Great leaders have inspiring stories to tell, and ours is no exception. CEO and Executive Director Andrea Starr shares her experiences with us.
Find out how she overcame obstacles and hear her dreams for Forward Foundation.
Now that Spring is here, we’re seeing all kinds of transformations at Forward Foundation. The leaves are green, the flowers are blooming and butterflies are emerging from their cocoons.
You’re emerging too. One of the most beautiful moments at Forward Foundation is when a parent completes the Program. You’ve grown as a person and a parent, regained a stable financial situation and completed all of the required workshops. You’ve come so far, and your journey doesn’t end at graduation.
Once you graduate, we’d be honored if you would choose to be a Mentor. You’ll always be a part of the family and we hope you’ll continue to be involved with our “catch up” meetings, volunteer opportunities and any of our “get togethers” you want to attend. One of the most meaningful ways you can give back to Forward Foundation is by being a Mentor.
This relationship with another parent can mean the world to them. It’s a hug, words of encouragement, listening in silence, finding ways to laugh when you want to cry or going for a walk. Many times it’s phone conversations, meeting for coffee, texting silly or motivational pictures and quotes, getting together for fun outings alone or with the children for play dates. It’s about holding a safe space for someone in their time of need without any judgment.
Being able to share your personal experiences with the other families is so empowering. You’ll look back and see the resilience and strength you had when you were feeling so low. Your confidence soars as you realize that your wisdom can encourage parents that are still in the middle of their journey.
Will you be a Mentor? Will you be exactly what someone needs by being just who you are – strong, persevering, persistent and full of purpose.
At 24, Bo Brown was a single father to a newborn daughter and paying for full-time childcare. In the first five years of her life, he had paid $50,000 in childcare.
We sat down with Bo to find out what life was like back then.
“When you’re 24, 25 and 26 years old and not making a lot of money, paying daycare bills doesn’t leave a lot left to afford necessities like rent or a mortgage, or whatever. That’s the largest burden financially on someone.”
As an advocate for single parents everywhere, Bo now serves as a member of the Forward Foundation Board of Directors.
“The financial resources that the Forward Foundation makes available to people is empowering financially beyond just that month’s daycare bill. It goes a lot further than that,” Bo said.
That’s why Forward Foundation exists – to help single parents like Bo who are spending an average of 34% of their household income on child care alone.
Check out Bo’s full story below and know that we are here for you in your time of need.
As we all take a little time to reflect on our personal journey over the past year, I’d like to share a few moments of gratitude with you.
I’m grateful that you’ve become part of the Forward Foundation Family.
I’m grateful that we’ve been able to offer support and comfort to you and your family during a very difficult time in your life.
I’m grateful for all of the amazing partners and volunteers that have made our programs possible.
May you continue to move forward with kindness, hope, and joy in 2022.
With warm regards,
Filming the Forward Foundation
Virtual Gala at the Hanover Tavern
Hiking at Pocahontas State Park
Fun Family Pool Party
Catching a Flying Squirrels Game
Single Father’s Program Kick Off
Dinner at the Grapevine for Single Dads
The holidays are about finding joy. Joy in the small moments – hanging ornaments on the tree – and joy in the big ones – seeing the look on a child’s face on Christmas morning.
It’s important not to let all the rush and activity steal your joy. We love iMoms’s toolkit of cherishing the holidays without losing yourself or your sanity.
Looking to make Christmas magical on a budget? Check out Save Time and Money This Christmas: 12 Tips for Online Shopping
Worried the kids will drive you crazy over Christmas Break? Then 10 Ways to Enjoy Your Kids During Christmas Vacation is for you.
If your child won’t be with you as much as you’d like over the holidays, take the time to plan things you can look forward to with 9 Things You Should Do When Your Kids Aren’t Home.
No matter what, we want you to know that just being you is more than enough. It’s the gift your kids are truly thankful for this year. We look forward to sharing more tips on Facebook and Instagram that will help you enjoy the season. Happy Holidays!
Nearly 19 million American children are being raised by single parents — that’s moms and dads. In fact, 3.23 million children are living with single fathers in America, and that number is increasing every day.
That’s why we’ve expanded to support working, single parents and their children. We are excited about putting together programming geared specifically to the challenges faced by single fathers.
