By all accounts, Jaclyn Stapp is living quite a charmed life. She is an award-winning children’s book author, former beauty queen, spokesperson, model, mother of three children, and the wife of Grammy award-winning lead singer of rock band Creed, Scott Stapp. And recently, she added another accomplishment: founding a new non-profit organization for children aptly named CHARM (Children Are Magical),
The organization’s goal is to increase awareness of issues affecting children and to provide underprivileged youth with various services, including mentoring. Since no child lives in a bubble, CHARM also seeks to helps adult family members through a subdivision called I AM STRENGTH, which provides support in cases of “divorce, death, personal tragedy, discrimination and much more.” To that end, the organization has partnered with jewelry line, Masonharlie, to create I AM STRENGTH ID bracelets with 20 percent of the proceeds benefiting CHARM.
We had the opportunity to ask Jaclyn a few questions about her new organization and its goals. Here’s what she had to say!:
Tell us about your new non-profit CHARM (Children Are Magical) and what made you decide to start it.
Growing up with three sisters and a brother and being raised by our widowed mother, I was always inspired by my mother’s strength and wisdom through every challenge our family faced. Regardless of our situation, we were encouraged and taught to be grateful for what we had and to always give back to others. I volunteered at children’s hospitals, literacy programs, and was involved with many church missions. My family experienced what it was like to do without – but more than that – we realized the value of giving of ourselves. When I was in high school, I had the first vision for CHARM. With just a few friends, we started babysitting, helping with homework, running errands, or meeting neighborhood needs. That experience, along with our mother’s example, planted seeds for my dream of CHARM and to lead by example. Just as my mother embraced every opportunity in education and every challenge as a means to build a better future, I have involved my three children in giving back through involvement with their schools, anti-bullying education, mentoring, or simply learning how to be a supportive friend.
The purpose and aim of CHARM is to heighten awareness of children’s issues, and provide underprivileged youth and families with tools for building a fulfilling future through education, encouragement, and valuable resources. We also partner with other trusted resource agencies to become a connecting point for that support.
The world of celebrity has plenty of charities that seek to raise “awareness” for certain issues which is great, but can you tell us what tangible, real-world things you seek to achieve through CHARM?
The past two years of hands-on charitable events have not only been tangible, but truly rewarding: Ronald Mcdonald House in Miami; South Florida’s Bridge Builders of America; Boys Haven Boca Raton Florida; El Paso Children’s Hospital Texas; NVEEE anti-bullying foundation; book readings and donating books to the homeless children in Japan at the one year post-earthquake anniversary event; and most recently, a personal visit and fund raising for the Milagro House in Pennsylvania. These are a few of the many philanthropic projects I’ve been honored to be a part of. It’s been truly rewarding to be included in these fundraising events, donations, volunteer work, and personal visits. The goal of CHARM is to continue to raise awareness for children’s needs, raise funds, and – with each personal visit – hope to inspire and encourage others.
How will you do this?
As stated above, we will continue with hands-on work locally and as we partner with other organizations to expand CHARM. From the smallest need of helping one child complete high school, to assisting a mother to find safe and affordable housing, or keep a third-grader feeling safe at school, CHARM will be there to support the needs of children and families across the country.
Bullying is a hot topic these days. What would you like to say to teens out there who are being bullied in some way?
I want them to know they are not alone. There are many people – young and old – who experience bullying, and no one deserves to be treated this way. I would encourage them to speak to someone; a friend or a trusted adult. YOU DO MATTER, YOU ARE IMPORTANT, and YOU CAN STAND UP and put a stop to bullying. A person does have an immense power by standing up against bullying, and many times, that simply means standing by someone else. You can also visit www.nveee.org for additional info.
If you or a friend is suffering from bullying, you can visit the Stop Bullying website for more information and ways to receive help http://www.stopbullying.gov/get-help-now/index.html
CHARM has a sub-division called I AM STRENGTH, can you explain what that is? I AM STRENGTH offers support to anyone encountering the challenges of life. I AM STRENGTH offers a community of support and the words represent a sounding board for all backgrounds.
You are an inspirational woman and role model. Can you share with our teen audience the toughest challenge you personally have overcome, and how you did it?
I faced my own share of ridicule as a young child for my Middle Eastern cultural differences and I transformed insult to inspiration by realizing my purpose and passion – which was to make life better for children, and to educate others to value uniqueness and appreciate multicultural diversity.
CHARM derives its inspiration and purpose from life experiences, the selfless strength of my mother, and her resolve that despite experiencing firsthand the dilemma of few available resources, she adhered to a passionate calling to meet the needs of other families in similar circumstances.
Tell us about your partnership with Masonharlie?
I partnered with the fashion-forward jewelry collection, MasonHarlie, designed by two mothers to create the exclusive #iamstrength silver bracelet to inspire women across the country to channel their inner strength and overcome their personal struggles or obstacles. You can visit the CHARM website to learn more about it and our other products! Proceeds benefit CHARM.
How can people get involved with your organization?
In the spirit of hope and fun we invite all of you to join us in the #iamstrength mission! No matter what challenges we face each day, big or small, young or old, we need to BUILD the inner strength within each of us.
You can send us your creative and fun selfie with the words #iamstrength written on your hand or any favorite part of your body. Selfie supporters will be featured on the CHARM official website. With enough support from local communities and the public we can together share the beauty of hope, confidence and strength! Visit our website to learn more! www.childrenaremagical.org
What’s next for you?
I continue to devote most of my time and focus into launching CHARM, building partnerships with affiliate foundations, and fostering growth. I’m also working on my second children’s book – a follow up to my first book Wacky Jacky: The True Story of An Unlikely Beauty Queen. With Thanksgiving and Christmas right around the corner we are working on organizing local food drives & feeding the children in South Florida.
Its is great to see celebrities give back and be positive role models — way to go Jaclyn! : )
Please check out the www.childrenaremagical.org website and help make a difference.