Dear Supporters and Friends,
We’d like to share with you our thoughts and needs during these unusual times as we together face the impacts of the corona virus.
While we are certainly first concerned with the health and safety of the single moms and kids we serve – and are taking advised precautions – we thought you would appreciate understanding the potential vulnerability of the families we are privileged to walk alongside.
All FLS moms are courageous women who are in our Families Building Futures residential program or our Women of Courage outreach program because they are ready to make a difference for themselves and their kids. They are working moms building new futures, but all of them are just getting back on their feet. A cascade of events in a difficult public crisis such as this can have a much greater impact on their budding stability.
For instance, many of our moms are in lower wage, service jobs. As businesses close temporarily or shorten hours, our moms are facing substantially reduced paychecks. In addition, since schools and Head Start are closed and day care centers might be shutting down, moms face a lack of childcare. This will be a huge burden on the families we serve. Without childcare, FLS moms are in real danger of losing jobs.
In addition, kids eat lunch and sometimes breakfast at school. After the SNAP cuts this winter, moms are low on money available for food, especially now when they have to stretch to cover more meals. Thankfully schools have provided relief with food pickups. Hopefully additional relief will eventually come from the state, but our families have little margin to withstand delay.
Moms are understandably concerned, but all of us are working to instill a sense of calm and trust in God’s provision. In addition, we have always focused on working together as a community and are rallying together even more so in response to these present concerns. We are checking in with moms every day to ensure each mom has work and a safe place for their kids. We are continuing to coach, but rather than focusing on long-term goals, we are focusing on facing challenges day by day.
This new set of circumstances has provided ample opportunity to reflect on our role as a Ministry. What does it look like to walk alongside our moms and link arms to face frightening challenges together, trying to discern and do the next right thing? What does it look like to face these bigger needs together, entering into community and facing the daily uncertainties? Our moms so often have felt that they have had to fight their battles all alone. We pray that our good God will work through us so moms know that they do not have to face the uncertainties alone, that they can confidently say, FLS is here.
What can you do to help?
- Just as with everyone, it has been hard for moms (and us) to get basic supplies in the stores. If you have access to pull ups, diapers, Lysol cleaning solution, and paper towels, the moms would be most grateful.
- Also, we would love to start a list of partners who would be willing to help with on-call needs, such as meals or babysitting. Thankfully, today all the moms are working and have safe places for their kids, but as situations change rapidly, we want to be able to respond quickly to meet babysitting needs (not in a community setting, but in individual families). If you are willing to step in as needs arise, please contact Lisa Schmitz at email@example.com to be placed on our On-Call Angels List.
- Finally, we of course would welcome any donations to help us with additional needs as they arise and to sustain our ministry in the long term in these uncertain times.
Thank you for your concern for our single moms and kids as they work (even harder now)
to build new futures at FLS!
May God bless each of you and keep you healthy and safe.