Press | The Black Fairy Godmother


Tory Burch's Empowered Women: Simone Gordon

Tory Burch - March 1, 2021

Tory Burch's Empowered Women: Simone Gordon

Simone Gordon was a domestic violence survivor and single mom with a son who was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Within two years, she lost her job and was forced to collect unemployment while searching for the resources to help her son. It was an incredibly difficult time.

"Many doors began to close," she remembers. Large organizations would not call her back, especially when they heard what city she was from or the situation she was in - a young mom with a special needs child who was temporarily living with her parents.

She was desperate for formula and diapers for her son. And every time she asked for help, she couldn't get it.

So she went to social media for help and discovered a Facebook group called "Reparations and Offerings," run by poet Natasha Marin.

She put up a post and four women helped with the few essentials she needed. They also helped re-enroll her into community college and paid her tuition and previous balance.

Grateful for the help she received, she decided to carry it forward and help others, too. She launched a Facebook page, and then the Instagram account @TheBlackFairyGodMotherOfficial. "I knew how hard it was for women like myself from the inner city, and how others turn their back on us when emergencies arise," she says.

At first, she almost gave up. "I fell into depression because no one seemed to understand my mission," she says. But over time, people like Elizabeth Gilbert and her publicist Yvonne Forbes helped remind her how important her mission was.

Today, The Black Fairy Godmother is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with a team of 12 volunteers that gives direct assistance to families in need. During the pandemic alone, they have raised over $50,000 for families.

"We take emergency situations very seriously," Gordon says.

"Our goal is to turn emergencies into victories and make the world better through direct giving."

Here's how it works: Women and families of color can request emergency assistance directly to The Black Fairy Godmother Foundation when they need it. Then, after vetting is complete, volunteers post the request on Instagram so that followers can directly give to those in need.

The majority of women who reach out are women of color who need emergency groceries, which are provided using Instacart, Target, or Walmart. They also provide emergency housing and clothing for women fleeing domestic violence, and assist new moms-to-be and women who want to further their education.

"It puts tears in my eyes just knowing I contributed to someone's success," she says.

Gordon is one of Tory Burch's Empowered Women this year. The donation she receives as a nominee is being awarded to five single mothers who are enrolling in college or trade school programs to better their future through the BFG Scholarship Program.

"I want people to understand how direct giving can make a major impact," Gordon says. "We can change lives and save lives by donating and providing resources."

"Many people do not have access to adequate support systems or resources to get things back on track and we can't rely on celebrities or politicians to do the work. We must make the effort to change our communities ourselves."

"I am hoping that if I cannot change millions of people's mindsets on direct giving, at least I'll be able to make an impact on a few thousand."