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About Us

Our Mission

Forward Foundation 

“Empowering Action to Move Forward”

Navigating life’s challenges as a community with Strength, Perseverance, Persistence, and Purposefulness

We are working with single parents who have encountered a life altering event resulting in financial crisis. Many parents fear they will be unable to work because they can’t afford the astronomical cost of childcare.

Our program requirements include completion of educational workshops led by our community partners. These consist of leading professionals in the financial, legal, career advancement, and family counseling fields. We provide our families with a multitude of educational resources, tools, and community support. In order to achieve long term sustainability and financial independence it is imperative that we equip families with basic knowledge in the areas they need to best care for their children.

In addition to the workshops, our parents are required to complete (2) volunteer hours per month. We firmly believe that our families need to be vested; we are not offering a handout, but a hand up.

Our Goal

  • Foster resilience and financial independence
  • Build community and gain valuable skills
  • Bring awareness and advocate for this immense need

Program Requirements

  • Are you a single working parent who is employed full time, going to school full time, or a combination of working while finishing up a degree?
  • Have you encountered a life altering event which has resulted in financial crisis?  (ie: divorce, death, illness, family member caretaker role, extended litigation, etc.)
  • Are you utilizing, or in need of childcare?
  • Are your children under the age of 12?
  • Are you ineligible for DSS (Virginia Department of Social Services) services due to earning too high of an income?

Testimonials

"I will be forever grateful to the Forward foundation for giving me the opportunity to fulfill my dreams of becoming a nurse and being able to support myself and my children completely independently! The sense of being brought in to a family who loves us and is rooting for us has been life changing. Being a single parent can be incredibly stressful and lonely but the Forward Foundation has created a safety net and sense of community that has repeatedly saved me, and I’m so thankful to have them."
Danielle
"Forward foundation has given me hope when I had very little. My gratitude knows no bounds for the strength, comradery & support I have received from this foundation."
Chelsea
"I am so thankful that the Forward Foundation exists. Everything that they have added to my life can’t fit into a short mission statement. They do what their mission says and more. The physical, emotional and financial support have been instrumental in my family’s life and we are forever changed and grateful. We’ve been able to reach new milestones and goals that couldn’t have been achieved without their help this year"
Soliel
"Forward Foundation continues to be an essential support system in my life. Even though I have “graduated” from the program, I continue to utilize all of the tools that were given to me throughout the program! Plus, I have a fantastic group of mom friends who are just a call/text away! Thanks Forward Foundation and all those who support and give their time and/or expertise!"
Arlene
"When I was first directed to the Forward Foundation I frankly had little hope for help. I had been turned away from every place I looked because I made too much money. This was ridiculous, I was pinching pennies and skipping meals to keep lights on a daycare paid. When they embraced me, my children, my story, my sorrows, it was a tipping point for me. A ray of bright light in a sea of darkness. And now, the good things I have to say about the Forward Foundation go well beyond that little ray of light. I have made friends, found a support system, found strength and been strength, I have healed and blossomed with their love and support. I am so grateful and so proud to be a part of this group."
Tara
"The Forward Foundation is truly a special organization. They treat all of us with kindness, generosity, and respect. I am so grateful to be a part of an organization who selflessly goes over and beyond to help us improve the quality of our lives. The Foundation inspires me to relentlessly work at my goals not only for the betterment of me and my child’s life, but ultimately to be able to give back to the Foundation when I am in a better position to do so. It is a joyous feeling knowing that I am connected to such a loving group of people."
Erica
"I have been very blessed since joining Forward Foundation. They really do have some great programs in place, that have helped me feel a little more secure and confident in myself and my abilities. Being a single mother of 2 teenagers and 1 disabled adult son, has had many challenges. I feel I have found a great support system through the wonderful people I have encountered so far. I am so grateful."
Kimberly P
"Forward Foundation’s support is amazing! Being a part of Forward Foundation has created a safety net for me and my family. The organization provides a plethora of community resources that I may not have had access to on my own. I am forever grateful for the wonderful ladies that I’ve met along the way. Forward Foundation bridges the gap for families in so many ways!"
Robyn
"Forward Foundation provides some calm during the eye of the storm"
Angela
"Forward foundation has enhanced my life tremendously. Through the foundation’s amazing leadership I have received so many resources that help me create a wonderful life for my daughter and I. I am most grateful for Andrea and Mary’s kindness, guidance and support!"
Niani
"The Forward Foundation has helped me know that I am not on this journey alone. It's nice to have such strong women in my corner. The workshops have given me knowledge and hope that good things are still possible as a single parent. I am grateful for the Forward Foundation every day. Thank you!"
Kimberly M
"I don’t think I would have ever been able to make this financial jump renting this house for myself and children and I if it wasn’t for all the childcare help. Thank you, thank you! I feel like a weight has been lifted."
Christine
"Forward Foundation has supported me in more ways than I could ever imagine! They care about me and my son and want the best for us."
Michelle

