Kickass single moms giving back

single moms volunteer


For the December Kickass Single Mom Grant, I divided the gift up into 10, $100 grants to support the efforts of single moms who are giving back this holiday season.

Here are they are: Women who contribute to their communities, country, world. The value of The Kickass Single Mom grant is not just supporting awesome women doing amazing things, but broadcasting your good work to the world, inspiring other women to know that no matter what their families look like, they are capable of greatness. THAT is activism, and we are each capable of it.

How do you give back? Maybe it is in money, time, energy, being a good friend, thoughtful neighbor, conscientious member of your community, supportive family member. These are all important for so many reasons. This brings you joy, models good citizenry to your children, showcases to others in your community what women, mothers and single moms are capable of. Plus, it feels damn good.

Share your holiday giving in the comments!


The 2017 holiday Kickass Single Mom Winners:

Kickass single mom Shana Swain in Charleston, S.C., runs a food drive, Cans for Karma, that supports domestic violence victims:


Kickass single mom Sabi Kamilah Hinkson, was a teenage mom to two children, now ages 17 and 8, and founded Strong Hinkson Organization, a nonprofit that support low-income, Montreal single-parents who are pursuing post-secondary school studies. This season SHO collected $400 plus many other services and goods for a student single mom of a 2-year-old, and is on a mission to help another parent:


Kickass single mom Amy Trinniman, an educator in Colchester, CT, buys snacks out of her own pocket for students who cannot afford to eat — ensuring better learning:


Kickass single mom Erica Thompson in Warren, Mich., started Jane's Giving Tree, which donates personal items to low-income seniors, in honor of her own mom who passed away this year:


Kickass single mom Leah-Mary McGow, together with her 8-year-old special needs son, rescues, rehabilitates and releases squirrels in Montreal:


Kickass single mom Jessica Lashelle and her daughter Kelis collect toiletries and distribute them to the homeless in their city of San Bernardino, Calif.:


Kickass single mom of two Shirley Taylor in Long Island, N.Y., donates toiletry products to the Mary Brennan Inn, a soup kitchen in Hempstead, N.Y.:


Kickass single mom Jennifer Scully and her 12-year-old daughter in Dix Hills, N.Y., answer letters to Santa written by homeless children in her community, spending thousands of her own dollars and recruiting volunteers and donors. If you'd like to help, check out her Facebook page.


Kickass single mom Cher Chandler, in Wilmington, Del., wrote:
My son, Malachi, 12, and I are very involved in giving back to our community and it is something that has been keeping us busy this month.
Each September 11th we take donuts to our local fire station (Station 6, Wilmington, Del.) and let them know how much we respect the sacrifices they make each day.  We also are active volunteers for New Castle County; Malachi cleaned up trash for the Dollar General in our local community and took a picture with staff; With a local HUD representative when we volunteered at the grand opening of a new library in New Castle; I have done two baby showers for Bayard House (a place for homeless, pregnant females); And I recently volunteered to support Kind to Kids Blue Duffel Event at the Chase Center in Wilmington, which helps children in foster care.  Last weekend we assisted New Castle County with collecting food donations for families in need and on December 22nd we will be staying overnight with homeless families at Christ Church Christiana Hundred in Wilmington.
We do many volunteer activities together and I know it will help my son continue to grow in character and kindness.

single moms volunteer

Kickass single mom of a 7-year-old, Sherry in Montreal collects clothing for and distributes food to the homeless, as well as volunteers to “create welcome baskets for new immigrants in the community to show them they are not alone and there are people willing to help them through their transition.”


Honorable mention, the kickass single mom Teresa Weinmann, who shared:

One of my favorite traditions at this time of year is creating and sending out our Christmas Cards. This year, I decided to do something a little different. Since my divorce, it has been very important to me to have family pictures done each year. So, when I saw that a single mom of four children was looking for assistance to pay for her first family portrait on Glennon Doyle's TogetherRising Holiday Hands page, I knew that this was something I had to do. Having our family picture taken back in 2013 was so important and meaningful to me and now I am able to help someone do the same. There is no greater feeling in the world than to be able to do something like this for someone else. And isn't that what the holidays are about?!?!

So, this year, our Christmas card is a digital one as it was more important for me to give than to spend the money on creating and sending out our family card. I thought it was fitting to put the family pictures from 2013-2017 on our card this year.

From my little family to yours, we wish you all the blessings of the season. Light, love, happiness, and peace in the new year. ❤️

 single mom christmas card


More about the Kickass Single Mom Grant:


Every month I give $1,000 to a single mom committed to building a positive life for herself, her family and contributing to the world in a productive way.

The Kickass Single Mom Grant supports endeavors that show promise for success — whether it is a career, business, charitable, community, creative or family project that is already underway and could use a financial boost.

This might include paying for formal education that will advance your career (or launch a new career!) that makes you happy and proud, propels you to financial independence and makes you a great role model for your children and others whose lives you touch.

You might seek to use this money to build your dream business — one that lights your passion, contributes to the world in a positive way.

Maybe you have a volunteer or nonprofit project that is blossoming.

Perhaps it is a personal project that you want to describe to me.

One part of this grant is to support incredible single women doing amazing things.

The other part is to highlight incredible single moms to inspire and uplift others who may not see in themselves what is possible.

No income maximum (or requirement). All nationalities welcome. Winners are announced the first of every month.

Tips for being chosen as a Kickass Single Mom Grant winner:

  • Display some success and momentum. If you are building a business or advancing your career, show me what you’ve already accomplished. Not-yet-started endeavors will not be considered.
  • Be very specific about how you will use the money. Show me you’ve thought it though, and are ready for the next level!
  • It’s not for paying off debt.
  • This is not for helping your kids pay for college. They’re adults.  
  • Don’t complain about your ex.
  • This is about creating something bigger than yourself. Only applicants who emphasize how they will pay it forward will be considered.
  • The winner is not the saddest story, but the most proactive one. 


Here are a few recent Kickass Single Mom Grant winners:


single mom harvey grant


Tanai Benard: Driving 18-wheelers through floodwaters to help Hurricane Harvey victims



single mom grant winner

Shawnta Creech went from homeless to culinary school graduate with a salad dressing business in the works.



Vanessa Osage sexuality educator


Sexuality educator Vanessa Osage, giving young people and their families agency over their bodies and sexuality



sheri black san diego single mom grant


Sheri Hopkins started Black San Diego. “I wanted my daughters to grow up seeing strong leaders who looked like them.”

single mom grant doula


Tiara Caldwell: A doula for low-income new mothers. “I wasn’t going to let a corporation tell me what my dream was.”




About Emma Johnson

Emma Johnson is a veteran money journalist, noted blogger, bestselling author and an host of the award-winning podcast, Like a Mother with Emma Johnson. A former Associated Press Financial Wire reporter and MSN Money columnist, Emma has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Glamour,, U.S. News, Parenting, USA Today and others. Her #1 bestseller, The Kickass Single Mom (Penguin), was named to the New York Post's ‘Must Read” list. Emma regularly comments on issues of modern families, gender equality, divorce, sex and motherhood for outlets like CNN, Headline News, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fox & Friends, CNBC, NPR, TIME, MONEY, O, The Oprah Magazine and The Doctors. She was named Parents magazine’s “Best of the Web,” “Top 15 Personal Finance Podcasts” by U.S. News, and a “Most Eligible New Yorker” by New York Observer. A popular speaker, Emma presented at the United Nations Summit for Gender Equality. Read more about Emma here.


  1. Cher Chandler on December 15, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    Thank you SO much, Emma!!

    • Emma on December 15, 2017 at 3:06 pm

      Thank you for what you do!

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