We just celebrated Mother’s Day, and we have many reasons to celebrate the amazing women in our lives every day! For many moms, the recent economic and health crises have created even more challenges as they have taken on new roles - homeschooling their children, tending to daily household tasks, and for many mothers, also working from home. The days are long, but the reward is long-lasting! To all the moms who are doing their best to love and nurture their children in ways we never imagined, we salute you. You are doing a great job!
We recently hosted our ninth annual Women’s Leadership Council Spring Symposium. Our guest speaker this year was James T. Farmer, a southern author, and designer. He shared simple techniques with all those in attendance on how to make any space a “Place to Call Home”. James included a flower arranging demonstration along with his helpful tips for creating inviting spaces. We also took the time to recognize that stable families and homes are a critical need within our community. So many local individuals and families are struggling to provide basic needs that they need to thrive. We heard about some of the work that United Way’s Community Partners are doing on the frontlines of creating stable homes right here in Whitfield and Murray Counties.
Beth’s car was totaled, she lost custody of her children, she was evicted from her home, and then she was arrested. She was referred to The Salvation Army’s Pathway of Hope Initiative in May 2018 by our local community accountability court. Beth embraced this new opportunity with a focus that led to her regaining custody of her children, obtaining stable housing, securing transportation, completing her health improvement goals, graduating from Drug Court, completing her budgeting and life skills counseling, and obtaining her GED. Because of United Way and the partnership with The Salvation Army’s Pathway of Hope Initiative, Beth has been able to thrive, believe in herself, encourage others that have similar stories, and rebuild her life. Beth’s dedication to herself, and her family, reflects The Pathway of Hope Initiative and what it can allow individuals to accomplish.
United Way provides young mothers like Beth with assistance to reduce the long-term need for food, housing, and utility assistance through life skills education and financial counseling. At United Way, we are proud to support mothers and their long-term goals in education, basic needs, and health, so that individuals and families in our community can thrive. A thriving community begins at home. Our community wins when our families are safe and secure when parents learn valuable life skills to support and provide for their families, and children are thriving both academically and emotionally.
You can join the movement and be a part of making our community a better place by giving your time and resources. We are collecting children’s books to go in our local Little Free Libraries to help encourage literacy among our future generations. You can donate children’s books directly to a Little Free Library closest to you by visiting our website: www.ourunitedway.org/little-free-libraries. You can also call our office at 706.CAN.HELP to schedule a book donation drop-off. This initiative aligns with United Way’s strategic guideline to get kids reading at grade level by third grade. By donating new or gently used children’s books, you can help equip mothers and families with the resources they need to keep their kids on track for success. That’s the Power of Community!
Amanda Burt is the President of United Way of Northwest Georgia. The mission of United Way is Improving Lives, Inspiring Donors, Uniting Community.