Meet the Board

Great Leadership Helping Our Community Become Stronger

Andrea Starr-headshot

Andrea Starr

Executive Director / CEO
Jamie Allgood

Jamie Allgood

Chairman
David Fuller headshot

David W. Fuller

Treasurer
pam langfitt - headshot

Pam Langfitt

Secretary
tim amos

Tim Amos

Director
bo brown, board member

Bo Brown

Director
Mary Miller-headshot

Mary Miller

Program Director
Danielle - headshot

Danielle Warren

Marketing Intern

Our History

In 2010 Kimberly Baine-Tillem founded The Sophie House to assist single working mothers and their children during a time of crisis. The idea was based on being able to offer community support and resources to those that didn’t have any.

In order to make the biggest impact on future success of single parents, it was determined in 2020 the most crucial component needed was to provide families with financial assistance for childcare. This assistance would allow single parents to work while providing some financial freedom to care for their children.

The foundation was rebranded and launched as Forward Foundation in January of 2020.

Our new logo is derived from the triskelion symbol which represents movement and strength; symbolizing moving forward despite adversities we may face.

Did you know:

  • One out of four homes in America are single parent households
  • Childcare is one of the largest expenses that parents face
  • Cost of full-time care for an infant or toddler costs approximately $15k a year
  • Adults and children in single-parent households are at risk for adverse health outcomes, including mental illness (e.g., substance abuse, depression, suicide) and unhealthy behaviors (e.g., smoking, excessive alcohol use, food insecurity)
  • Approximately five million children in the US aged five and under live in a single parent household
  • In 2020 nearly 19 million children, amounting to 25 percent of all children in the U.S., were living in single-parent families. That percentage is nearly three times the level in 1960 of 9 percent. America’s proportion of children living with a single parent is more than three times the worldwide level of 7 percent.

2020:

  • 10,719,000 – single parent families
  • In 2020 nearly 19 million children, amounting to 25% of all children in the U.S., were living in single-parent families. That percentage is nearly 3x the level in 1960 of 9%. America’s proportion of children living with a single parent is more than 3x the worldwide level of 7%.
  • Approximately five million children in the US aged five and under live in a single parent household.

Single mother statistics 2020

  • Single motherhood has grown so common in America that today over 80.5% of single-parent families are headed by single mother; with nearly a third living in poverty.
  • 40% of single moms had trouble affording food, whereas 27% struggled to afford shelter.
  • If a single mother is able to work, her earning power still lags significantly compared with men’s, about 82¢ to a $1 for the same job — leaving a wage gap of 18¢ on the dollar.
  • Single mothers often spend over half of their income on housing expenses and a third on child care, leaving them with less money for educational expenses.
  • Single mothers earn income that place them well below married mothers in the income ladder. The gap between the two groups is significantly large. The median income for families led by a single mother in 2019 was about $48,098, well below the $102,308 median for married couples.

Single father statistics 2021

  • 16.1% of single-parent families are led by single fathers. The number of single fathers has increased by 60% in the last ten years, and is one of the fastest growing family situations in the United States.
  • 3.23 million children were living with their single fathers
  • Although single fathers are less likely to be living in poverty than single mothers, they are still significantly more likely to be living in poverty than married parents: 8.4% of related children in married families were in poverty in 2016, compared to 19.9% of related children in single-father families
  • Single fathers represent a unique and growing share of single-parent families for children. While they differ in important ways from single mothers, single dads need some of the same supports.
  • Single dads need more community-based and online support groups and resources that are geared toward the needs of fathers.

Access to Childcare

  • On average, single parent households spend 34% of their household income on child care.
  • Child care subsidy, if eligible, is hard to come by. In 2019, 15 states had wait lists, or had frozen their intake for child care assistance, with wait times ranging from 90 days to two years.
  • Nationally the annual cost of center-based infant care averaged over 40% of the state median income for a single mother. About 32% for a school-age child.
  • About 40% of U.S. single parents were employed in low-wage jobs and often had no access to paid leave.

Links
https://www-cnbc-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/www.cnbc.com/amp/2021/03/01/from-jobs-to-pay-the-coronavirus-pandemic-has-hurt-women.html
https://raisingchildren.net.au/grown-ups/family-diversity/parenting-after-separation-divorce/single-parenting
https://www.wtvr.com/news/local-news/richmond-single-parent-households-are-growing

You Can Make a Difference

The gifts we receive are used to support and enrich the lives of single parents and their children, hence enabling them to go from instability to stability.

Your donation to Forward Foundation helps single parents take a step forward by helping them build community and gain valuable skills.