Positive Change: Jackson Nonprofits Give Back

Jackson is cultivating compassion for our neighbors in need.

Learn about different Jackson organizations that are showering love on others and growing deeper roots in the community - and how you can be involved.

Timothy Riley enjoys a meal outside the Shower Power mobile unit in Downtown Jackson
Timothy Riley enjoys a meal outside the Shower Power mobile unit in Downtown Jackson
Credit: Eric J. Shelton/Mississippi Today

Shower Power

Houseless and marginally sheltered face many challenges, one of them being the difficulty of having regular access to a shower. Founded in 2019 by Teresa Renkenberger and directed by Mary Ann Kirby, Shower Power is a mobile hygiene service that offers a free shower every Friday to anyone that needs it in downtown Jackson, and is a safe place to bathe, be fed, clothed, and loved. A shower truck is located at 836 South Commerce Street, retrofitted with two separate heated shower units, each with soap and shampoo dispensers, a mirror, a sink, and changing area. Along with Project Hope - their sister organization that helps identify and advance individuals who are good candidates for low-income housing - they're bringing Mississippi's signature hospitality to the streets and restoring dignity through self-care.

To learn how to be involved, follow Shower Power on social media.

Operation Shoestring

Founded in 1968 in response to the social struggles of the civil rights era, Operation Shoestring was born out of a desire by faith-based leaders to put their faith into action by uplifting children and families in the central Jackson service community, especially in the areas of education, health, and economic self-sufficiency. Operation Shoestring provides year-round academic, social, and emotional aid to children from pre-K through 5th grade while supporting and providing resources to their families. They aim to empower current and future generations to generate self-sustaining success, and that of their community, so that we all rise together.

To learn more, follow Operation Showtring on social media.

The Bean Path

Jackson native Dr. Nashlie H. Sephus, the Applied Science Manager for Amazon Artificial Intelligence (AI), knew she always wanted to give back to the community that has invested so much in her. Founder and CEO of The Bean Path, she and her team of tech experts and enthusiasts are working to build the landscape of the local tech community, providing technical advice and guidance to individuals, students, and small businesses across Jackson. The nonprofit is housed at the Makerspace, its collaborative workshop designed to engage, inspire and empower community members through STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math). Whether you want to learn a new skill, develop a business idea, or create prototypes, The Bean Path is there to help you sow and grow your vision.

To keep up-to-date on The Bean Path's latest news, follow them on social media.

Community Foundation Water Supply Drive
The Community Foundation for Mississippi assists another local non-profit, the Good Samaritan Center, with their Hub for the Hungry water supply drive in partnership with Extra Table. CFM President and CEO, Jane Alexander, is third from right
Credit: Sophie McNeil Wolf/Community Foundation for Mississippi

Community Foundation For Mississippi

With the help of the Community Foundation for Mississippi, you don’t have to be a millionaire to give like one. Community foundations work alongside passionate community members and funders looking to support nonprofits, community-based organizations, and meaningful causes, making an impact where it is needed most, together. Individuals and organizations can open funds at CFM, allowing them to raise money for specific causes or projects, which they may not be able to do on their own without 501c3 status. The foundation is at the heart of many of Jackson's most beloved events, making them possible through funds at CFM, including Hal's St. Paddy's Parade and Mississippi Book Festival, in addition to supporting upgrades and operations of many of the city's cultural institutions, such as the Planetarium, Smith Robertson Museum and Cultural Center, Municipal Art Gallery, Thalia Mara Hall, Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, Mississippi Opera and many more.

What to find local organizations to support that matter to you? Visit their site to filter by cause. To keep up-to-date on CFM's latest news, follow them on social media.

Stewpot Community Services

Stewpot provides compassionate assistance, at no charge, to Jacksonians who are hungry, poor, elderly, and home insecure, offering food, shelter, clothing, mentoring, care, and concern. Since 1981, the nonprofit has stood by the concept that we are nourished through our fellowship with one another and become stronger when we offer our gifts on behalf of others. Their yearly events like Taste of Mississippi help Stewpot assist over 600 individuals every day.

To learn more, follow Stewpot on social media.

CARA (Community Animal Rescue & Adoption)

CARA stands by its mantra “Until every cage is empty," and is one of Jackson's animal shelters looking to take in, protect, and rehome the thousands of stray dogs and cats born in Mississippi every year. CARA is a no-kill shelter that takes a holistic approach to each pet that comes through its doors, successfully adopting over 600 animals in 2022. Their 14th annual "Dog Days of Summer" event is happening on April 29 and is a fun day for the entire family to take part in, including the four-legged members. Interested pet parents can also visit some of their adoptables at the local pet store Chipper & Coco, which houses some of the shelter's cats and dogs throughout the year.

To keep up-to-date on CARA's latest news, follow them on social media.

Anne Marie Hanna


Anne Marie Hanna