Big heart becomes big project

Lawanda Jordon turned a volunteer project to collect items for domestic violence survivors into a nonprofit.
Lawanda Jordon turned a volunteer project to collect items for domestic violence survivors into a nonprofit.

A few months before the pandemic made life harder, Lawanda Jordan started helping domestic violence survivors who were facing a myriad of daunting challenges.

“A friend told me about a girl who’d just left her abuser and didn’t know where to go,” Jordan said. “I wanted to do as much as I could to get her placed.”

Jordan began collecting items to furnish homes for survivors. At the same time, her spouse, Chris Kwangwari, was rehabbing some rental properties, and Jordan saw an opportunity.

“We had just renovated a mobile home when a girl called about needing a place to stay,” she said. “So we put her in one.”

At the time, Jordan was working in Atlanta’s Kirkwood neighborhood, and she posted a request for donations on the community website.

“I needed two car seats to start, but I got about 300 comments from people who had stuff,” she said. “So I decided to collect everything and put it in storage just in case. I took every single thing from toilet paper and toothpaste to beds, couches and dining tables.”

Soon, her spouse’s work warehouse became supply central for the women in need.

“As we started getting more properties, we began furnishing them and putting women in them,” she said. “In four months, we had 10 women in homes. It became so huge so fast.”

Jordan quit her day job and founded Feet of Clay, a nonprofit dedicated to helping domestic violence survivors and their children start over.

“When I started visiting these women and seeing that they needed childcare, therapy and other services, I knew I had to have more of an organization,” said Jordan. “I began partnering with other groups, like day care centers, and having monthly group coaching sessions. Now we’re a full-service organization.”

The answer to her friends’ question about going back to her old job is an emphatic no.

“I don’t have the time,” she said. “Once you start helping, you want to do so much more.”

Information about Feet of Clay is online at feetclay.com.

Who’s doing good? Each week, we write about a deserving individual, charity events such as fun-runs, volunteer projects and other community gatherings that benefit a good cause. To suggest an event or person for us to cover, contact us at ajc.doinggood@gmail.com.

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