PLANO (CBSDFW.COM) – When many single mothers awake on Christmas morning, gifts for their children greatly outweigh those for themselves under the tree.
“Kids, they want just about everything,” said Christy Shronk, 23, a mother of two sons. “I can get them some stuff, but, as far as me? I’m not worried about me.”
Stephanie Ward knows that mentality first hand. Four years ago, she became a single mother of two after being granted custody of her kids. On Christmas, she would dedicate her time and money to making her children’s holiday special.
However, that meant that her Christmas morning was a bit different than the ones in her past.
“Not to have anything for Christmas was really traumatic for me,” she said. “I spent all the money I had on them, and there was just nothing under the tree for me. I realized there must have been other moms all over the world like me.”
Upon this realization, Ward started the nonprofit Gifts for Mom out of her Plano home. The donations quickly grew: At first, there were 250 gifts. Last year, individuals donated 600. This year, she has 700.
“We ask that people not give gifts they wouldn’t want themselves, and we ask that each gift be over $30,” Ward said. “We want the mother to really feel something and to know that somebody thought enough about them to go and shop for something.”
Many psychologists and financial experts note the positives that come from Gifts for Mom. Many single parents, experts said, are feeling the financial pinch and have no one else to lean on. Receiving a gift at Christmas can be a nice reprieve from the financial burden.
“They’re seeing costs rise, such as health care costs, day care costs and so much more,” said Rodney Anderson, executive director of Dallas-based Supreme Lending. “They’re trying to provide for everybody.”
Shronk, a Gifts for Mom recipient, echoes how it feels to receive a gift for Christmas.
“It’s awesome, it really is, it’s awesome. It makes me feel good; I might start crying,” she said. “I’m the last person that I think about. My kids come first. It feels good to get something.”
Click here for more information about Gifts for Moms, including how to donate.