Colin Kaepernick donation a big hit with local nonprofit

LaToya 

Initially, DeKalb County resident Carolyn Watson had no idea who NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick is—or how to pronounce his last name. However, after Kaepernick donated $25,000 to her Lithonia-based charity Helping Oppressed Mothers Endure (HOME), she knows.

 As a part of Kaepernick’s $1 million pledge to donate to organizations that fight oppression through education and social activism, the Colin Kaepernick Foundation chose HOME as one of 24 organizations across the United States to donate money to.

 So far, the former starting NFL quarterback has donated $700,000 toward his $1 million goal.

 Watson said the donation took her by surprise.

 “Somehow Colin Kaepernick found out about us…this [donation came through] no efforts of our own,” Watson said. “This is something that I truly consider a miracle and the reason why is because this just came to us.”

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 HOME, a nonprofit organization that provides single mothers with furniture and other household items, was the brainchild of Watson. Watson is the founder and executive director of HOME and says she couldn’t do it without the support of her husband, Leotis Watson, good friend Carolyn Tolbert and volunteers.

 The $25,000 donation will help provide additional beds and items for single mothers in need in the metro area.

 HOME serves on average 10 families each month in nine metro-Atlanta counties, according to Tolbert, HOME’s director of development.  

 As of June 7, 545 moms and children collectively received sofas, dinette sets, beds, computer desks, TVs, lamps, small appliances, dishes, linen and bedding through the organization.  Also more than 5,600 pieces of gently used home furnishings have been distributed in less than 3 years.    

 Watson created the idea of HOME based on her life experiences. When she was 9 years old, Watson said she watched her mother escape an abusive relationship. When Watson became a first-time mom, she also endured personal struggles and found herself juggling bills and family needs by herself with little support.

 HOME is the only organization Georgia, so far, to receive a donation from Kaepernick. Last year the former San Francisco 49ers’ quarterback made national headlines by kneeling during the playing of the national anthem before every game to protest police brutality and social injustice.

 Last year Kaepernick announced that he would donate $1 million to charities plus all the proceeds of his jersey sales from the 2016 NFL season to organizations working in oppressed communities. The pledge includes donating $100,000 a month for 10 months.

San Francisco 49ers 2011 Headshots

 “The fact that [Kaepernick] would take his tangible resources and make change in the world speaks a lot about his heart,” Watson said. “I’m not into the controversy, but you have to stand for something or else you’ll fall for anything.”  

 Watson said she hopes to acquire a warehouse soon so HOME can have space to accept more donations. Watson said she also wants to develop programs to help single mothers with daycare for children or clothes for potential job interviews.

 

 

 

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