JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS)—The face of Brenda Hughes is painted on the side of this wall, and next to it is the word give. It’s a symbol of a life dedicated to serving her community through her organization Jackson Michigan Giving back.

“I look back and sometimes I look at the mural and I’m like am I dreaming?” said Founder of Jackson Michigan Giving Back, Brenda Hughes.

For Hughes, helping others comes from her own life experience. She once was a young mom who knew what it felt like to struggle.

“At the age of 13. Having my own child. A child having a child,” said Hughes.

A challenge that she’s turned into a life of helping others through food and clothing drives, but right now even as the pandemic wavers Hughes says the need is growing. She says the places she goes to refill her pantry are running low as summer donations trend downwards.

“The need as far as food is definitely great. I just went to the food bank yesterday and their shelves were completely bare. I’ve never seen that in the years I’ve been going there,” said Hughes.

It’s having an effect on her own supply with shelves like these empty where food once was, but for now she’s doing what she can, including buying items herself. This last month she’s served more than 500 hundred families. Some of them she says were people you wouldn’t expect asking for help.

“They’ve got bills they have to choose. It’s either their bills or getting food for their kids and they say Brenda we have to make sure that our kids have a place to stay,” said Hughes.

But like her message on the mural outside, inside is the word believe. Hughes calls it a reminder for her but also for the people who are in need.

“Never give up. Just stay focused and know that this is not the end.”

For ways you can support Hughes mission to give back there is a link below.

https://jacksonmichigangivingback.org/