Why giving to (not getting from) charity is so important for single moms


Proud mom brag: My kids are featured in the annual report for Watsi, one of our favorite charities. I found the organization that crowdfunds donations for medical treatment for people in the developing world as part of my family’s money management program.

Each week my kids receive an allowance (paid out monthly) equal to one dollar per year of age. They can spend half freely, a quarter goes into a savings account, and the remaining quarter is given to a charity of their choice — a donation I match dollar-for-dollar. Watsi is a favorite because the images and stories make it easy for young children to understand exactly what their money supports, as well as underscores how abundant they are.

I suggest you devise a similar program for your family, as well as a giving plan for yourself.

It is really easy to feel broke as a single mom. I don’t need to remind you of the stats: Single mom-lead families are far more likely to live in poverty, in crappy neighborhoods and struggle with the basics of life than two-parent, “traditional” families. Even if you are middle class or more, you are poorer than you would be if you are married, and you are likely poorer than your married peers. Fact.

Other fact: You live in one of the richest countries in the world, at a time of unprecedented opportunity for women. You have a lot. A whole, whole lot. And there is no better way to remind yourself of that than to give to those who have less than you.

When you give back, you tell yourself, your children, your community and yourself: I am abundant. I have what I need and I am grateful for it. I am content with what I have, even as I strive to do more than I can dream about.

This holiday season and every day, write that check, donate online, spend time in your community on projects and efforts you believe in. Because you should, and because you can.

Emma Johnson is a veteran money writer, 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, Oprah.com, REAL SIMPLE, Parenting, USA Today and others.

The Kickass Single Mom: Be Financially Independent, Discover Your Sexiest Self, and Raise Fabulous, Happy Children (Penguin, 2017), was a #1 bestseller and was featured in hundreds of media, including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fox & Friends, Oprah.com and the New York Post, which named it to its ‘Must Read” list.

Her popular blog Wealthysinglemommy.com, and podcast Like a Mother, explore issues facing professional single moms: business and career, money, sex, relationships and parenting. Emma regularly comments on these topics for outlets such as CNN, Headline News, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fox & Friends, CNBC, NPR, TIME, MONEY, O, The Oprah Magazine, Woman’s Day, The Doctors, and many more. She was named Parents magazine’s “Best of the Web,” one of “20 Personal Finance Influencers to Follow on Twitter” by AOL DailyFinance, “Top 15 Personal Finance Podcasts” by U.S. News, and “Most Eligible New Yorkers” by New York Observer.

A popular speaker on gender equality, Emma presented at the United Nations Summit for Gender Equality.

Emma grew up in Sycamore, Ill., and lives in New York City with her children.

4 thoughts on “Why giving to (not getting from) charity is so important for single moms

  1. The other reason I give: To say thank you and support others as others supported me. There was a time, shortly after my divorce, when I needed help, and gratefully accepted whatever help came my way. And I was so blessed to have so many people surround me & help me! I know, from experience, how powerful that is, how much it can help. So now that I can, I give. I can’t give a lot, but I give what I can. I buy extras of whatever’s on sale at the grocery store and donate it to our local food pantry. I’ve bought coats and hats, mittens and gloves on end-of-the-season clearance and donated it to the next year’s Coat Drive. It might not be a lot, but I’ve learned, from experience, how much power there is in humans helping humans.

  2. Yes! We should all do our part and pay it forward! On a side note, single parenting is quickly becoming the future, and why should Single Moms always be the poor people? It is time to not only adapt, but become at the very least equals among society.

What do you think? Please comment!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *