Teresa Jackson runs Sharing Life Community Outreach, a Mesquite-based nonprofit that has served low-income residents since 1999, with such operations as a client-choice food pantry and financial assistance for rent and utilities.
Born in Mesquite, the executive director moved to Mabank in fourth grade and returned to Dallas County at age 25. She’s been married to Charlie Jackson, a retired postal worker, for 24 years, and has four children and four grandchildren.
What led you to the nonprofit realm?
Helping others is in my DNA. It’s a spiritual calling. I have known poverty and deeply desire to be an advocate for those who are currently experiencing what I once experienced. I get it. It’s really hard to be poor. I want to be a change-maker.
If you weren’t running Sharing Life, what would you be doing?
Leadership development training: I am passionate about encouraging young women to pursue their dreams and make them a reality.
Of which accomplishment are you most proud?
I am proud of Sharing Life. Its growth and reach have far surpassed any expectation I ever dared to dream. Being the pilot agency for the North Texas Food Bank and Parkland Pieces Tech has been exciting. I am pretty proud to know that the work we are doing with these prestigious organizations will change the way future like-minded nonprofits do their important work.
What do you like to do in your downtime?
Reading, shopping and traveling
What’s your favorite book?
“Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young; I read it every morning. I also love “Nickle and Dimed, On Not Getting By in America” by Barbara Ehrenreich. It’s a must read.
What are your greatest phobias and why?
Spiders and snakes are at the top, but I also fear there are hungry people in our community who aren’t aware we have food for them. That thought keeps me awake at night.
Who is playing in your headphones most of the time?
I love all music. I enjoy current artists like Adele and Sam Smith, but also love older bands like Journey and The Eagles. Mostly, I listen to contemporary Christian music including Casting Crowns, Lauren Daigle and Hillsong.
If you could be any animal, what would it be and why?
A standard poodle. They are so fancy, well-groomed and smart. And, they don’t shed.
Describe a hidden talent or guilty pleasure.
I have a Diet Coke addiction. It’s serious. I need an intervention.
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