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I became a single parent when my husband of 7 years abruptly left for his longtime affair. My son, Rob was just 18 months old and my daughter, Samantha, had just turned 3. I was left without family close to support me, and shortly after, I began attending LifeBridge Christian Church’s Single Moms Group.
There are many struggles a single mom faces and debt was my challenge. Though I was blessed to hold a decent job, the refinance of our home, left me in a tight predicament. Though I was struggling to provide what my children needed, my income put me right above the cut off to receive any type of government assistance and even reduced school lunches for my children. I didn’t qualify for loans because my debt was too high and my income too low and the fact that I had good credit or a good job didn’t matter. I was unable to purchase a car and home repairs were out of the question. I felt I was pretty much stuck and just barely staying afloat.
When I was accepted into PEARL's Focus Pearl Program I was given an opportunity to re-evaluate my life by looking at where I was and how I wanted our future to look. As a single mom, focusing on the future was never something I was able to do because I was always focused on just surviving, staying afloat and keeping my children safe and happy. With support and encouragement from my Mentor Family and PEARL's Leadership Team, I was able to step back and look at my life, asking what it was that I wanted to do and where I wanted to be. I didn’t have that kind of support, in my life, before PEARL.
As I started the Focus Pearl Program, I began keeping a journal. I looked at my finances, career, household needs, my children’s needs/wants and finally my personal life. I set goals and took little steps like consolidating credit card bills.
I have been blessed to have been matched up with a great Mentor Family. I really thank Elaine and Pete for being my mentors. Elaine has been fantastic and really encouraged me to look at myself and set goals and dreams, for my children AND for myself, as well! Not only have I accomplished so many things thanks to Pearl’s Focus Pearl program, but I now have lifetime friendship established with Elaine!
I grew up in a very strict Independent, fundamental, Baptist home. I was in church 4 times a week, and "soul winning" on Saturday's. But after graduating high school, I strayed away from the church, began making poor decisions, and compromising on my beliefs.
Like many single moms, I made the decision to marry someone at the wrong time in my life, and it resulted in an eventual divorce. My choices left me the single mom of an amazing, smart and beautiful little girl, Lisa, but my unwavering stubbornness still closed my heart to all that God had in store for me.
When Lisa was 3 months old she had heart surgery and was hospitalized for RSV 2 months later. I could no longer control my circumstances. I couldn't keep it all together. I remember one night laying in bed crying out to God for forgiveness and begging for help. "God, I can't do this alone!" I needed God to help me clean up the mess I made.
A few weeks later, I was introduced to PEARL. They helped me so much, especially with my car, ensuring that I have a safe and reliable vehicle to get Lisa and myself around. They have also fulfilled so many needs but the one that sticks out the most is Christ-like love and support. The support I get from my mentor and the other beautiful women, at the Single Moms’ Group, has gotten me through the darkest time of my life. Their constant encouragement and uplifting words continue to motivate my walk with Christ, showing me that God does have a plan for me and it is better than anything I could ever foster on my own.
Being a single mom is the hardest, but most rewarding job I have ever had. I can't imagine doing it without the help of the Single Moms’ Group. All of this support would not be possible without PEARL, LifeBridge Christian Church and the volunteers involved with the Single Moms Group. I could never thank them enough for the love and support.
I enjoy serving the [Single Moms’ Group] dinners. The women are so appreciative about having home-cooked meals.