Local gives support for single moms

Published 12:02 am Saturday, August 8, 2015

NATCHEZ — Developing a support group for single mothers in the area has become a personal goal for Erica Davis.

Her newly founded organization, Single Mothers of the Miss-Lou, will host its first free event today from 10 a.m. to noon in the Natchez High School auditorium.

Davis has a personal connection to the issue of single parenting, as she is a single mother.

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“I wanted to create this organization to have a support system in place for women who don’t have one,” Davis said. “I was blessed to have my family and friends who don’t mind helping me out with my daughter if I need it, but some women don’t have anyone.”

Her goal is to develop the organization further and obtain a non-profit status so that any monies can be used to help mothers who are struggling financially.

“Right now, the organization is young and we are really only able to be an encouragement for the mothers who may be in a tough place,” Davis said. “I think it would be great, in the future, to be able to give a woman the money to cover a utility bill if they need it.”

This weekend’s event developed when Davis was encouraged by a friend, Corey Issac, to put together a program which could help lift the mothers’ spirits before the start of a new school year.

“I was not planning on having the event so soon,” She said. “I agreed with my friend though, because this time of the year, back-to-school, can be overwhelming to single mothers and we want to encourage them and help them start the school year on a positive note.”

Speakers include Minister Loretta Burns from Hattiesburg who will be speaking about praying through tough times. Pastor K.E. Stanton, of Natchez, will deliver his presentation entitled, “Bae Ain’t Bae if Bae Don’t Pray.” Sheila Sewell, of Cordova, Tenn., will be speaking about parenting. Her presentation is entitled, “Keep it R.E.A.L.”

The keynote speaker will be Betty Mayfield Beard of Hattiesburg, who will speak on the “Secret Struggles of a Single Mother.”

Free child-care will be offered during the conference and the mothers and their children will be served lunch at the end of the event. There will also be great door prizes, including free haircuts for the children, which were donated by local barbers.

“I wanted to do something positive for single mothers, because when I found out I was going to be a single mother, I found many of the women I talked to were bitter,” Davis said. “I want to help these women emotionally, because I know from my church upbringing that bitterness and anger will destroy your spirit. I want to help them move past their emotional scars.”

Davis also hopes to enlist volunteers with professional backgrounds such as counselors and pastors who will be able to provide counseling services for women who need them.

Davis, who is in her last year at Alcorn State University, studying to get her master’s degree in animal science with an emphasis in physiology of reproduction in cattle. She hopes to continue her education at Texas A&M, and one day work for any of a number of agriculture companies or research universities to help low-income farmers.

She will always have a special place in her heart for single mothers, as she learns through her own experience rearing her daughter, Bailey Jane Davis.

If anyone is interested in attending this morning’s event, or helping with the organization, they may contact Erica by email: e.danielledavis@yahoo.com.