The Third Annual Scary Mommy Thanksgiving Project


The Scary Mommy Thanksgiving Project gives these mothers and their families an evening of food, love and warmth, without the stress and worry they battle the rest of the year.

Innocently born out of a blog post in 2011, and now an official 501(c)3 non-profit, the project has helped over 4,500 families to date celebrate a Thanksgiving they wouldn’t otherwise have had. Read the testimonials, see yourself in these faces and ask: How can you not want to make a difference?


Due to the generosity of people like you, we have been able to fulfill 2,765 Thanksgiving requests this year – that’s each and every applicant! Words of thanks from Thanksgiving Project recipients can be found here. Thank you for helping us help them.

We’ll see you next year!

About the writer


What started as an innocent on-line baby book to chronicle Jill Smokler’s stay-at-home days with her children, quickly transformed into a vibrant community of parents, brought together by a common theme: Parenting doesn’t have to be perfect. Welcome to Scary Mommy!


Marsha BRAMOWITZ 1 year ago

Noble and much needed.

johanne 1 year ago

Thanks for sharing. truly appreciate your effort. More power.

Tina 2 years ago

I’m A struggling nursing student/mom/wife. It would be great if my family could have a thanksgiving dinner this year! Can someone please tell me how I go about getting help? Thank you!

Rachel Monger 2 years ago

Fantastic! We are blessed to bless others! And how that thankfulness spreads with acts of kindness to one another as in gratitude each one reaches out to others! Rachel

Alexey 2 years ago

Yikes, I’m coming up there in Jan. and am a litlte concerned about the weather. Mostly because I’ve never driven in snow! I learned to drive in Georgia! I think I’m going to get a crash course on how to drive in snow.

Vadim 2 years ago

i think bieber is fun for kids but not for gruwnops, it has nothing to it to make the hair on my arms raise up. im sorry but thats the cold trueth about bieber., take amy she was a world class star, had some of monro and elvis made the world look better when ever she started to sing. eventhow bieber is the most search wordt on the net, it does not meen its the best, like a video that has been watched 30 miljon times, does stil not meen it is good .. its just people following others blindly in the dark,.expecting much getting nothing back. cheers keep up the good works by the way and watch my news site.

Margie 2 years ago

I cannot possibly thank you and your readers enough for the wonderful Thanksgiving dinner you provided for us. There was absolutely no way we could have afforded that meal without your help. I am a person who is not used to asking for help from anyone and it was hard for me. For the past few years holiday meals just would not fit into our budget, thanks so much for making it possible for me to put a good meal on the table this year. I know things will look up for us again one day soon and when they do, I will not forget to return the kindness and send Scary Mommy a big fat check so that someone else can feel as blessed as I do now. From the bottom of my heart , thanks to all who made this possible and who continue to help others who are going through a rough patch. May you be richly blessed for your kindness and generosity.

Demita Richardson 2 years ago

I get the gift card today i the mail thankyou.

Demita Richardson 2 years ago

Hello i get the gift card today thankyou for it..

Karij Kirby 2 years ago

thank u for letting me join scay mommies looking forward to gatting to know everyone :-)

Christy Pittman 2 years ago

I recieved my card today in the mail. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

Tina Lee Carrero 2 years ago

I never got my card for thanksgiving even after the link was reoppened and I signed up and recieved the email that it was on its way now its the 20th of november any sugestions on how I get thanksgiving now for my family or a dinner at all for that matter…….

ndnspeechmom 2 years ago

Will there be a similar program for Christmas? I’d like to help

ndnspeechmom 2 years ago

Is it too late to donate?

Cindy 2 years ago

Thank you for creating this opportunity to help a family in need. I don’t have a lot of money, but I’ve never had to think about where my next meal will come from and I cannot imagine what it would feel like to not be able to feed a child… no one should have that worry. This gives me pause for thought—what can I do differently in my life so that I have more $$ to help with?

