Jackie Craig began her career as an account executive with the John H. Harland Company. She and her husband moved to Raleigh in 1989. After working for Harland for 13 years, she decided to stay home with her two young daughters.
During her time away from the labor force, Jackie served frequently as a volunteer. In addition to being an active parent at her daughters school, she was women’s bible study leader and served in various capacities at Edenton Street UMC.
While raising her daughters, Jackie was a volunteer leader with JobStart, a program that helps integrate incarcerated women back into society following their release from prison. Through her work with JobStart, the Methodist Home for Children, and other groups, Jackie learned about the fragility of the safety net for citizens in need. She also learned while there were programs for food, education, clothing, transportation and housing, the Raleigh community did not have a resource for providing essential home furnishings. At the same time, she frequently heard friends discussing the problem of decluttering their homes or dealing with their aging or deceased parents’ furniture.
The idea of being a conduit for the community for those that had furnishings to give and those who were in need was born. Raleigh realtor Beth Smoot, shared Jackie’s interest and they worked together to start The Green Chair Project in 2010. Jackie eventually became the Executive Director, and since its founding The Green Chair has helped over two thousand families equip their homes for sustainable living. Through more than 60 client agencies, those in need come to The Green Chair after leaving prison, abusive spouses, homelessness, addiction or after facing the loss of their houses to natural disasters. No other agency in our community offers the same model of providing household furnishings in a dignified experience to every client that is served.
Jackie is married to Dr. Lee A. Craig, head of the Economics Department at N.C. State. She has two daughters, Gabie and Ellee. She has a Welsh corgi, Gracie, and two rescue cats, Piper and Cocoa.