"I’m so in need of help, and I need help now."
These are the words I listened to one afternoon as I sat on the phone with a colleague of mine as she managed her two children, 5 and 8, who are out of school until further notice due to the coronavirus pandemic that has put the world in a chokehold with no foreseeable way, for now, to breath again. Not only was my colleague managing her two children, but she’s also managing the little bit of savings that she has, because not only is school out until further notice, so is her job.
The beginning of the month, when all her bills are due, rolls around faster than she can blink and with two children that must be fed, her constant trips to the grocery store are becoming more expensive and more stressful as she goes over and beyond to practice what the government calls social distancing while covering her and the children’s nose and mouth with homemade masks or scarfs. To add salt to injury, she is doing all of this alone.
Being a single mother during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and having to witness the struggle of other single mothers began the birth of The Single Moms Relief Fund. There are mothers who HAVE to go to work, but can not because schools are closed and they must be home to care for their children. Tell me, how will they pay their bills? How will they put food on the table? The Single Moms Relief Fund was designed to help with just that. After reading an article of a mother in Georgia who passed away from COVID-19 and her child was left alone for several hours, it made me think of single mothers more than ever. I thought to myself, what if that was me? This emotion made me pick up the phone and check on all the moms I knew, who were single parents, to see how they were holding up during the pandemic, and the responses I received were eye-opening.
I’m doing good or I’m hanging in there were words that I heard. However, some moms explained the struggle to constantly put food on the table, and were hit with the reality that now they would have to play teacher, babysitter, lunch lady, provide recess (entertainment/activities) and still continue to work their demanding job remotely if they were even lucky enough to still have a job, all at the same time remembering to be a MOM. The reality is the education system is vital to a single mom who works 8 hours a day / 40 hours a week. Those 8 hours they are working, the child is in school. Even after the 8 hours some children have after school activities and let’s not mention summer school just yet. The single mom is a strong advocate and supporter of educators and educational institutions. Now they are scrambling to adjust to the new normal and some single moms can’t even focus on education right now as they are searching for jobs that are opening and hiring during this time.
Single moms already carried so much on their shoulders prior to the pandemic, now overnight their entire support system has disappeared. Imagine that.
According to the Cambridge University Psychological Medicine study, titled Single mothers, poverty and depression, over 9.5 million American families are run by one woman. They noted that single mothers are likely to have mental health issues, financial hardships, live in a low-income area, and receive low levels of social support. These facts make them one of the most vulnerable groups during this time.
I know a lot of single moms who make being a single mom look easy to some, and yes we ROCK IT OUT, but the reality is, it’s super-duper hard! The Single Moms Relief Fund was designed so that moms do not feel alone, ever. I began this fund during this pandemic, but I intend on making this expand far beyond just this crisis. I have begun bringing together mental health and financial support professionals who will give services for FREE to single moms so we can get ahead and stay ahead! I am working on girlfriend groups or sister circles so that single moms can truly build their support tribe. I am also seeking mommy bloggers to help tell their stories about what it is to be a single mom during COVID. However, most importantly, I am reaching out to donors, because the applications we have received are REAL. Real-life stories of women seriously in need. They are the number one concern, the number one agenda, and they will always be.
So, readers, I say to you, if this story has moved you in any way and you are willing to be a part of this movement visit our website and see the many ways you can donate. No donation is too big nor too small. I have seen applicants asking for $25 just to put gas in their car. That should tell you that there is a real need and we as a human communal race need to be there to fulfill that.
You can make a donation to The Single Moms Relief Fund on the following platforms: GoFundMe, PayPal, and CashApp ($SingleMomsFund). Please email to donate your professional services or to share your story.
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