Several months ago Bethel member Kasey Myers introduced me to an organization called WomenRise. It is a great organization that is doing “Gospel Work” to help single moms. Sammie McCabe is in charge of fundraising for WomenRise, which is a program of United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg. I asked Sammie to share with us what the program is all about.

“WomenRise is a childcare scholarship program for single moms in school or career training. We cover the full cost of childcare, paying providers directly so that the mom can focus on her studies and know that her child is in a safe and supportive environment. In addition to the scholarship, we offer workshops on financial literacy, career skills, and parenting – areas that our participants have all shared are of interest to them. Our goal is also to create a sense of community so that the single moms in our program can connect with each other, connect with resources, and connect with a network of women who are cheering them on.”

Sammie McCabe & Jasmine

Sammie shared one of the program’s success stories with me; her name is Jasmine. “Jasmine is a first-generation college student who is working toward her nursing degree because she has a passion to serve the vulnerable and one day become a Nurse Practitioner. Before WomenRise, she was having trouble balancing her 7-year-old’s care while also working and taking classes. She shared with us last fall that WomenRise ‘has allowed me to focus solely on my education. I can do what I have to do and not work extra hours to afford childcare because that is taken care of.’ Jasmine is a wonderful addition to our WomenRise class, and we can’t wait to see where she goes.

It’s women like Jasmine that remind me why I am called to do this work. There are so many single moms doing everything they can for their children and if we can just take even one burden off their plate, that can make a huge difference. Every donation, every volunteer hour, every connection is a step toward a better life for moms like Jasmine who are finding ways to rise even in the midst of so many hurdles. That’s what WomenRise is all about.”

Kacey Myers

WomenRise also holds a special place in Kasey’s heart as well. Kasey said, “I was first introduced to WomenRise from my co-worker who had asked if I wanted to attend an event, but never did I expect to be moved like I did. The testimony of the chosen applicants left me speechless and while the program is making a difference in the mother’s life, it is also making a difference in the child’s life as well.

My mom is a single mother and I saw first-hand the toll it can take on an individual. She was paying $170 a week for my little brother and this was one of the cheaper daycares in town. Eventually, my mom started working part-time at the facility to cut down the cost of weekly expenses. Childcare is not something a single parent should lose sleep over, but it is so common in today’s world. Not everyone has the opportunity to stay home, have family members to keep the child, or even family friends that give you a great rate!

WomenRise is only in its second year and they’ve made an impact on 6 individuals last year and with a goal of 20 this year! I am glad to have met Sammie and been exposed to an amazing program that she puts her heart and soul into each and every day! I am also glad to share this program with Bethel. WomenRise is on the rise and I am excited to see what God has in store for Sammie and her Team!”

One of our Bethel Mileposts is, “We’re blessed to be a blessing.” We’re going to be a blessing to WomenRise on Sunday, April 24th. Join us that Sunday and you’ll hear Sammie share for a few minutes about the program. Then stay after church and enjoy a BBQ lunch with us. All of the proceeds of the lunch will go directly to WomenRise. David Grubbs will be doing the cooking on that Sunday, so we’re sure to be guaranteed of a great meal for a great cause.

Finally, WomenRise is holding an afternoon Tea at Maymont Park on Wednesday, April 13th from 11:30-1:30. Tickets are $50 and if you’d like to attend, please contact Sammie McCabe at 804-775-6482. April is going to be a busy month for us at Bethel. We’ve got a special Palm Sunday service planned for April 10th. A “Tenebrae Service” for Maundy Thursday, an Easter Egg Hunt on April 16th and of course a special Easter Service on the 17th. Then, we’re really looking forward to Sammie’s visit and a BBQ lunch on Sunday April 24th. We hope to see you at all of these events and services in April. Until then, may God bless WomenRise, Sammie McCabe, Kasey Myers and the good work they do.

May God bless you and Bethel Baptist Church. Amen.