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Happy Mother's Day!

Written by karly@sharedetroit.org    on May 7, 2021    in

At SHARE Detroit, we strive to promote nonprofits, individuals, mission or events that promotes positivity with a lasting impact.  Many would agree that the attributes of all mothers and the influence of a maternal spirit do just that.   In recognition of Mother’s Day, we contacted three nonprofit organizations in our SHARE Detroit network whose missions provide resources and programs for families to ensure they have the tools necessary to succeed as individuals and in their roles as parents and caregivers.

We are proud to work with the organizations who appreciate the invaluable resource a strong family life has on the life of a child while recognizing that support for mothers and caregivers is essential to provide that healthy family setting. 

Many agree the role of a mother or caregiver has never been so consuming as it has over the past year since the COVID-19 pandemic entered our homes. It is a natural instinct for parents or caregivers to provide children with what they need.  In many cases, individuals rely on organizations like United Community Family Services (UCFS) to help them meet those needs. The most important resource that UCFS provides is their Basic Needs Center and Food Pantry.  They provide needed furniture, housewares, food, baby items (infant formula, diapers, baby wipes, car seats). UCFS families are below the poverty level and receiving basic needs items and food helps support their unmet family needs during difficult times.  UCFS also provides prenatal and childbirth education, and a child development program for refugee women, to help with educational resources and giving these women an opportunity to meet other women and develop friendships in their new community within the United States. 

Single Family Living is an organization that supports single parents. The resource they value the most is their commitment to advocacy. Single Family Living empowers single parents with emotional encouragement, stress management, restoration guidance in mental health and self-care, financial & budgeting literacy, and housing resources. They are committed to supporting single women in their journey of raising healthy and well-adjusted children.

The resources provided through Samaritas are extensive and include family preservation programs that strengthen and keep families together, and the Family Center emergency shelter, where the entire family can stay together safely. Samaritas is also a leader in  foster care and adoption. 

2020 and 2021 have been challenging years for most of us. The pandemic’s affect on our national and mental health has been a crisis negatively impacting families in so many ways. The families that UCFS works with are primarily refugees -- their biggest challenges are negotiating a new culture, language barriers and navigating their children's school process. Add in the complication of many children having to learn virtually, at home, this stress and uncertainty has contributed to the concerns and needs of many  families with younger children.   

Single Family Living has also seen the stress that virtual and home schooling format has added to the lives of parents and caregivers.  While one of the many talents a mother has is her ability to multi-task and find innovative ways to cope, it is a challenge to juggle working remotely, manage additional school related tasks for children, supporting ill extended family, all while trying to keep their own positive mental health. 

The inherent spirit of the women and our natural instinct for nurturing and compassion comes in many, many different forms. Depending on the mission of an organization, our nonprofits witness a determined strength in the individuals they serve. These nonprofits also allow women the opportunity to share their concerns, ask for help and not be afraid to show vulnerability. Our nonprofits are there to help make life easier as much as possible. At Samaritas, they are keenly aware that the expectations put on mothers in our culture are often unachievable. In their programs, they often see that there is an expectation for a mother to know how to parent just because mothers love their children deeply. Samaritas and all nonprofits know that mothering (parenting) is not always a natural talent; it is learned from parents, close friends and family. Parenting skills are obtained by watching others, but not everyone has a good role model to learn from.  Even though mothers love their children, they often need help learning to be an effective parent. Samaritas is proud of the support provide.  

At Single Family Living, they acknowledge that the universal theme when it comes to a mother nurturing her child is showing them unconditional LOVE! There are no special awards or accolades given to a parent upon raising a physically and mentally healthy child. Knowing the never-ending tasks that accompany that level of dedication, it is only natural that we take a day to recognize all that mothers do.  

At Samaritas, they know that celebrating a mother’s influence on culture can be as simple as acknowledging it. As simple as taking the time to let mothers know that they ARE influencing our culture.  That ALL they do makes a difference – not just for their kids, but for our entire community. 

Single Family Living shared that when they are working with single mothers, they love knowing that a mother's heart melts whenever their child smiles. When mothers see smiles on their children’s face, that smile warms the mother's SOUL. At that moment, mothers tell us that it is the ONLY reward needed in life. We could not agree more.   

From our team at SHARE Detroit, we hope you take time this weekend to see the smile of a mother or child and warm your soul too. We would like to share a heartfelt Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers in Detroit. 

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If you or someone you know is considering becoming a very special type of mother – a foster mother, our friends at Samaritas asked us to share that they urgently need you!  In Michigan, more than 13,000 children are in foster care and there is a critical need for foster parents. Samaritas will lead you through the foster parent process – from applying, licensing, learning the latest in trauma-based parenting techniques to best help your new foster child, placement, and ongoing care.  If you are considering becoming a foster parent, sign up for the monthly orientation sessions over Zoom, by contacting Caitlin Dombrowski at (313) 269-7895 or cdomb@samaritas.org.  The orientation sessions are listed on the sharedetroit.org events section and on the Samaritas page.