Kayla Giles Profiles 10.10.2018
Lamanda Ballard is the founder of Flo Code, a non-profit organization that works to help underprivileged women and girls in the community who cannot afford menstrual products. “I’ve always had a passion for philanthropy and giving back to the community since I was a child.” Lamanda said. She lived out this passion through volunteering at the homeless shelter downtown and being a member of the Homeless Period Project. During her time of volunteering, she was exposed to a truth that inspired her to start Flo Code. “I realized the shelters are not only dominated by men, but there were limited resources for women when it comes to our specific needs. I started doing research on different nonprofits who shared similar initiatives, started my own chapter, and eventually branched out to become my own 501©(3) nonprofit organization.”
- Lamanda Ballard, when talking about founding nonprofit, Flo Code
As you can imagine, starting a non-profit takes time, dedication and patience. “The Homeless Period Project was a great opportunity for me to learn the basis of what it takes to run a nonprofit” Lamanda said when talking about her start. Wanting to be of service to the Austin community in a multitude of ways, Lamanda had big plans she knew she would not be able to fulfill just by being a part of something else.
“Our chapter in Austin grew so fast in such a short period of time that we realized it was hard to be a part of an org that may not be able to manage us in the same capacity as they manage their own chapter… Flo Code wasn’t our way of starting over, but rather a chance to become sisters with other organizations who share similar missions.” Today, Flo Code has donated over 150,000 products within the Austin community. Flo Code has also aided disaster relief victims affected by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Maria.
"I make it a point to set boundaries in all aspects of my life so that I may enjoy my downtime even if it's limited."
Like many other entrepreneurs and self-starters, Lamanda has faced many challenges in the battle between running a successful organization and still flourishing in other aspects of life. “Flo Code has certainly taught me the importance of nonprofit management, team building and everything under the sun when it comes to entrepreneurship.” Lamanda has created her own recipe for balance through setting boundaries. “I make it a point to set boundaries in all aspects of my life so that I may enjoy my downtime even if it’s limited. For example, I do not conduct any business after 10PM and before 7AM” Knowing when and where to set boundaries, especially for something you are passionate about can be hard, but, well worth it in the end. “Having boundaries are important when it comes to self-care. Always make time for you even when your tasks list puts you last. You are the most important deadline.”
Setting boundaries has allowed Lamanda to plan the next steps for Flo Code. She tells us, joining Amplify ATX is on the goals list for Flo Code in the upcoming year. “For us to join Amplify ATX, we would need to fundraise at least $25,000. The list of places we could donate over 100,000 Flo Packs to in Austin and surrounding areas would be endless. That’s how heavy I want our imprint to be.” We have no doubt Flo Code will continue to prosper. As for Lamanda, between planning the next Flo Party and empowering women in the community, you may be able to catch her at the Oasis. “What better way to get peace of mind than being surrounded by water, good drinks and great people. I’ve discovered The Oasis on Lake Travis and I sneak over there at least once a month.”
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