By Ed Brock
Honey Clark advises anybody who wants to know about all of her personal projects to get their rest.
It will be a long story, and one told with a lot of energy.
Clark, 41, of Jonesboro is the founder and director of Honey's Women and Children Inc. and the Aunty Honey House, two programs designed to help struggling families and children. She's an actor and playwright who looks just like comedian Whoopi Goldberg, a registered nurse, a hair stylist, a mother of four and grandmother to one.
And she plans to take her good works abroad to countries like Jamaica and Mexico.
"(Children in Jamaica) at the age of 9 or 10, their parents put them on the street and leave them," Clark said.
Clark is a native of Eutaw, Alabama.
"It's on the map," she insists, but it is a small town located somewhere south of Tuscaloosa.
She moved to Atlanta and worked as a nurse at Atlanta Medical Center for a while. Five years ago she moved to Jonesboro and started styling hair, and that's when she got the idea for Honey's Women and Children.
"While I was doing hair I discovered a lot of women were coming to me not for their hair but to talk to me about what was going on in their life, about daycare," Clark said.
So she decided to start holding day camps for the children of these women. In her original location on North Main Street in Jonesboro, Clark worked on a very small budget, so she had to improvise her entertainment for the children.
"I taught the girls how to braid hair and taught the boys how to cut hair," Clark said. "The kids had a ball."
Honey's Women and Children has about 300 women in the group today, but she is looking for a new location to hold the camps, preferably a building large enough to allow for multiple purposes. She hasn't met with the members of the group since March, but at that time she got them started shedding pounds in preparation for her "Weight Loss Party" fundraiser scheduled for March 4.
Clark sells "Honey, It's a Patch," a patch that is applied to the skin to deliver an herbal mix that is intended to encourage weight loss. She said 90 percent of the sales of the patch go to benefit Honey's Women and Children.
The "Weight Loss Party" will be held from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. at the Georgia Ramada Limited on Lee Street in Forest Park. The woman who has lost the most weight wins a cruise.
Aunty Honey's House came about after Clark experienced a fire at her house. Before deciding to stay with her family at a hotel she learned that area shelters sometimes have to separate families, so she decided to start her own shelter.
She currently has a 40-year-old woman and her two children staying in her shelter, which is also her own home. With Clark's help the woman has gotten her first driver's license and a new job.
"She's doing real good. I like to see them move on to the next level," Clark said.
And Clark decided to go international after visiting Jamaica last year. A young boy approached her for money and when she asked him where his mother was he told her he didn't have one. Thinking the boy was trying to con her she walked away.
"Everywhere I went he continued to follow me, hiding behind trees," Clark said.
When she got back to her hotel she asked a hotel employee about what the boy had told her and was told the boy was telling the truth about not having a mother. When she got home she sent him $100.
She encountered similar situations on a trip to Acapulco, Mexico.
"They don't have anybody helping them in Mexico," Clark said.
Clark's work has earned her letters of praise from local politicians like former State Rep. Greg Hecht.
"Honey is a warm, caring person whose heart goes out to kids and families," Hecht said. "And she's a fun person as well."
Honey's Women and Children is a not-for-profit organization. To contribute to Clark's causes, call her at (678) 768-6114 or (770) 471-6074.