A Q&A with The Tender Foundation’s Jaycina Almond

Meet The Tender Foundation

We’re proud to partner with The Tender Foundation — a non-profit that supports single moms in Atlanta. We’ll donate 10% of all Black Friday sales to the organization, and throughout the year we donate open box product to mothers in need—from cribs to sheets to rugs and more.

The reason Jaycina Almond started The Tender Foundation is simple: The single mamas of Atlanta, Georgia needed it. “The income inequality gap in Atlanta is one of the worst in the US,” says Jaycina. “Every child deserves a home, food in their belly, and essentials, such as diapers. And every mother deserves the opportunity to mother without the stress of survival.”

Launched in January 2020, The Tender Foundation provides a safety net for mothers navigating issues big and seemingly small, from a lack of affordable housing to high childcare costs to low or no income or support — and everything in between. “If we are able to support a mom with groceries, and she doesn’t have to choose between buying groceries or keeping her lights on? That’s meaningful, that’s impactful.”

Star shape, color: blue

Here, Jaycina shares how her own journey inspired a passion for helping other single mothers.

Where’s home?

I live in Atlanta, Georgia with my daughter Syx, our pup named Brother and our cat Kora. I spent half of my childhood in Kentucky, and, although NY or LA makes more sense for me career-wise, I have a soft spot for the south—especially Atlanta, a historically Black city with so much history and culture.

How did The Tender Foundation come to be?

Tender is the way that I’ve been able to show up and be in community with folks in my city. I never imagined leveraging my social currency could turn into well over $100k in actual currency being distributed to single mamas like myself.

Tell us more.

We need some time for this one! The Tender Foundation launched in January 2020. We provide emergency financial assistance with rent, utilities and groceries, and we operate a diaper bank that distributes free diapers, wipes and formula to families in our community. Everybody has seen over the course of COVID-19 why organizations and programs like The Tender Foundation exist, but, in Atlanta specifically, the income inequality gap is one of the worst in the US. The families who have been here and built Atlanta into the hub it is today are the same ones struggling the most. As a young, Black, single mom who shares some of the same lived experiences as the mamas we serve, I knew I wanted to do something specifically for us once I realized I wanted to do something in the nonprofit space.

Something surprising you've learned during your experience at The Tender Foundation (so far)?

People are willing to help! If you put yourself out there or put what you need out there, folks will show up! I always get so nervous about asking for anything still, and I’m always surprised when I get a yes.

Can you tell us about a moment when you realized The Tender Foundation’s impact?

I realized the work we were doing was meaningful and important early on. We had a mama that was just getting her footing—new job, got approved for a new home, had first month’s rent, but didn’t have extra to also cover the security deposit. The Tender Foundation was able to help. She and her son have been smooth sailing since, they just needed that extra little support to get to a place of stability. We do something called ‘gap assistance’; we don’t have a long-term program with clearly defined KPIs, and it was hard to explain *how* our work is impactful in the beginning because of this. This mama was the turning point for me, where I found the language. Now it’s easy to explain, like if we are able to support a mom with groceries and she doesn’t have to choose between buying groceries or keeping her lights on: that’s meaningful, that’s impactful.

What’s different about The Tender Foundation?

I’ve navigated government benefits programs as an adult, so I know how dehumanizing the process to receive help is and I knew we would be the opposite of that. I researched other programs in our area, and I saw that there are so many barriers to actually just applying for help that it is often a draining undertaking, from in-person appointments when families can’t afford to miss a day of work or struggle with transportation, or requests only accepted certain times of the week or month, etc. We built out a process that is shame-free, stigma-free, dignified and truly “emergency” financial assistance — meaning folks can request 24/7 and receive a response within days.

The most impactful way for people to support The Tender Foundation?

Monetary donations, of course! We’re a nonprofit, LOL—but truly: sharing and spreading the word, if you can’t donate or volunteer. We’ve had some great opportunities come our way through people just sharing our work with their network. That means the world to us.

Shop to Support Tender's Work!
Greenguard Gold
Full crib
Mini Crib
Toddler bed
The Candy Cloud Crib $749
A mini crib, full crib and toddler bed
Seashell Rug $299
Life’s a beach
Greenguard Gold
Mini crib
Full crib
Toddler bed
The Wave Crib $749 - $799
A mini crib, full crib and toddler bed
Why did you want to partner with us?

At The Tender Foundation, we believe all mothers should be able to mother without the burden of survival and kids should be able to just be kids. By partnering with Nestig, we’re able to take another worry off a new mom’s plate — she knows she’ll have a safe place for her baby to sleep—and we’re able to practice sustainability, too. We like to think we’re practicing “community care” in our work, and those two things really embody that.

Best parenting advice you ever got?

Add water! Best advice I’ve ever got—still works with my 4.5 year old. If we are having a tough time, I find a way to add water! Bath, sensory bin, washing dishes together and splashing each other, something. Instantly resets the day.

Learn more about The Tender Foundation — and how you can help — here