Jackie Booth sees Citizens of Rochester Empowerment, her new nonprofit, “going a long ways.”
Booth, the executive director of CORE, said the fledgling nonprofit sponsored by Pastor Andre Crockett is made mainly of women with “common concerns about things that are going on in communities of color.”
The organization doesn’t have a physical address or web presence yet, but keep an eye on Facebook for eventual updates.
How did you help found CORE?
Right after the riots started after the George Floyd murder -- it was a spiritual thing for me. I was watching all the news, watching all the looting and everything that was going on, and I could hear God speaking to me, telling me that he wanted me to get on the battlefield. He wanted me to do something. So when I got back in town, myself and a couple of other women started CORE. I knew that God wanted to use us, and we’ve been going strong ever since.
What has the group done so far?
We feed the homeless, we donate food. … We started out at the parks, feeding them there. We do donations, we donate men’s, women’s, children’s clothes to different shelters in town. Lately, we have been working with Family Promise. They take in whole families. We’ve dropped off toys for the children, we’ve dropped off clothes.
Where do you get your volunteers?
It’s mostly women I have met in my church. We have one male in our organization, he’s a musician and he played for our choir. But we’re looking for more volunteers. We have a process that we’re doing, (which) consists of filling out an application, doing an interview. … Some people, they may not be qualified.
Is there a particular skillset or type of volunteer you’re looking for?
No, we don’t look for any specifics, because everyone’s been given a talent. So what we do is, we figure out what those talents are, and we apply (them). If we can get all those together, rolled into one nice, big type of ball, we’ll be alright.
What do you hope your volunteers take away from working with CORE?
A sense of pridE. Our organization is based on Christianity. So a sense of pride in doing something good for all people, regardless of nationality. To receive those good things for themselves, as well as give back. They can learn that it’s OK to speak how you feel about your neighbor. It’s OK to speak out you feel when it comes to racism. I want them to know that life matters, period. All lives matter, you know, but right now, there’s a certain category of life that’s in jeopardy. To let them know that what they’re doing to help is good.
Is there anything else you wanted to say?
There is, there is. I’m out of town, but I got the news about the events over the weekend (June 6) -- the shooting. … We’re fighting for something that is for greater good for everyone. We’ve got to stop attacking each other. If we can’t stop fighting each other, what is the sense of what myself and other organizations are doing to bring about peace? That goes for all the citizens of Rochester. We want love in our cities. I hope that Rochester is one of those cities that can be put on a hill, where all can see the light.
To apply to join CORE, contact Jackie Booth at 507-271-8337.