing more than for everyone to be included in this movement in their own community and want every mama to know they are loved. Thank you all.”