Zonta Club of Santa Clarita funds new online program.
After undergoing incredible amounts of change, the Santa Clarita Single Mothers Outreach is continuing to work towards developing new and helpful programs that meet the needs of local single mothers.
“We’ve reorganized ourselves, developed a new mission statement and started a new program plan for our clients. We’re ready to roll,” said Single Mothers Outreach President DaAnne Smith. Smith, who became the organization’s president last year and has been on the charity’s board since 2006, has really taken the organization in a new direction.
Although the organization has been in Santa Clarita for many years, many have questioned its direction, trustworthiness and leadership. That’s when Smith, along with other board members, started to take a closer look into the organization. What they found was a system that had little structure and a bad public image. In addition, there wasn’t enough money coming in to sustain the day to day operations. Since then, the charity has had to lay off their paid staff and rely on dedicated volunteers.
Despite it all, Smith prefers not to dwell on the past, but rather look forward to the future. “Like everyone else, we’ve made bad decisions,” says Smith. But now, Smith is focusing on their efforts to rebuild the organization.
In an effort to rebuild the charity and to provide helpful assistance to local single mothers, Smith has launched a new program set to help students pursuing a degree or career. “We’re developing programs for our moms to help them grow in life skill areas, and to help them help their families. We’re currently working on a program for students, to help them stay on track with college or trade school.”
After receiving a grant from the Santa Clarita Zonta Club, Smith has launched an online program aimed at single mothers in need. The program, called “The Market Place” is a charity service that will pair local businesses with mothers in need. “We have local businesses that have donated their money or their services to our women. For example, if a local plumber wants to help out a single mother with a plumbing problem, we can help them,” Smith said.
Smith also said that the program is a motivational tool used to inspire the women towards self sustainability. “Our moms get a one year membership to the program and earn points to renew that membership by attending growth programs. So, it’s a way to motivate them to continue to work towards improving their life skills.”