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April 21, 2009

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Single Moms Rock

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The Cash-Strapped Parent’s Guide to Christmas: How to Have a Merry Christmas For Free

November 10, 2008

I walked into Wal-Mart this weekend and was met with Christmas displays and trees. As I walked down the aisles I heard the Christmas music playing softly in the background. I admit that I was a little agitated that Thanksgiving has been completely ignored or at best got one day of attention (probably on the day nobody really went shopping).

I got over the agitation and proceeded with my shopping. But it was not without thinking about the thousands of single moms out there who feel burdened by the Christmas holidays. I’ve faced this dread myself in years past. I know what it’s like to wonder where I’ll get the money to buy gifts for my kids. Several times I’ve made the decision to only purchase one gift or no more than three (in the spirit of Christ’s birth). As much as I wanted to give my precious little ones everything they wanted I just couldn’t. I didn’t have the money because I needed to pay the rent or car note. I needed to make sure there was food in the house for the days after Christmas.

There are so many moms like me out there who need a helping hand this year. So I’ve done some research and came up with a pretty long list of resources. These are organizations that help needy families during the Christmas holidays. They give toys and sometimes clothes to families that need a helping hand during this time of year.

Most of the organizations have local chapters so you will have to contact the one nearest you for more information. Please don’t be shy about calling. They are there to help and often are looking for people to help. The more localized the better for you. Also remember to get a head start on applying for help. Some deadlines have already passed but try anyway. Your persistence will pay off.

Toys for Tots – this organization has many local chapters. Their deadline in some places was in October but they are still taking applications. If they have toys left you will be contacted.

Angel Tree – This program is for kids who have parents in prison.
Salvation Army – Contact your local chapter for information about their program. They don’t collect money in those little red pails for nothing. You just may be one of the families they help this year.

Shiners/Lions/Masons – These organizations are famous for the help they give to children. Call your local office and find out when and where they are taking applications.
St. Vincent de Paul/Catholic Charities – These Catholic organizations help people year around. They have offices in many locations so call and find out where you can go for help.

VFW/American Legion – Your local organization may have a Christmas toy donation program. Be sure to call and find out.

County Help Lines – Your county help line may have information about other local organizations that are helping the needy this Christmas. To find your state or county helpline, Google “[your state] + helpline”. It may show up as a crisis hotline but they may also have information that you can use.

Local Churches – There are likely churches in your area that are collecting toys to give to needy families. Open the phone book and call the churches near you and ask if they have a program. Find out how to get on the list.

Local Businesses – I worked for a large corporation that collected toys every year for needy families. They may work in cooperation with other charitable organizations but many may offer direct help. Look in the newspaper for announcements and call a few to learn about which companies are helping the needy. Also ask your friends if they their companies have programs.

Libraries/Banks – The local library and banks often have Angel or Giving Trees. Ask how you can get your kids’ names on the tree to receive Christmas gifts this year.

United Way – this organization is the umbrella unit of hundreds of charitable organizations. Call your local office and find out what programs they have to help kids for Christmas. I’m sure they can point you in the right direction.

There are likely many more resources out there you just have to investigate the options. Please do not be put off by the word “needy”. It is not an indication of you as a person but a temporary status. We are living in tough economic times right now so everyone is struggling. Fortunately you now have a few resources now to help give your kids a great Christmas.


Thank You President-Elect Obama (An Open Letter from a Single Mom)

November 5, 2008

Dear President-Elect Barack Obama,

My heart is singing right now because now my 8 year old son has the chance to become the President of the United States of America one day. If not the president of the USA, perhaps the president of a corporation or the president of his own company.

My son is a struggling second grader at Manning Oaks Elementary. He is a little black boy who seems to have so many odds stacked against him. I am a single mother and like your mother I want the best for my son. I want to see him rise up and become a great man. I showed him your picture today and he saw clips of you on the news. I told him that your name is Barak Obama and that you are our new President. He asked me if he could do that too and I proudly and honestly told him Yes! Yes he can grow up and become president because today we have seen that in America it is possible for a black man to be elected by the people, for the people.

I am thankful to you Mr. Obama for being courageous enough to share your story. Thank you for never giving up amidst all the mudslinging and hateful rhetoric. Your eloquence and intelligence, your firm commitment to rise above the fray has inspired me to teach my son to do the same. I may have to struggle day after day to motivate my son to get his lessons just like your mother did for you. I may have to cry many days and nights because I am exhausted, but I will. I have a dream though, a vision of greatness for my son just like I am sure your mother had for you.

