Halfway ’til Gala: A Milestone of Support, Solidarity, and Celebration

As we savor the festive moods of the holiday season, there’s another special milestone to acknowledge—it’s exactly “Halfway ’til Gala”!

With February 24, 2024, drawing nearer, the Forward Foundation family can’t help but buzz with excitement for our 5th annual Celebratory Gala. This year, the event takes a grand turn, moving to the opulent Cultural Center of India, a venue perfectly aligned with the grandeur of this landmark occasion. But let’s not forget the core of why we celebrate—the magic of community, as well as the impact of donor and parent interactions.

Soliél Lindsey, our Operations Coordinator, described her first experience at the gala as “truly magical.” She said, “I don’t think I’d ever been to a gala before so to experience it was wonderful. Seeing so many people in the room have a heart for single parents truly blessed me and made me feel overwhelmed with support.” Soliél’s sentiments get to the heart of why this gala is more than just a fundraiser. It’s a declaration: “People actually see and value us!”

These interactions between parents and donors are invaluable, for as Soliél adds, “It’s my hope that all of our parents get to join as often as they can so that they can see the faces of those who have supported their families through difficulty. Not only that, I believe it’s important that our donors get to see and meet our families as well. To hear their stories and be impressed by such an amazing group of single parents should alter their lives and perspective forever.”

Board Member, KC Murphys, echoes the enthusiasm and promise of what’s to come: “The 2024 Gala will be everything and more than years past! It is being hosted in a new luxurious venue to help Forward Foundation celebrate the 5th milestone year of the event.” According to Murphys, it’s not just the venue that’s getting an upgrade. “It will be a fun night with more casino games, dancing and exciting auction items,” she notes, inviting everyone to “get glammed up to spend a memorable evening supporting the most deserving Forward Foundation and help them celebrate this landmark event.”

As we reach the halfway mark to this momentous occasion, we are reminded that the gala serves as a unique spotlight, illuminating the strength, resilience, and courage of our single-parent families while offering our donors a close-up view of the lives they are changing. It’s more than casino games, auction items, or a dance floor. It’s a celebration of community and the transformative power of support.

So as we excitedly count down the days, let’s take a moment to appreciate the journey so far and anticipate the unparalleled evening that lies ahead. Let’s commit to making the next six months of preparation, collaboration, and unity worth every second, as we work together to ensure that the 5th milestone year of the Forward Foundation Celebratory Gala will be one for the history books.

We look forward to celebrating with you next year!  To stay connected and be the first to learn when Gala tickets go on-sale, subscribe to our Forward Foundation Newsletter. https://forwardfoundationva.org/contact-us/#newsletter


New Chapter of Empowerment: The Junior League of Richmond Partners with Forward Foundation

We are thrilled to announce a transformative partnership between the Junior League of Richmond (JLR) and the Forward Foundation. This collaboration is a testament to our shared mission of empowering women and fostering community impact.

The Junior League of Richmond, an organization committed to advancing women’s leadership for meaningful community impact, has generously granted a single payment of $30,000 to the Forward Foundation. The JLR’s grant will significantly increase the number of monthly childcare subsidies offered by the Forward Foundation, from 12 to 20. This support provides working, single parents experiencing financial crisis with peace of mind, knowing their children are properly cared for. It also offers them financial flexibility to save, pay down debt, or make necessary repairs.

Andrea Starr, CEO of Forward Foundation VA, expressed her gratitude for the partnership, stating, “Being able to collaborate with the Junior League of Richmond has been an immense blessing for our families. The JLR’s hands-on, intentional, and thoughtful manner in which they are contributing to the empowerment of our families is truly transformational.”

This partnership provides not only a beacon of hope for single parent families, but offers tangible solutions from a community who cares deeply about their success.

Together, we can navigate life’s challenges as a community with strength, perseverance, persistence, and purposefulness.

75 Year Salute to Women in the Military

The Department of Veterans Affairs recently hosted an event commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act. This milestone celebration took place at the Virginia War Memorial, bringing together esteemed guests and attendees to pay tribute to the invaluable contributions of Women Veterans over the years.

Oftentimes, single-parent military families may feel overlooked due to the traditional network of support many married military parents receive. Forward Foundation’s services provide resources, a safe space, and unique opportunities to receive additional support needed as a single parent. Unconventional deployment and working hours oftentimes makes finding affordable and adequate child care difficult. Our childcare subsidy allows parents more options in finding the best fit for their unique needs.

It’s ingrained in veterans to serve; our organization is the perfect place to fulfill this duty and desire due to our pay-it-forward approach. We are always seeking opportunities for our families to serve, give back, and volunteer. If there are talents and hobbies that our parents possess, we encourage them to share them with our other families so they can be of support to each other. From offering cooking classes to workout classes to confidence coaching, our fellow parents truly do stand in the gap for one another!

Case in point, Erica is a Forward Foundation mom who has seen a great benefit in being part of our community. She is a busy mom with many duties on her plate including serving in the Navy and working a full-time job. As you can see in the video, she is beyond grateful for the many resources provided by our community partners during such a transitional time in her life. As she is no stranger to serving, she also has an opportunity to serve using her personal gifts and interests. Erica enjoys staying in shape and has led boot camp classes for the other moms (and their littles) to lessen the stress in their busy lives and keep them in shape.

– Soliél Lindsey