Reaching Out to Help Single Moms: Give Oh Give!

I love November, and not just because it's my birthday month, but because I love this time of the year when we focus specifically on the things that we are grateful for in our lives.  I'm convinced that if we want to feel the spirit, one of the easiest ways to do this is to simply count your many blessings!  Like you, I am filled with gratitude for so many of the wonderful blessings in my life.  But there was a time when I didn't feel this way…

Many who read this blog are aware that I am a child of divorce, thus my passion for defending traditional marriage and strengthening families.  I mention this, because it is so much of who I am today, and what drives me to do much of what I do -- and particularly this blog.

My parents divorced when I was 10, and it left my mother single with three young daughters to provide for -- with no education, and no help.  The years between my mother's first marriage and her remarriage are the worst of my life -- so sad, that I rarely discuss it.  Much of this had to do with the fact that because my father was not around, my mother was left to do her best to put food in our mouths, and shelter over our heads.  During these four years of my childhood we had many moves from apartment to apartment (literal dives) and very little in our cupboards.  We were not active in the LDS Church, and so we did not benefit by any kind of available assistance.  Because my mother was always working at a low paying job, we rarely saw her and were little cared for, to put it mildly.

When I became aware of this month's sponsored service project to give back to single moms, through the LDS Philanthropies Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it touched my heart deeply, and I just knew I had to get involved.  And I knew that many of you would, too.  So, let me tell you a little bit about this wonderful project to give back, to those currently less fortunate than you and I…

During the month of November, the LDS Philanthropies Department of the Church is partnering with LDS Business College, to provide four full-tuition (and books) scholarships for single parents.  And LDS Philanthropies is partnering with Mormon Bloggers to accomplish this goal!  Through the use of Social Media we intend to assist in getting the word out to as many as possible, to help in the collecting of donations, via our blogs, etc..

Over the next few weeks I'll introduce you to some of these well deserving students/parents from LDS Business College -- to help give you a better feel for how what we are doing to give back, will bless these families tremendously!

A few statistics about single moms (and some dads):

• 28 percent of children now live with just one parent.
• 40% of children under 18 experience a parental breakup.
• 90% of single parent families are headed by females.
• Single moms with children have the highest poverty rates.
• 60% of children living in mother-only families are impoverished.
• Single moms are more likely to be poor because of lower earning capacity.
• Single moms median income is only about 25% what a married couple make.

Why LDS Business College:

• LDS Business College has developed an approach to help single parents, especially
women, improve their earning potential.
• Single parents at LDSBC use scholarship funds to pay tuition, books and other fees.
• Students enroll in one of six career-oriented programs: accounting, business,
computers, medical careers, interior design, or office technology.
• LDSBC has placed 90% of its graduates.
• Each students is assigned a faculty mentor.

How can YOU help?

Donate (whatever you can) via the widget in this post or use the one on the right-hand side bar.

Listen to Megan's story...

Pass this information along on your own blog.

Share the link to this post on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, etc...
(please use the hash tag #GiveOhGive when posting on Twitter)

You will hear more about this fundraising project throughout this coming month.  I'll update you on the fundraising details and progress, as well continue to encourage you to help share this information.  As I said previously, counting our blessings is a wonderful way to instantly feel the spirit, but helping those less fortunate than ourselves, brings a spirit into our lives that is constant.  I feel sure that for those of us who will do whatever we can to help give back to these struggling parents, and ultimately their children, an extra special spirit of the season is sure to attend our lives.

Give Oh Give! (if everyone that is able were to give even just $5.00, imagine the good we could do together! :)

Kathryn Skaggs


  1. How about supporting Single Dads too? let's be honest. Church culture is not very welcoming or inviting to single guys.

    Currently 80% of active guys once married, go inactive after their divorce. Women overwhelmingly are the ones who file for divorce, so the husband automatically get labeled "as the bad guy", and has to move to another ward in a lonely apartment to manage two households. The new ward knows nothing about him, yet the wife gets all the moral support. Given that scenario, no wonder a lot of guys who equate family and faith together, feel like failures and kicked to the curb after divorce, and feel the church has no place for them.

    So bottomline, it's going to take all of us to better reach out to men, help them stay active and feel valued in the church. And by doing so, indirectly helps Single Moms too.

  2. It's amazing how many have been touched by this...many. My grandmother was widowed twice...first time when my mom was four months old...second time was when she had two daughters a bit older, like adolescents. Luckily she worked her little tail off and had family around to support where fathering was needed! Great cause!

