JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – From a young girl, Clara Thompson knew that she would dedicate her life to helping others.
“One of the quotes my father always says is, ‘Be nice to people, because you never know whose help you will need.’ That’s one thing I have practiced through my young days, through my older days, is to help people,” explained Thompson.
Marrying someone others said she shouldn’t, Thompson and her husband, J.J., have gone on to create a beautiful family.
“We are a blended family. We got married in 1993. I have a daughter and a son, and he has a daughter and a son. We were blessed to have six grandchildren from them and one great-grand that’s two years old,” she stated.
Thompson’s grandchildren are her little angels, but so many are drawn to her, including a group of young girls from her previous church. They call themselves “Clara’s Angels.”
“For some reason they would cling to me, and I would cling to them. They knew that they could call me and cry on my shoulders at any time, and today they still call me.”
Thompson remains a mom to many at the church where her husband is the pastor, New Hope Church of God in Christ.
“I had two women that were both on drugs. I kind of put them under my wings. Everybody calls me ‘Momma Clara.’ I put them under my wing. I toiled with them. Sometimes they would slip back, and I would encourage them, and they would get back on the road.”
Thompson’s loyalty to these two women specifically has a deeper meaning because of her husband.
“He was a drug addict. So many people told me to leave him, but God has something in store. I stayed with him, and I thank God I did.”
Thompson’s husband said she never meets a stranger. She’s known for picking up ladies, clothing, and feeding those in need. She expanded her outreach to Stewpot in Jackson 11 years ago.
“I see the need. I see the physical need. I see the spiritual need. I’ve given them clothes. I’ve given them money. We’ve even put people up in hotels and fed them and make them comfortable.”
The work doesn’t stop at Stewpot. Thompson and her husband also give back during the holidays. J.J. works at Patty Peck, and his boss helps match donations to give toys at Christmas.
The satisfaction with this isn’t enough for Thompson. She expanded her community involvement to hospitals and nursing homes across the area.
“We go to hospitals to visit people, pray for people, and the nursing homes, we do the same.”
After 20 years of outreach, one could say that Thompson has done her duty, but she said her work is never done.
“I don’t want to ever give up and say that I’m done, because I’m disappointing someone that they may be stumbling around in the world.”
Thompson said she’s excited to continue being a beacon of light to those who need it. Thompson, along with her husband, started their own ministry and outreach program called “Alternative Ministries.”