Just because Mother’s Day has come and gone and Father’s Day is around the corner, we can’t lose sight of the many women who play the part of both parents at home. According to the 2016 census, 23% of families with children under 18 are single-mother households, and out of the 11 million single-parent households, 8.5 million of those are led by moms.
I know that balancing work and family can be difficult for any parent, but for single mothers trying to be there for their children while earning enough money to provide for her household, balancing both responsibilities is even more of a challenge.
Luckily, there are many nonprofits around the country that provide help and guidance for moms doing it all on their own. Here are four organizations that do everything they can to improve the lives of single moms on a local and national scale.
Women’s Banking Worldwide
For over 30 years, Women’s Banking Worldwide has helped millions of low-income women around the world gain access to the products and services they need to become financially literate, independent, and responsible. With a network of 49 financial institutions within 32 countries, Women’s Banking Worldwide develops means through which women can set up and use saving and checking accounts, receive health microinsurance as well as loans for their entrepreneurial endeavors. The organization’s ultimate goal is to give women the opportunity to build a financial safety net that is easy to use, convenient, and conducive to a successful economic future. And through conducting thorough market research, they are able to evolve their products and create new ones that fit the needs of women today.
National Partnership for Women & Families
Paid Family Leave is a hot topic and for a single working mother, having the ability to stay home and care for their sick child without having to dive into her savings account makes a big difference not just for the child, but for her as well. That’s just one of the many issues that National Partnership for Women & Families is fighting for. The organization is a heavy lifter when it comes to campaigning for more substantial health care coverage including workplace benefits like paid sick leave, eliminating the gender pay gap and ending discrimination against pregnant women and new moms in the office. With a team of policy experts and attorneys, the nonprofit goes directly to the government to improve the lives of women, children, and families.
Children’s Health Fund
No child should have to compromise their health because of their economic status and no mother should have to sit by and watch as her child stays sick because she can’t afford to pay for a visit to the doctor or take off time from work. That’s when Children’s Health Fund goes to work. With 53 mobile pediatric medical centers operating throughout the country serving 290,000 individuals each year, the Blue Busses bring the doctor’s office and the experts to the young patients. Children’s Health Fund also provides support to pregnant women and mothers through a group care program, giving mothers the opportunity to bond with other mothers while doctors provide checkups to their children from birth to 18 months. For single mothers, having the ability to form a support group outside of a traditional family structure can make everything much easier.
I wouldn’t be fulfilling my role of “proud mother” if I didn’t mention my daughter, Lauren Bush Lauren’s nonprofit FEED. In 2007, Lauren’s travels as a World Food Programme (WFP) Honorary Spokesperson led her to see the impact of malnutrition on a global scale. Determined to find a solution, she founded an organization dedicated to alleviating hunger in the United States, parts of Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East. Through the sale of specially designed (not to mention stylish) accessories like bags, jewelry, tees, and scarves, FEED is able to provide healthy and satisfying school meals, locally sourced ingredients, and crucial vitamins and micronutrient powders to households around the world. With a special focus on new mothers and mothers-to-be, Lauren’s organization keeps these women strong and energized so they can care for their families.
The important thing to remember is that if you’re a single mother, you’re not alone. There are organizations and individuals who have your back, even if you’ve never met them.