  3. @Matt -

    Any single dad who is striving to care for his children and finds himself in circumstances that compare to the many single moms that are out there -- I'm a supporter of as well. I can't speak for church culture in the treatment of divorced fathers. I know many single moms in the church also have similar feelings. I can tell you, that my own divorced mother struggled for years to feel a part of the church family, as a single mom. That was in the early 70s -- and you think it's bad today? She returned to the faith a few years after her remarriage to my step-dad, when he joined the church. So, let's not do too much pointing the fingers trying to decide who is more worthy of help, but better try to get on board and help with this project -- a truly worthy one at that.

    In this post I focus on single moms, because that's what's personal to me -- but this fundraiser as I understand includes single "parents" -- meaning men and women. Statistics are loud and clear that single mothers suffer most, thus the children. So to me, it's really not about 'gender' as much as it is about the children who suffer when parents have a tough time caring for them, both physically and emotionally. And that's my story…

    When we reach out to support parents who struggle, we ultimately are reaching down to lift, comfort and sustain children.

  4. The light first went on for me (a zillion years ago) when I came home from a mission, feeling that I was somehow 'special' within LDS culture.

    While it's true that many LDS people do strive to create a Zion society, unless you're in there begging for help and 'on the radar', you're not going to see anyone helping you.

    Single moms have it VERY rough. My parents were divorced when I was young too. Four children were parsed out to relatives and family. (nasty divorce) And there we stayed.

    I'm a guy, and I wouldn't want to trade places with a single mom - EVER. They deserve special attention. So do single guys, but at the risk of being somewhat gender insensitive, it's more difficult being a woman, unless you are a VERY focused and put together woman.

    Within LDS culture, the only wheels that will be greased are those who make a loud squeak. So advise single parents to squeak. It would be nice if people genuinely cared on their own (without whining). But 99/100 times, they don't. Suffering in silence when help can be had ends up in merely suffering.

    As LDS people, we need to focus on things that we can do to help people deal with UNAVOIDABLE suffering even before we tackle the avoidable suffering. *just my .02 cents.

  5. I am a single mom. I'm not a whiner but I will say that I don't think I've truly felt peace since the moment I realized this would be my path. I supported my husband through the military, college, and career development while I cared for our home and children. Finding myself single was literally the scariest moment of my life thus far. I never finished my education and most potential employers were not impressed with my domestic qualifications.
    My ex-husband immediately left the church and has done little to support us financially. He feels that paying child support is "supporting my lifestyle" rather than supporting our children. I can relate to your blog. The kids and I have moved too many times to count. And I have spent many a sleepless, tearful night, on my knees pleading for guidance.
    A few years have gone by and I am still scared. I am still lonely. And I am still struggling. But when I compare where I am today to where I was in the beginning--- I can see improvement. But it's been painfully slow and painful. I am thrilled to hear of this program. I'm not sure it would benefit me at the stage I am but I will certainly check it out.

    And as for dads wanting/needing support---- obviously I have some very personal feelings due to my specific situation. But in general I do want to say that there is one huge difference in single moms and single dads- earning potential. And that is the simple truth. As for the treatment within the church, it is what it is. We are members of a family oriented church. I still have tears well up when I sit at church and see other families and think about what could have/should have/would have been. But that is not the challenge that was laid before me. I have my own personal challenges that will best help me grow. Don't get me wrong, I have my days when I hate life and just want to be angry. But I am healthy. My children are healthy. My grandbabies are healthy. So I will gratefully endure to the end.

  6. I was a divorced LDS single Mom with two boys! I put myself through college and the kids had alot of time with me! They turned out better than from a 2 parent home no issues at all clean cut and happy! Alot depends on the Mother and how she acts about divorced around the kids! I was happily divorced since he pushed me causing the premature birth of my son! These boys grew up to be amazing men away from that creep! Yet, my married friends have at least one wayward child and some killing themselves! My son's tell me i am the greatest Mom and they always felt wanted and loved! I am also a very strong Pro-life MOM so kids know you are top of the line in loving kids! Loved raising them alone I did the job the way it was suppose to be done with Heavenly father at the helm! Alot of women still married let husbands harm the kids and act like door mates! They look the other way too cowardly to divorce! I took the rains and my son's will shine forever because they know it made our home healthier him being gone! Don't feel sorry for some single Mom's they have a great life with their kids!!! :)

    1. Your story is an exception. I'm very happy for you and your sons.

  7. I ran across your blog and just have to comment... I am one of those single moms who was so blessed to have received one of those Grants from LDS Business College. I am so grateful for it and felt that I needed to let you know. Thanks :)

    1. That's wonderful, Lisa! All my best to you!