You have made your mother proud and have proven that the sons of single moms do not all grow up to be thugs and drug dealers. They don’t have to be behind bars but, like you, they can pass the bar and go on to teach others how to do the same. The son of a single mother can become the President of the United States of America. A little black boy with wide-eyed dreams, and who now wants me to buy him books, can be whatever he wants to be.

So thank you again Mr. Obama—President-Elect Obama for standing strong. For listening to your mother and for being the change you wanted to see in the world. You have inspired me, you have inspired the world and we stand behind you to re-build America so that my son can have a better future!


Did You Vote? Your Lone Voice Counts!

November 5, 2008

Today is one of the most important days in history. Are you a part of that history? Did you get out and vote? If you are reading this post and it’s still Tuesday, November 4, 2008, then you probably still have time to get out and vote. Don’t waste this opportunity to have a say in who leads your city, state, and country.

Women have fought for the right to have equal pay for equal work, the right to work, and numerous other rights. The right to vote is monumental in our lives. Sometimes it seems like the choices we are a choice between the lesser of two evils. It seems discouraging but I urge you to look deep within your heart and look deep within the eyes of your children and do what is right for the both of you.

As a woman and mother you are the most powerful person in the lives of your children. They depend on you to be a good example. I’m sure that if they are in school they are hearing about the election and may be asking questions. Some may have had mock elections in their schools and proudly exercised their right to vote. My daughter asked me if I voted and a smile and nod of approval crossed her face when I told her that I did.

Being a part of the democratic process is a wonderful feeling. Your vote counts and it will make all the difference in your little world. Your kids will be proud!


Come with Me to the Carnival (Blog Carnival that is)

November 5, 2008

I am a part of the Mommy Blogger Carnival. Check out the 23 great articles listed in the carnival and vote for your favorite one. I hope you vote for me (boy do I sound like a politician).

If you’ve never heard of Blog Carnivals it’s a great way to get your blog circulating and drive traffic to it. A Blog Carnival is simply a list of blogs that are related in some way. It could be that the bloggers have similar interests or the topic is the same. To be a part of a blog carnival all you have to do is sign up with one of the hundreds that are in circulation.

The best place to find a blog carnival is the go to the Blog Carnival website. There are a few independent blog carnivals but this site has the most organized one. Blog Carnivals are just one of many ways to drive traffic to your blog. Next time will give you a few more ideas. So take a minute and see what 23 other mommy bloggers are talking about and don’t forget to vote for your favorites in the comment section.

If you are interested in being a part of a single moms blog carnival let me know. I would love to show the world how wonderful single moms are at blogging. It would also bring more exposure to your blog.


Free Books from Thomas Nelson

October 29, 2008

If you are book addict like me, enjoy reading Christian books, and have a blog then you have the chance to become a book reviewer for Thomas Nelson Publishers. They have a new program now aimed at getting the word out about their books. They will send you a free review copy of selected books (you choose which one you want to read) and the first two chapters in PDF format.


You agree to read the entire book and provide a 200 word review on your blog and at Amazon.com. I’d say it’s a pretty good deal for a free book and free publicity on Amazon.com. You get to add your contact information in your profile on Amazon.com so when people click on it you will get hits to your site. It’s a win-win opportunity. Go sign up right now http://brb.thomasnelson.com/join.

Rich Single Momma

Make Money From What You Know

October 14, 2008

Do you have a quirky talent that seems insignificant? Have a skill or ability that only you seem to have? Do people come to you for help about things that seem easy to you? If so you have a unique talent or ability and could profit from it. The quickest way to profit from you skill is to write about it.

You can write tips for a number of tips directories online. Off the top of my head I can think of three. Day Tipper will pay you up to $100 for sharing you tips. LifeTips pays a similar amount and you get to become a guru. eHow is another tips directory that pays just for sharing what you know. I also like eHow the best because you can submit your tips and see them right away. The other two take a while either for approval or can be very picky.

You don’t have to be a published author to write your tips. Just be able to explain things in easy to understand ways. Write two or three sentences, submit, and you’re done. You have to sign up for each of the tips directory to be able to submit your tips. You also need a paypal account to be able to receive your payments. It’s easy and free to sign up.

So start sharing your tips with the world and get paid. The more you write the better you get. Tell everybody about your tips by posting a link in your email signature, adding a link to your blog, or twittering. Feel free to pass the post on along to everyone you know or digg, stumble, or tag it.