Tammy 2 years ago

I applied on the 15th before the applications were closed down. I heard that everyone who applied on time will be helped but I haven’t received anything telling me if I am getting help. I have been checking my spam folder and my regular email and still haven’t heard. Can someone let me know something? I am trying to find out if I will be able to have thanksgiving dinner with my girls or not! Please can someone tell me either way? Thanks Tammy

Cristi Motto Comes 2 years ago

I will be spreading this word. So awesome. :)

DEEJ. 2 years ago

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!! I just found out that my family’s application for the Scary Mommy Thanksgiving Project has been approved. I am so very thankful to Jill and all of the people who were able to donate and make it possible for so many unfortunate people, like myself, to actually enjoy Thanksgiving this year. This is truly a blessing for my family, as well as to the other families that would not be able to afford a Thanksgiving dinner without this type of support. I am, and have always been, the type of person that truly believes that giving is more important than receiving. I have always given freely of any resource that I have at my disposal…time, talent, clothes, food, money, etc. However, these last few months have been tremendously hard for myself and my children and I haven’t been able to give as I normally do. I went from being employed and being able to provide everything that my family needed, to being unemployed and unable to provide like I should. When I filled out the application for help on this site, I had so many emotions swirling around in my head. I was embarrassed, hurt, dismayed, desperate, etc., but I swallowed my pride and did it anyway. I felt like I had failed my myself, but most importantly, my children. When I got the acceptance email, I was so grateful and overjoyed. I also started to look at things differently. I felt a little glimmer of hope. Maybe this was a little bit of good karma for everything that I had always tried to do. I realized that maybe I haven’t failed, but I have just fallen on hard times. This experience has taught me that not everyone ridicules you when you need help. There are so many other thoughts and feelings that I am experiencing as I type this “thank you” note, that I can’t even begin to explain. Bottom line…Jill, you and all of the other “Scary Mommies” rock!!!! I humbly thank you and everyone else for this gift. I am very grateful, and next year, I will be giving instead of receiving! I pray for an abundance of blessings, peace, love, and prosperity for all! Have a great Thanksgiving!!!!

Trisha_K 2 years ago

Found you through Amber’s Crappy Pictures post and donated!

Jessi Ward 2 years ago

So great to see something like this, ScaryMommy! We've been in tough situations before, as well as many great, hard working people that I know. We can't do much in the way of donations right now, but I'll pass this on & try to get some awareness out there about a great cause.

Jean McCormic 2 years ago

I would like to apologize for my previous post. It made my inlaws sound bad when in fact they are lovely people who do so much for my family. So sorry.

Jean McCormic 2 years ago

Hi, I know it's closed, but I just heard about it this morning. Maybe I can be an early applicant for next year. I am a 50 yr. disabled mom of 3 beautiful teenagers. I usually have Thanksgiving dinner with my inlaws, but this year they are going somewhere and leaving me alone to try to create some kind of a Thanksgiving dinner for my kids.

Dorido 2 years ago

One more Happy Thanksgiving to a deserving family. Thanks for all my blessings. God Bless.

Bonnie 2 years ago

Jill your a Blessing to so many and I will share your information. I wish I could help this year but not sure how things are going to work out yet. You see my husband and I are both handicapped, living on his disability. We are raising our Autistic grandson and just went to Wichita to move our daughter and her mate in with us. They want to be helpful (our legs) and they needed a hand up from their living circumstances. Please pray for all of us to work with and show grace to one another. So I have extra mouths to feed this Thanksgiving and the days to come. Prayerfully, we will be able to help with next year’s Thanksgiving! Prayers of Blessing to all this Holiday Season.

Jennifer Lizza 2 years ago

Jill this cause is so fantastic. I am spreading the word near and far until Turkey Day.

jen 2 years ago

can someone tell me when you find out if you were accepted for assistance. I applied last week. I am soo anxious. I hate being on the receiving end. I was with a nonprofit for a year, we provided free referral services to families in need. The stories broke my heart, and now, I have one of those stories…..With a 7 year old boy and being an “older” mom, at 46, I should be “set” in my life, my career and my security…but I can see I am not alone. I am a college educated woman, out of work, who had “the good life” and now has practically nothing…We are blessed to have a roof over our head, basic utilities and food in our belly, even if we need assistance to get it….

I felt like a failure for so long, put down by my family, “I wasnt raised to live off public assistance”…Who was??? and although I havent asked or received help from any of them since I was pregnant, they have all abonded me, dont talk to me, i am the embarrassment of the family, never even met my son!!!!

