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The Women Spotlight!
Phyllis Burton and Princess Jackson

This Mother and Daughter Duo are globally impacting communities and restoring humanity. Phyllis is the founder of the V.O. Burton Foundation and Princess is the founder of Sock Out Poverty, Inc. The two nonprofit organizations have one cause and that's serving those who are in need. Phyllis and Princess inherited their compassion for the community from Phyllis' late father, Varn O. Burton. Mr. Burton was a pillar in the community and was known for helping underserved families. Thus the V.O. Burton Foundation was created in his honor. Phyllis and Princess's selfless acts of kindness and humanitarianism were recognized and they both are recipients of the Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award from President Joe Biden. To date, Phyllis and Princess have been collectively serving the community all over the world for over 10 years.

 

Q. Tell us, what inspired the creations of V.O. Burton Foundation Inc. and Sock Out Poverty, Inc.?

 

We are three generations of service providers. My father would take me along while he gave back to others. While witnessing his compassion for others, I was compelled to give to those in need. This generosity of serving others was passed to Princess as she witnessed me giving back to others. She was with me for a blanket drive we were hosting for the homeless during the holidays. She was inspired to donate new socks to those in need and Sock Out Poverty was created.  

 

The V.O. Burton Foundation was created in my father's honor. If there was no him, there would be no us.

 

Q. What type of services does each organization provide, and who benefits from them?

 

The V.O. Burton Foundation provides care packages, hot meals, and clothing items to those in need. We also award college scholarships to high school seniors pursing to futher their education. Sock Out Poverty, Inc. provides one of the most over looked item and yet most needed and that's a new pair of socks. To date, Sock Out Poverty has given out more than 20,000 pairs of new socks to those in need. 

Q. What are some of the marketing techniques that you’ve taken to bring awareness and visibility to your brands?

 

We use social media, print ads, local and global news broadcasting, and the power of networking are our marketing strategies we utilize to bring awareness to our brand and events.

 

Q. Since the pandemic, purpose has been at an all-time high. What are your thoughts on building a purpose-driven business, life, and career? 

 

The pandemic allowed us to reevaluate, recreate, and strategize to thrive in the midst of challenges. If it's not purpose-driven it will be either short-lived or existing with no passion. The pandemic made it even clearer on what we are doing and why. 

 

Q. Have you come across any roadblocks in your path to success? If so, how did you overcome them?

 

Yes. One was the pandemic. How were we going to serve the community in the middle of a worldwide health scare? We rolled up our sleeves, shipped needed items to those in need, and held virtual comeback events. One monkey don't stop no show or should we say one health scare will not keep us from our purpose. 

Q. What’s your superpower?

 

Serving.

 

Q. When you hear the words ‘Women Empowerment” what comes to mind?

 

Encouraging, enlightening, inspiring women to stretch beyond to reach their goals. Providing the necessary tools for women to succeed. This is Empowerment.

 

Q. What does success mean to you?

 

Me and Princess have a saying " If you don't achieve your desired goal...get up and try again. Success means to us 'getting up", "showing up", "leveling up", and "not giving up" until you reach your desired goal.

Q. What advice can you give to aspiring entrepreneurs who would like to turn their dreams into realities?

 

Never Give Up! 

Stay Connected! 

Voburtonfoundation.org and Sockoutpoverty.org

Interview by: Lee K. Whetstone -Founder and EIC

Published: March 23, 2024

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