advocacy for hope

One Woman Trying to Make a Difference

About Barbara Gilbert

Barbara Gilbert is a 63 year old, single mother of 4 grown children (who are her center) and her dog, Bear. She is creative, innovative, tireless, and passionate about the people and causes she believes in. It was once said about her, "The only thing bigger than her mouth is her heart."-Tim Richardson-motivational speaker.  

In 2007 she was named as one of the Richest People in America, a project based on the philosophy people are rich from what they give that makes a difference in the world. Barbara has spent the majority of her adult life working in the restaurant business, while volunteering with children in the community.  In 1996 she was chosen to carry the Olympic Torch as a community hero, for her work with children.

In the spring of 2009, at age 54, she was accepted into the graduate program at FSU where she graduated with her MSW, December 2011. In 2010, she was honored by the local chapter of the NASW as Social Work Student of the Year.  Barbara Gilbert is living proof that an ordinary person can make a difference.  Her life's journey has had many obstacles and roadblocks for her to overcome.  As a single mother she was one of the working poor, but in 1996 was honored as a National Parent of the Year. She doesn't own a home, but has through her own efforts provided homes for families in Jamaica, 4 of which she paid for herself. Known for her warm hugs, and long, inspirational e-mails, Barbara is continually touching lives.

Barbara uses her MSW and works with the homeless population in Jacksonville, Florida as a supportive living coach.  She has returned to the restaurant business and is a server at the Metro Diner, San Marco. at night as a 2nd job.  She can be found volunteering all over her community, and giving lots of hugs.  She is a strong advocate for the voiceless everywhere. An avid race walker,  Barbara can be found in many of the local races, racing for causes. She is an avid supporter of her son, Steven Walker in his new life as a quad amputee, on the sidelines for all his wheelchair rugby tournaments, coordinating fundraisers and supporting his speaking engagements and advocacy for adaptive sports.

She is known by many names including: Mom, Supermom, Moma Dukes, Ms. Barbara, Crazy Barbara, Unstoppable Barbara, Auntie and most recently in Jamaica was nicknamed by a dignitary as Hurricane Gilbert-a constructive hurricane!  In 2009, she was named as one of the Jamaican Heroines of the Year in Jamaica and one of the CVS For All the Ways You Care finalists.

Barbara will tell you,"If we all could find something to get passionate about, we could change the world." Barbara invites each of you to get involved in her projects and to read and get involved in the projects of her friends. Seeds of hope are being planted that will grow into trees of possibilities.  Get involved in the projects of her friends.


CVS For All The Ways You Care finalist video