Thank you SM, hoping the assistance come thru, we are truly counting on it to have a thanksgiving….

jen 2 years ago

just curious, i applied a couple days ago for the Thanksgiving Basket Assistance, does anyone know if and when I will find out if I was accepted? Praying for all who are in need….

jen 2 years ago

just curious, i applied a couple weeks ago for the Thanksgiving Basket Assistance, does anyone know if and when I will find out if I was accepted?

xhahla coffie 2 years ago

I saw you on the t.v. about your cause to help ..we as everyone else are in need of food.i am a grandmother helping with 2 grandchildren and my daughter lost her job so we just do not have enough to go around>>>please help or prey for us>>>

Tammy 2 years ago

I was given information about this site from a different site that I had asked for help on this morning. I was able to fill out the application and submitted it. I also watched you on the Queen Latifah show, I know that you have a waiting list, but I don’t know if I am one of those on the waiting list or if my application was submitted to late. My girls and I have been sick lately and then my youngest had an accident that required a hospital visit. The illness and the accident depleted the funds that I had saved for Thanksgiving dinner for my family.

Debby Cotheton 2 years ago

I just saw the Queen Latifah show and saw about this web site and the Thanksgiving project. Sadly, I found it too late for help with this Thanksgiving help. I am a 63 year old mother of too grown children and five grandchildren. My husband and I are retired health care professionals, both now on Social Security Disability. So,this means that we are on fixed incomes that are controlled by the government. Needless to say, some months it’s just not enough. As the local ‘head mother’ I am expected to make Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, which I do, but this is not cheap. If there is anything that you can do to help me this year I and my family would appreciate the help. Thanks, Debby in Denver

Jennny Sorrell 2 years ago

It would means a lot to me and my kids if you won the $50. We are struggling financially I am a single mother of three. I am in my last semester in Nursing School. I know that God will make a way for us.

Anonymous 2 years ago

Does any one have any great recipes to share for Thanksgiving

N.rangel 2 years ago

I was just wondering if my application got submitted i entered all the info and after i clicked submit it loaded then said the page could,not be display. Could you please email me and let me know if it went through. Thank you :)

Mychelle Powers 2 years ago

Thank you so much! It is just me and my kids, and it is a dark, lonely, and scary time for us. Acts of kindness such as yours bring light into the lives of people like me and my small family who are alone this season. In my life, holidays were always centered around close family and good food. The last couple of years has been sadly lacking in both. I am trying to be both mom and dad to my kids, going to school full-time to try to better our lives, and working part-time as much as I can and still be there for them. I do have hope for all of us to have a better future, but it is hard to know my kids are going without while I try to procure that for us. Thank you again for showing me that it is not useless to have hope, and that there are others willing to boost you up when it is your turn to be down for a time. Before I had children and consequently divorced, I was in a position to help others, and did so without any expectations of fame or glory for it.It is the way I was raised, and I hope to get to that point again someday. Have a wonderful Holiday, and I will let you know how ours was! Love and Kindest Regards, Mychelle Powers

Tiffany Johnson 2 years ago

I'm praying for some help this year! Going days without eating, I no longer get hunger pains. But I will NOT eat when we have not enough food! I too am tired of weight remarks, I have four kids, 10, 6, and 18 month old twins. My husband works hard. We live in housing and they upped our rent to over a grand and cut off our assistance. I use to work but since my darling twinnies day care is just to much! :(

Tiffany Johnson 2 years ago

I'm praying for some help this year! Going days without eating, I no longer get hunger pains. But I will NOT eat when we have not enough food! I too am tired of weight remarks, I have four kids, 10, 6, and 18 month old twins. My husband works hard. We live in housing and they upped our rent to over a grand and cut off our assistance. I use to work but since my darling twinnies day care is just to much! :(

Tammy 2 years ago

Will the application be open again, or is it too late?

Melissa French 2 years ago

I have been tweeting my heart out promoting this, and included a link in my latest blog post. Keep up the good work!

samantha 2 years ago

im trying to see if I was accepted for help with thanksgiving….im not sure about all of this im new to it this year….pls help or me and my two kids will not have a thanksgiving this year and I would really like to show them we can do this on our own…I want them to be proud of me working all these hours but I have barely anything to show them for it…………

Alyssa Cupo Reinbolt 2 years ago

I have shared this page with my groups, Bradenton Moms Helping Hands, and Venice Moms Helping Hands. Thanks to you all, I have several moms who no longer have to worry about where they will find a Thanksgiving meal.

Thank you for being part of the Helping Hands movement.
One small helping hand can truly change the world!

