Black History Month Feature: Brooklyn Center woman helps people in need
Elyzabeth Fanlome created a nonprofit called the GJOW Foundation, Give Justice to Orphans and Widows, at her Brooklyn Center home.
“Poverty Is everywhere,” says Elyzabeth Fanlome the founder of a local non-profit. “It’s not only in Africa here in this community there is a lot of poverty going on.”
Fanlome is originally from Togo, Africa. She immigrated to the United States in 2011. She knows firsthand what orphans and widows go through on a daily basis.
“I was raised by a single mother,” added Fanlome. “I lost my dad at a very early age. So that affected my life, my whole life educationally and emotionally.”
She never thought she’d start a nonprofit. But, that’s what she did last December. She created Give Justice to the Orphans and Widows, Otherwise known as the GJOW Foundation. Elyzabeth takes donations of clothing and shoes and gives them to people in need not only in Brooklyn Center but also in parts of Africa.
“Sometimes people just call me and say can you come and get this stuff,” added Fanlome. “Sometimes I have to go with my car or I call some of my assistance for help. They come and we go together to pick the stuff up.”
The people who help Elyzabeth say she has helped change their life too
“Elyzabeth is one of my best friends,” says Paul Bushey, a volunteer with the GJOW Foundation. “She helped change my life in a lot of ways. Now I am helping her in a lot of directions. It’s a wonderful thing to see her come from Africa and see her succeed. To see her have passion to come back and to help the community it’s a wonderful thing to see.”
Volunteers Recognize Elyzabeth’s Efforts
Paul has known Elysabeth for about 8 years and he says her faith is what drives her to give back.
“She does nothing without prayer,” says Bushey. “She does nothing without seeking God’s advice. She’s driven by that.”
She says being driven is what a person needs to follow in her footsteps of faith.
“You have to have a passion and calling to help,” stated Fanlome. “If you don’t have this kind of call you can’t do it. Some people think I am crazy for doing this by taking my own money and shipping stuff. People think I am crazy but I am not crazy you have to have this call to be able to do this.”
How You Can Help
Elyzabeth says if you are willing to help what she needs most in monetary donations. Her goal is to buy a van for the foundation so they can transport more clothing to other people in need. You can find out more about the organization by visiting their Facebook Page. If you would like to donate or are I need of help you can call Elyzabeth at 763-291-7381 or send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org