In September 2017, Hurricane Irma swept into the US Virgin islands, causing much devastation, and forever changing the life of M2M Gifts Founder, Jackie Xavier.
But while the eyes of the world watched the natural disaster unfold, many loved ones were unaware of the secondary storm that had been brewing dangerously inside of Jackie for far too long. With just two small bags and her two-year-old daughter, Lena, strapped to her chest, Jackie found herself evacuated back to her hometown of Chicago. She had been living in the Caribbean for seven years.
Like many others affected by Irma, the storm unexpectedly brought a sense of gratitude and clarity, as well as an appreciation for the fragility of life. Jackie soon realized that she no longer wanted to remain in silence – especially if she could help someone else. She wanted to share her story; a story that very few had known: Ever since her daughter was born, she had been struggling with debilitating depression and anxiety.
After gaining the courage to share her struggles, Jackie was astounded by how many other women began opening up about their own personal storms: abortion, miscarriage, abuse, sexual assault, mental illness.
They began sharing some of their darkest stories of hardship, perseverance, and survival. This touched Jackie in a way she had never before experienced. For the first time in far too long, she didn’t feel alone. Then one night, not long after purging her soul, she fell asleep only to experience the most vivid dream calling on her to build something in support of other women. When she awoke the next morning she began her journey of making that dream a reality.
In November 2017, Jackie launched Mama2Mama Gifts, a movement in which beautiful, curated gift boxes with notes from strangers sharing encouraging words, would be sent to women all over the country, for the purpose of uplifting and supporting each other through some of life’s most trying times.
Motherhood is difficult at best. But it’s also so very worth it. It’s brutal. It’s beautiful. It’s “brutiful.”
Today, Jackie is proud to help serve as a vessel through which women can help each other. She hopes to always be an advocate and remind other women that they are never alone – no matter what their personal journey may be.
She is doing exactly what fills her heart with passion: being Lena’s mama, sharing love, empowerment, and laughter, and overseeing a project that supports and heals those who need it most.
There is sunshine after the storm.