Debra Carey 2 years ago

I want to send you as very special hug and kiss for what you are going to help so many people. I would have applied but my family was invited to a co-workers home to share Thanksgiving.
I am a 42 year old with 4 children two of my daughters which are 18 and 22. The other two are Christina 9 and my only son Johnny who is autistic. Prior to 2009 we living ok never rich by any means but able to provide my family meals, clothing and a trip to the beach during summer break.
October 8 2009 our loves changed. We were living above my husband tavern and at some point some closing the business was smoking and threw a lite cigarette in the garbage not knowing it was not all the way extinguished causing the entire business and our living space above engulfed in flames.
Thank God something woke us up that night and we were all able to escape unharmed. We did have insurance but the way the policy was explained to us we didn’t have coverage for our personal living space and no coverage to live somewhere else. We were forced to living in a very small pull behind trailer in a near by camp ground. It was so hard to know you lost everything and with the economy already taken a full would we ever have what we had. I was working with a company 19 years handling Flood insurance claims for a well named insurance company, helped and worked endless hours (salary pay) helping victims from many large Hurricane one being Katrina just to name one. I was let go from my job a month after our fire and now had no income at all. I know this sounds horrible to say but the struggles and the sadness and worry of my family being homeless brought thoughts to my head at that lowest point “maybe we should have not woken up that night so we wouldn’t be suffering. We tried to get back on our feet for years but couldn’t do it. We were living in Penn. and had our family around us in NJ but could expect them to support us (as they already did so much).
I reached out to a collegue who I worked with handling Flood claims and he offered me a job in North Carolina. We had no choice to pick up and move in April of this year. I had a decisions to make because my older Daughter 21 at the time was in dental school and my 17 year was almost ready to graduate HS. I had to leave because I had to care for the two younger ones. The older two had stayed with family but I miss them so much very day.
Since we moved I am working but my salary is not enough to pay all the household bills and provide food on the table. With my son being autistic that’s a challenge in its self being a full time working mom and full time mom. My husband is with me but had trouble getting a job right away. he finally got a job after being a business owner for over 10 years. They sent him for a physical only to find out he has a issues with his heart and they wont pass him on his physical. He tried to get doctors to signoff but finding he is at risk of heart attack or stroke if he does work. Disability is such a long wait but he did file. It always seems like we are taking one step forward and two steps back. I make just about 1500 to much to receive assistance and we don’t have the money to afford the specialists and tests to help my husband until we get an answer from disability.
I know there is hope and my family has learned that love is what keeps us going. Every night we say a pray at dinner and pass a kiss around he table and say what we are thankful about each day. Most kids may say a material item, but my kids say the food they have to eat, or barley furnished home and each other’s we all share to name a few. I no longer say or think that I wish we didn’t make it that night, even when my husband and I just have small portion of rice and a veggie for dinner while our kids eat soup, mac and cheese and an apple they share. (we don’t waste food as my husband and I are still hungry we eat what scarps are left on kids plates. I am thankful we have our lives and we run hope something gives to make our lives just a little more comfort.
Thank you for all are doing for so many people and I wish there were more people like you in the world. I am right by your side and would do the same if I could afford to take care of my own family. Some day I wish to give back because I know what its like to walk in there worn out shoes. (you cant afford a new pair) I thought to myself why even send this message because you most likely wont read it, but just makes me feel better to be able to share my story and hope some one will read it or may be keep my hopes up you may respond back….I know I could write a great book as this is just an icing of what I can say. I just don’t have the resources or money to try and write one….(even the intelligence)
Thank you again,
Debra Carey
A person who won’t give up!!!!!

Carol Hertzog 2 years ago

They closed the web site down to apply. If by chance you read this, I'm a mother of 5 beautiful children, No charities in my area are giving out any more and I don't know where else to go. I dont eat all day long until my kids get home from school, so that there is food for them first. I cry myself to slept at night just thinking how I'm going to make it this holiday season. I hate myself for asking for handouts or anything like that, but I have to put my pride aside for my kids and keep asking anyone I can for help. I'm disabled and I sever this country in Dessert Strom with a national defense service medal and I get told there is no help for me or my children. Please let me know if you can help us. Thanks so much for any help!!!

Leslie 2 years ago

I got in to the link this morning but I am not sure if I was accepted? I think I may have typed in my email address wrong. It should be

Mary Henenlotter Attianese 2 years ago

thank you for doing this … what a wonderful idea.

