Our first guest blogger for August of 2017 is our good friend Dr. Carla Ludwig. Carla’s insights and knowledge inspire us all to help single moms and single dads strive towards a better future for them and their families!
I have the best job in the world! I help dreams come true! Whether you’re married or a single parent, we all have dreams for our children. Our dream as parents is to be the best parent we can be. One way we do that is to provide well for our children’s physical needs. However, nearly half of single mom families find themselves at or below poverty—so that is difficult to do.
Imagine their stress when they can’t pay the bills on time or get nutritious food. Imagine their disappointment when their child doesn’t get a good report card or State assessment test scores, oftentimes the result of inadequate nutrition. Imagine watching your dreams for your child slip away year after year.
The importance of good nutrition for children can’t be over emphasized. There is a direct correlation between parental income and a child’s academic achievement. According to a Huffington Post article, “Mother’s education is a strong and consistent predictor of children’s outcomes—from IQ test scores at age five through school completion rates at age nineteen and twenty.”
When children are hungry, they focus on food at the expense of concentrating on school. When children eat well, they grow properly, including brain growth. They do better in school because they are healthy and more alert. They, then, have an opportunity to receive a post-high school education. College may become a dream come true for them, allowing them to provide well for their family.
All of society benefits when everyone contributes—and society pays big time when mothers or fathers don’t parent their children as they should. Education is the key! Median female wages in the United States, at all educational levels, are 30-50% lower than male wages at the same level. The majority of single parents with children are women.
The cost of daycare is a huge factor in the quality of life for these families and mom’s ability to go to school—accounting for up to half of a single mom’s income. Single parents often have to make the choice between paying for daycare or for food. According to Ruby Payne in her book, A Framework for Understanding Poverty, “Two things that help one move out of poverty are education and relationships.” That’s why Chia and Friends believes the role of the mentors and the life assistance teams is so important.
At Chia and Friends, we help single parents attain their dream of financial stability by helping them finish college or receive a certification in a trade. Completing an educational program builds the moms’ confidence—the ability to care for her family is huge. The same is true for the children. Doing well in school because they’re properly nourished and growing well gives children a sense of accomplishment and builds their confidence, which impacts them for the rest of their lives.
Will you be a voice of encouragement for a single mom? Will you walk alongside her and tell her God is enough, when she doesn’t think she can do it? Will you tell her she is loved unconditionally no matter what? Will you bring God’s kingdom, the kingdom of heaven, His kingdom of love to her?
Regardless of whether God is giving you a passion to serve this impoverished community or not, please share with others the needs of single mom families and how Chia and Friends addresses those needs. Together we can change their world and make dreams come true!
Excerpts taken from the book, But God…a Journey.
Blog by Dr. Carla Ludwig, Founder & CEO of Chia and Friends.
Carla is the mom of a single mom. Chia and Friends was started as a direct result of seeing the needs of single moms as she watched her daughter struggle to provide well for herself and her daughter.