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Single Mom Project Hosts 'Confidence Day'

Mar 07, 2022 02:19PM ● By Jeanne Fratello

Volunteers and participants at the first "Confidence Day" special event for the Single Mom Project.

The Single Mom Project, founded by Manhattan Beach's Janet Jones and her sons, on Saturday hosted its first "Confidence Day" featuring spa treatments for local working single moms.

The nonprofit provided the treatments to 20 low-income mothers who live in Hawthorne, Inglewood and Lawndale. All the participants had received $500 grants from the nonprofit to help them get on steadier financial footing.

"Our nonprofit’s motto is 'Giving confidence to deserving single mothers,' which is why the event seemed important to my sons and me," said Jones. "When someone feels cared for, confidence can skyrocket."

"Confidence Day" took place at the Richstone Family Center in Hawthorne. At the event, the women received pampering treatments from Massage Envy in Hermosa Beach, as well as manicures from an independent manicurist who makes at-home visits. The providers volunteered their time to the event.

The participants also received bracelets with encouraging sayings on them. 

While the honorees were getting pampered, their children were entertained with sports and crafts by volunteers from The DOMO Group at Corcoran Global Living in Manhattan Beach.  

"Our honorees were unanimously appreciative," said Jones. "Several said they had never had a facial or a manicure in their lives.  My sons, Evan and Carter, agreed with me that 'Confidence Day' exceeded our expectations."

More than $20,000 In Grants Given

Jones, who raised two boys as a single mother, created the Single Mom Project in 2020 with her (now grown) sons. The Single Mom Project has partnered with the Richstone Family Center to give cash grants to low-income, hard-working single mothers whose families are clients at Richstone.

The Single Mom Project's grant-giving efforts began in December 2020, when Jones and her sons gave away a total of $5,500 to 11 single moms. On Mother's Day 2021, the group gave a total of $6,500 to 13 local single mothers. Then on Thanksgiving, the group granted granted 17 local single mothers $500 each, bringing the nonprofit's total gifts to more than $20,000 in just a year.

The Richstone Family Center was a natural partner for Jones and her sons in their efforts. The Richstone Family Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in Hawthorne that’s dedicated to preventing and treating child abuse and trauma; strengthening and educating families; and eliminating violence in families, schools and communities. Prior to founding the Single Mom Project, the Jones family had coordinated a variety of events for Richstone, from a Back-to-School Barbecue to Free Haircut Days to Free Family Portrait Days.

For the Single Mom Project, Richstone staff and clients (both mothers and children) are encouraged to submit nomination forms that describe what the mother's needs might be -- whether it is paying rent, buying shoes for their children, or taking ESL classes. 

All of the moms who are nominated receive a $500 award. The award checks are then deposited into an account at Richstone designed to track expenditures and ensure that each contribution is wisely spent.

The Single Mom Project's Inspiration

Jones had gone through her own struggles as a single mother, and was grateful to receive support from her Tree Section neighbors and community members when her boys were young.

(Jones is known in the neighborhood for her prolific lemon tree, which she bought with her boys one year on Mother's Day as part of a lesson on how they were going to "make lemonade out of lemons." Last year, she invited a local Cub Scout troop to pick the lemons for a food donation project.)

A pivotal moment in Jones' life came a few years ago when a good friend sent her a Mother’s Day card and tucked a $5000 check inside. 

"He was dying of cancer and wrote that he wanted my sons and me to thrive," said Jones. "He died shortly thereafter, but we’re now paying Matt’s gesture forward."

The mothers have expressed to Jones how meaningful the grants are in their lives.

For example, Jones learned that one of the previous grant recipients had received permission to use her $500 to buy her child a single bed. The client said that Child Protective Services had said they would take her child away if she could not provide a bed.

"The Single Family Project helped keep that family intact," said Jones. "Even though $500 may not seem like a lot to some of us in the Beach Cities, that amount can literally keep a family together."

Donations can be made to the Single Mom Project here.

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