The program will start fresh and work towards fixing past issues
DaAnne Smith’s mother-in-law was a single mother struggling to make ends meet. She faced all the adversity of single motherhood, although she did it during the Depression. Responsible for four children, she packed up and moved to the Midwest where she had to farm to sustain her family.
That kind of example has stayed with Smith, who has become the new President of Single Mothers Outreach. The local charity has been around for quite some time, however over the years some have questioned their direction, trustworthiness and leadership.
Joining the board in 2006, DaAnne, along with other board members, started to look into the organization more. 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. It was this conundrum that led the new Board to the painful decision of discontinuing the charity’s paid staff in October.
Smith said that in past years, the organization has made its mistakes. “Like everyone, we’ve made bad decisions.” But now, Smith is focusing on their efforts to rebuild the organization. She says there are four strategies that will make this possible.
“Number #1- We have to appeal to the community, and have to come clean. We recognize our issues and faults; and we have to prove ourselves worthy of the community’s trust. We’re basically asking for a second chance.”
“Number #2- We’re aggressively looking for qualified and professional board members. There are five seats on the board, and we are looking for people who have communication experience, because we know that we have had a problem with that in the past. Second, we’re looking for a realtor, because down the line, we would like to offer single mothers transitional housing. And especially someone with fundraising expertise; we have not done so well with that before.”
“Number #3- We are going to review our mission statement. We need to know what we can provide that’s different from everyone else, find what we can do best, and offer single mothers the help up they need.”
“Number #4- We need to promote our upcoming Bowl-A-Thon. It will be held at Valencia Lanes on February 24th, and if we receive support from the community, we might be able to hire a staff again.”
And although Smith says the organization will be changing, their main mission hasn’t changed at all. “We are here to help single moms help themselves. We want them to be independent, and not dependent on us.”