~by Michelle

For me, Halloween always seems to mark a sort of end and beginning. Any remnants of summer are fading (at least where I live) as the trees are changing colors and shedding their leaves. Even the weather this year underscore this feeling for me. Yesterday was balmy and beautiful, and today, we awoke to brisk winds, wet walkways, and snow-capped mountains. I always tend to mourn the loss of the warmth and the feeling of fall, but I look forward to a different kind of warmth that comes during the holiday season, especially as people tend to focus a little more on ways to help and serve others.

LDS Philanthropies giving gift of education

I was thrilled to find out last week about a fantastic fundraising effort running for the entire month of November — something that could be a great kickoff for holiday giving. This endeavor brings together many things about which I am very passionate: parenthood, education, preparation/self-reliance…and the power of social media. It’s a scholarship fund for single moms and dads who need some education to provide for their families.

We all know that single parents — and their children — have it hard, for so many reasons. As a woman, I’m particularly sensitive to the fact that most single-parent families (90%) are headed up by women, and 60% of those families live in poverty. The median income of single moms is a shocking 25% of what married couples bring in. And we all know that the grinding schedules that often come of working low-paying jobs just to try to survive make it hard for single moms (and sometimes single dads) to ever be able to get a break and get ahead. I can only imagine how hopeless people in such a situation often feel.

But through the Stella Harris Oaks “Horizon of Hope” Scholarship for Single Parents, LDS Philanthropies and LDS Business College are working together to help. They are asking for the assistance of Mormon bloggers (and anyone else who wants to join in the effort) to raise money to help more single parents get on their feet.

When a group of Mormon women bloggers heard about this effort, the response was overwhelming. Our hope is to far exceed the original goals LDS Philanthropies had — because we know of the power of social media, and how a lot of people each doing a little can make a big difference. And we know this is a cause people can get their heads and hearts around.

Why LDS Philanthropies?

One of the reasons I am such a supporter of LDS Philanthropies is because 100% of donations go to help those in need. Overhead costs are covered by the Church, so I don’t have to worry about any of my donation being used for overhead or unnecessary expenses. I also like how LDS Philanthropies partners with other organizations, leveraging others’ skills and connections to reach and help people in need.

Why LDS Business College?

I was impressed with what I heard about how LDS Business College works. They have very focused, two-year degree programs that are designed to get people marketable skills that increase their earning potential. (Career-oriented programs include accounting, business, computers, medical careers, interior design, or office technology.) The school is small, so students get a lot of individual attention and support. There is a network of single parents that help support each other as well. This is also a school with an uplifting environment — something else that I believe can benefit single parents at a difficult time. The scholarships provide for tuition and for books, and aren’t dependent on maintaining a specific GPA — all of which can free the students to focus on school and on their families. LDS Business College has a proven program that helps single parents, so I’m excited to support that.

How can I help?

Below (and on our sidebar) find the widget for this campaign. Take a moment to listen to Megan’s story. We’ll be sharing other stories through the month. If you have a few dollars to spare, every little bit will help. Also please share the widget on your blog, and let people know about this campaign in other ways. Remember, a lot of people doing even a little can make a big difference. [Edited to add] You can also find other widget options on LDS Philanthropies’ page about the scholarship.

Hands/Gift Image: David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net