Having a safe place to be vulnerable, understood and supported by others going through similar circumstances is crucial not only to a dad’s mental wellbeing, but to their children as well.
Because when the parent feels supported, they can better support the needs of their children.
We welcomed our first group of dads to the Forward Foundation family at our Axes and Allies event at The Virginia Axe Company. You’ll see more Forward Foundation programs providing single dads with community support and resources geared specifically towards their challenges.
If you know a dad facing the challenges of single parenthood, let him know that he’s not alone. Reach out to us at email@example.com for more information on our new programs for single fathers.
Solo parenting puts all of the stress on you. Classes growing up weren’t designed to teach you how to handle these situations. But now that it’s become a reality, those feelings of being overwhelmed, exhausted and isolated are bombarding you.
Being a single parent is hard!
Know that you’re not alone, and we’re here to help with support that gives you tools to manage life’s challenges.
We are excited to announce that we’ve teamed up with Susan Townsend Holt Family Life Coach LLC to offer evening family coaching sessions for our parents and their children. Parents received practical support and asked our subject matter expert questions from the comfort of their home while kids did their homework and played in the same room.
Our support programs are designed to work for you and your family’s schedule. Because your life’s balance and joy matter to Forward Foundation.
Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out which coaching sessions we’ll be offering next.
Strength comes from many places. It comes from within and from the support of others. When you have a community that cares, you can move forward and focus on what matters most.
Finding herself alone and struggling, Stephanie dropped out of high school to work and care for her siblings. But that wasn’t how she wanted her story to go.
Now Stephanie is making a difference for families by teaching financial literacy programs like the ones offered by Forward Foundation. Because when your foundation is strong, you can build beautiful things.
Raising a family on your own is one of the most challenging things you can do, but you don’t have to do it alone. Reach out to us to find out how our community of caring can help you with childcare assistance, personal and professional education and peer support.
Mommas, your job is exhausting. You wake up every day and put your children before yourself. Whether that be cooking meals, making sure everybody gets where they need to be, taking care of the pets, or making sure each child feels your love. Morning and night, you care for your kiddos…but where do your wants and needs fit into that equation? When do you stop pushing yourself to the back burner? What happens when you breakdown and have a really bad mom day?
Let me reiterate my first sentence. Your job is exhausting and every human being has a limit. As parents, your limits will likely be met far more often than not. It’s all about how you choose to handle the situation. As a child, I am fully aware of my ability to poke my mom and poke her hard. I am also fully aware of what it is like to be poked back due to my mindless behavior. Something children seem to forget, no matter their age, is the simple fact that our parents are human and trying their best every single day. Sometimes that means having bad days. I remember the age I started to realize that my mom had her own daily struggles, yet still woke up and cared for my sisters and me like she didn’t. She was superwoman in my eyes and that became more apparent the older I got. While talking about life in the last few years, we talked a lot about “mom guilt” and “having bad mom days.” Or at least that’s what she liked to call it. Really, they were just bad days and she was still a kick-a$$ mom.
It’s important for moms to remember you are not alone in your bad days. You are not alone in your anger and frustration. Most importantly, that you aren’t a bad mom for having those days. I think it’s common to feel shame or embarrassment when it comes to losing your cool but as moms it’s important to normalize those feelings; especially for each other. Whether the “bad mom” moments happen in a public place or behind closed doors, it never seems to settle well. I want to know why kids are allowed “bad days” but moms aren’t? Give yourself some grace, mommas. It is okay to have bad days and heck, even put yourself in timeout. Listen to your mind and body because it is telling you what it needs. Take care of you and that will allow you to love your children harder than ever. Forgive yourself for your trip ups and find humor in the sad moments. You’re doing a great job.
Raised by a Good Momma
Danielle Warren, Marketing Intern
Hi, I’m Danielle Warren! After earning my Bachelor’s in Communication Science and Disorders from James Madison University, I took a different route than initially planned. While pursuing a second degree in Nursing, I am proud to work alongside my mom with the Forward Foundation. Single mothers have a very special place in my heart and it is an honor to be a part of something so wonderful. Serving as the marketing intern, I am learning lots of new skills when it comes to getting the word out.