The Life of a Single Mom
“An organization like this takes a lifetime,” Tiffany Temple, Business and Communications Director of The Life of a Single Mom, shares. “Jennifer Maggio never forgot what it felt like to be a single mom even after corporate success and marriage. She always remembered what it was like to be on her bathroom floor, wondering how she was going to feed her kids and feeling hopeless.
For Maggio, the founder of The Life of a Single Mom (TLSM), the burning desire in her heart to give back to single moms motivated her to start a small group of single moms out of her home. Today, over 1,500 groups of single moms meet in similar groups across the nation. And, these groups are just the beginning of TLSM’s impact.
TLSM has blossomed into a global nonprofit that offers a multi-faceted approach to supporting single mothers. TLSM utilizes several programs that include the three pillars of financial literacy, parenting, and wellness to assure that “no single mom walks alone,” which is the heartbeat of TLSM.
The core of TLSM is the support groups. As of 2018, 33,048 single mothers nationwide have been impacted by the TLSM support groups. Baton Rouge has six such groups, and TLSM encourages churches and community groups to start more. A typical night at a TLSM support group provides childcare, a meal, and fellowship for the mothers. Praise and worship, a guest speaker, and small groups follow. Temple explains that the small group conversations go beyond parenting and dive into every aspect of life. Many of the single moms who come together are looking for ways to cope, tips to manage their hectic lives, and friendly faces to listen to their concerns. “Our groups contain women ranging from grandmothers to first time moms. It’s most about having community and doing life together,” Temple shares. The nights conclude with giveaways, which can be everything from toiletries to books to groceries. Within these small groups, TLSM also offers Single Parenting 101 classes. “We meet these mothers where they are and walk with them through the seasons of single parenting,” says Temple.
Temple’s connection to TLSM started with attending one of the local support group meetings four years ago. She stumbled upon the group through a friend and some online research. Though interested, she wavered for a few days before deciding to give it a try. “I didn’t even embrace that term, ‘single mom,’ because it had such a negative connotation. I thought if I went, they would pity me, and then I would get offended, but it was nothing like I feared,” she reflects.
One unique program, Serving Other Sisters (SOS), provides an opportunity for five single mothers to join together and help another mom with home improvement projects. They partner with a local contractor and work towards improvement.
In addition to serving, single moms can also grow through TLSM Single Moms University, a collection of 10-minute online courses taught by experts in the fields of financial literacy, parenting, and health and wellness. Through an affordable monthly subscription, moms can have access to information that can catapult them into successful futures. TLSM has partnered with the re-entry program for female prisoners at Hunts and Jetson Correctional Centers to help ease those women back into their families and society through the SMU courses. TLSM staff visits the prisons to help prepare the women for the transition of going home to their families.
There are 15 million single parents across the country, and Louisiana ranks second in the nation.The need for more TLSM support groups is great. To begin a group, TLSM provides a ministry kit with everything needed to launch and sustain a support group. Temple adds, “We want all single moms to know that we exist to serve them, love them, and walk with them so they’re not alone.”■