Amanda always believed she would lead a fairy tale life. She was blindsided when her marriage fell apart, leaving her feeling terribly alone. Then she found Single Mom Strong where she met other women with stories similar to hers...women she could relate to and lean on. She had just attended her first Single Mom Strong event, where she heard about the Holiday Adopt-a-Family program when, after six years with her employer, she was unexpectedly laid off. A week later her despair deepened when her home was burglarized. Although she succeeded in finding another job, ironically, her first paycheck would not be issued until after Christmas. Struggling with the thought of asking for help, but desperate to make the holiday happy for her children, she swallowed her pride and registered for the program. When Single Mom Strong's Adopt-a-Family team arrived to deliver a car full of holiday cheer, she wept, overwhelmed by their generosity. The program provided a holiday meal in the form of grocery store gift cards, multiple gifts for all four of her children delivered by a encouraging people (like the one in this picture) and even a couple of things on her own wish list. More importantly, they gave her hope.
Joanna is living in transitional housing after sleeping on a friend's floor for six months, a step up from the shelter she and her daughter had been in before. Life became chaotic when she left her daughter's father. He had controlled every aspect of her life but, thinking his help was better than no help at all, she stayed in the abusive relationship much longer than she should have. Her only "friends" (other than the one who allowed her to sleep on the floor in her home) were Facebook and work "friends", not real friends. She and her daughter spent their first Christmas on their own in a hotel. She is now a preschool teacher, but making just over minimum wage. When she found Single Mom Strong she began attending workshops. A budgeting workshop helped her understand the difference between needs and wants, enabling her to prioritize her spending. She has now paid off many debts that were affecting her credit score and is excited to have qualified for an apartment! She and her daughter will move in just before Christmas. Although this is the best Christmas gift she could have asked for, her four year old daughter doesn't understand that. Longing to put presents under the tree and see her daughter's excitement on Christmas morning, she, too, has applied to Single Mom Strong's Adopt-a-Family program.
Single Mom Strong's mission is to empower single mothers and their children through enrichment, encouragement and educational programs. Each year Single Mom Strong's Adopt-a-Family program spreads holiday cheer to single mothers like Amanda and Joanna, mothers who work hard all year long to provide for their children, but who need help during the holidays. To assist in this effort, please contact Tara Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org.