The Green Chair Project Staff
Jackie Craig Executive Director/Co-Founder
Jackie Craig was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. She graduated from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana in 1983 and became 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 The Raleigh School, Exploris Middle School, and Saint Mary’s School where her daughters attended, she also was a women’s bible study leader and served in various capacities at Edenton Street United Methodist Church.
When her oldest daughter left for college, Jackie began considering a return to the labor force. 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 and her husband have downsized and recently moved to downtown Raleigh. She is married to Dr. Lee A. Craig, head of the Economics Department at N.C. State. Their daughters, Gabie and Ellee, are working professionals and also live in Raleigh. She has a Welsh corgi, Gracie, and two rescue cats, Piper and Cocoa.