GASTON COUNTY, N.C. — During the pandemic three families in North Carolina made it their mission to give back to the most vulnerable in their community. 


What You Need to Know

Family Foccus Initiative started during the pandemic to give back to its community

Since then, the nonprofit helped nearly 2,000 vulnerable people in the Gastonia area

It also offers scholarships for local kids needing help with school finances 


A year later, their nonprofit has reached almost 2,000 people.

Many of the people they helped were women and children in need of food, school supplies and toiletries. 

“It could’ve easily been me,” said Janet Maddox, the president of Family Foccus Initiative. 

Maddox founded Family Foccus Initiative as a way to give back.

This week she’s committed 20 hours of her time to helping provide some comfort for women at a local shelter in Gastonia.

“There’s women and children, mostly from abusive situations, it’s a safe haven for them. So while they’re there they need cleaning products, utensils that we can help them with,” Maddox said. 

Maddox said she grew up very fortunate and still feels extremely blessed.

So, she and the other families donate $250 a month to their organization, and $50 of that goes toward community outreach, like this, and the other $200 goes toward scholarship money for local students. 

“I’ve been tasked to give back. It’s my obligation to give back to those that are less fortunate,” Maddox said.  

She said her calling is to help others, especially when she saw the desperate need from her community members. 

“It is personal and close to my heart, just because I have seen the women and understand that they are stressed,” Maddox said. 

Maddox said, besides the women’s shelter, the nonprofit also works closely with the schools to provide supplies for kids who have no way of getting it. 

“If there’s someone who can step in and give them a pencil or something just to get themselves where they need to be successful, we want to be that,” Maddox said. 

She’ll be giving out the cleaning supplies and play pins for the women’s shelter this upcoming week, adding that it’s rewarding and emotional for her to help people who can’t help themselves. 

“By me being able to touch some of the things that I’m purchasing for them, I know that they’re going to touch those things when they receive them, so it's going to be like me giving part of myself to them too,” Maddox said.

This past year FFI offered three $1,000 scholarships for students in the area, but since it's such a new organization Maddox said no one applied for it. 

If you’re looking for help, Maddox says her organization can help. 

You can reach out to Family Foccus Initiative here.