Alexa 2 years ago

This is such an amazing project. Growing up, my family always had enough for Thanksgiving, but because my parents remembered years that they did not, we often adopted a family, made them an entire meal, and delivered it on Thanksgiving. That left me with a lasting memory of how much some people need, and how good it feels to help when you have the ability to do so. Thank you for using your platform for this wonderful way to share with those that are facing harder times.

bernard lorch 2 years ago

my next door neighbor needs help for the holidays.she is a single parent.
she has a child with disabilities.her name is sheila fleming and her son’s name is shon coley.her address is 3701 clarks lane apt b
baltimore md 21215

Stephanie 2 years ago

I didn’t think this was real I haven’t even heard anything back but does anyone know where you can get help for Thanksgiving?i really need help for my family.please let me know

Poof Queen 2 years ago

I just read about "Those People" wow, I was angry I must admit. I am one of "those people" and like you it took everything inside me to walk in that door and ask for assistance.
My husband had a tree fall on him August 30th, no insurance, no savings. But our bills were up to date (at that time). After about 2 weeks I had to go to a local food bank. I must say it helped, but where we live 1 box of food for a month (you can only ask for help once a month) lasted about 3 days. I started looking into other help, you would really be surprised at what places do help and which ones are very nasty (attitude wise) towards helping someone.
We are still struggling. I was not working at the time, I go tomorrow for a rehire interview, and will be returning to work December 30th. All I can say to others who have to make the decision to ask for help ……Just do it……..if you do not care for a place you do not have to return to it. I am just Thankful I still have my husband…….May God Bless you each and everyone.♥

Nicki Rehling-Hudspeth 2 years ago

I donated what I could. I sure hope it helps. And I also hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Amber Dawn 2 years ago

I am a single mother with 4 children and it is just awful not knowing how I'm going to pay the bill or feed my children. My kids are 13, 12, 10 and 7 and they mean more to me than anything else in the world. The scarymommy application says that it is full for this year :( does anybody else know anything like this that I might be able to apply for? Thank you everybody

Danielle 2 years ago

Can we do this for Christmas too? I would be willing to do anything it takes to make it happen! Such a great thing… so blessed and happy to be able to help.

erin 2 years ago

would love to know when you’re accepting applications again. like many others on here i’m in a tough place and would really appreciate the help. even if i don’t receive any assistance, it’s nice to know that there are so many great people willing to give. way to go smn :)

Rachel 2 years ago

So awesome!

Kim 2 years ago

I live in Missouri and I could use help. Thanks.

Libertad Montero-Leal 2 years ago

Got here via The Hands Free Revolution . You are doing something absolutely wonderful and I am very happy to help.

nathan maracchini 2 years ago

how do we find out if we were excepted…and i stll am wondering if they will help me because im not a mom im a dad…does that matter??

tenisha johnson 2 years ago

Thos is a godsend me and my children just moved from a shelter and we’ve been through so much this year so this will definitely will put a smile on there faces where im from theres really not much help for a low poverty family not even the salvation army i was told by them that they only help families with caseworkers not everyone its easier for them that way so christmas is a question but im thankful for help for thankgiving!!!!
God bless you all

nathan maracchini 2 years ago

i am a single dad of 6 kids. i lost my wife a little over a year ago during the birth of our daughter. this said it was for moms am i able to get help? we arestruggling and a neighboor mom told me about this but didnt know if i would be able to get help. anything would help right now . this is very hard for me to ask for help since i am a father who should be able to do this on my own but this last year has been hard on me and my children. i dont even have the words to explain how hard and now the thought of not giving them a thanksgiving meal scares me i dont want to let them down anymore then i feel i already have …thank you from the botom of my heart for even just reading this

Angela Meyers 2 years ago

I am so Thankful for you Jill!! You make my days brighter and give hope to so many moms out there. Using your platform for helping other families speaks volumes!! I have been a long time fan, but now I am hopelessly devoted to supporting all things Scary Mommy!!!!

Amanda Martin 2 years ago

I also donated by Paypal as I live in the UK – it would be great to be able to send a note of support to a family. This is such a great project.

Kris Nichols 2 years ago

It wasn't very long ago that we were in an extremely uncomfortable spot, and I swore that when we got jobs we would give back to others. It's not much, but if $50 can help a family during Thanksgiving? Worth it. Dedicated to the man who bought our dinner one night without us knowing it because "he remembered those hard days with two little ones."

Linda 2 years ago

I applied for this and thankfully I was accepted! On Thanksgiving, I am planning to open my home up for anyone who has no where to go or who doesn’t want to be alone on Thanksgiving. I am taking a huge step of faith in doing this, but I really want to share this blessing with others.

Noelle Eger Norton 2 years ago

Just posted to facebook- hubby is military to I budget bi-monthly:) Will be donating for 2 families- I hope that everyone who needs help gets it!


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