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'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. Learn more here.

From Around the Web


Marsha BRAMOWITZ 9 months ago

Noble and much needed.

johanne 10 months ago

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

Tina 10 months 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 11 months 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

Rajan 1 year ago

Great blog post, I just passed this onto a uirtesinvy student who was doing a little analysis on that. And he in fact purchased me lunch because I discovered it for him. .. So let me rephrase that: Thankx for the treat! But yeah Thnkx for spending the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and enjoy learning more on this topic. If possible, as you gain expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more details? It is highly helpful for me. Two thumb up for this blog!

Alexey 1 year 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 1 year 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.

Victor 1 year ago

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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?

Steph 2 years ago

oh what a selfless wonderful thing to do!

Steph 2 years ago

I am so sorry for how you were treated. You deserve better. wishing you much love, peace and all you need.

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!!!!!

Cendy 2 years ago

It is open to everyone? When I tried to apply, it kept giving me an error. We haven’t had a Christmas for many years, since my husband lost his job due to company closure and I became terminally ill about the same time. We have been struggling and barely pay the mortgage every month. Would love to have some basic items this Christmas; We need shoes, underclothes, jogging pants for me (I’m in a wheelchair), and other personal items. $700 a mo., just doesn’t go very far, especially when the mortgage is $500. a mo.
If you can provide some resources, and tell me how to get the link to work so I can apply please. also, it would be such a blessing to have help this Christmas…my fav time of the year.
Blessings for the wonderful things you are doing.

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.

Kathy 2 years ago

Scary Mommy Nation is a registered 501c3 which requires a formal application process to receive. It is very real and legit.

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!

Rachel Abajian 2 years ago

I'm sorry to be a pessimist, but where can I get more information about how this project works? I love the Scary Mommy posts and this appears legitimate on the surface, but can I get more facts to back it up? I really like the idea of the tangible transfer of $50 to a grocery store gift card for a particular family, but it seems very vague in this post.

Melissa O. 2 years ago

By the way, I LOLed at the way you responded to that lady in your head. People like that don’t bother me much. Her ignorance hurts her more than us.

Melissa O. 2 years ago

I go to Food Banks on the regular. I used to be ashamed but you do what you have to do. The people that go there are all in the same spot. We don’t judge each other. I still don’t like to go, maybe one day I won’t have to. Lately, there are more and more people going and they are unable to give as much as they once did. Would you let me know if this opens up again? Thank you.

Alison 2 years ago

Hi Jill!
I heard about this from my SIL. I think this is fabulous. I want to contribute, and my company has a portal I can use to have funds deducted from my paycheck on a regular basis for any 501(c)3– I found ScaryMommy on the list (could there be two? Really?) but the address is different. I want to make sure the funds get to you, and also wonder, is there some way of designating I would like them to be used for the Thanksgiving Project? Thanks! Sorry if there is an FAQ that covers this and I missed it…

Kim 2 years ago

Wow…Dearest Scary Mommies and Jill! I applied for this, never expecting anything really. I only gave you a half story of our current situation because I really didn’t want to be windy about our woes. So I was shocked when I received your email last night. Shocked and surprised and then I started crying! I didn’t know that we were going to actually have a Thanksgiving this year. I’d just talked my youngest son into postposing everything until my student loans come through in February. So I can’t begin to tell you how very happy I am at the moment! I can’t thank you enough for your generosity and kindness!
Our story is so very much like everyone elses…let go from a job and no unemployment. I struggle to collect Child Support owed to us and that’s our only income right now. Going back to school is a last chance for me, learning a new profession because no one wants an older admin. It’s hard to wrap my head around the way things are now, this is the new reality..when I’ve just been biding my time waiting for the economy to get better so our lives can be better and realizing, the economy isn’t going to ever recover enough for things to go back the way they were. Its all I can do not to feel bitter or depressed. Knowing that someone cared enough to help us when we needed it…ugh, I’m crying all over again. From the bottom of my heart…Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!

kim @the fordeville diaries 2 years ago

Such a wonderful cause — happy to support it!

Sarah 2 years ago

I am in my final semester of school to complete my bachelor degree in order to help my family get ahead. We had resigned ourselves to just a regular day for Thanksgiving because we just don’t have the money to get a special meal. I would love to apply and was going to since the sidebar header said that applications were being accepted (as of less than 24 hours ago), but when I clicked on the link, it said that the app is temporarily closed. Is there a glitch or am I missing something?

Michelle 2 years ago

I swallowed my pride and applied for help. How do we know if we’ve been adopted? I’m beyond amazed by the generosity of everyone. I’ve always enjoyed buying gifts for children and the elderly from the angel tree, and never imagined that my family would be the one needing help.

Costanza Debra 2 years ago

jill this is my first time for help ty so much n god bless you

Kristin Figueroa 2 years ago

I would really love to apply for this but something is wrong with the link…is there another way for me to apply?

Kristin Hills 2 years ago

I’m so happy to see that this is still going on. I received help the first year you did this & it was amazing…now, I’m not quite where I can help others yet–but thanks to couponing I am able to keep plenty of food in the house for my family! However, I wanted to come here for my best friend. She’s had quite the year. It started in January when she lost two close family members within 6 weeks of each other. Shortly after her husband lost his job. He’s gotten a job here & there but keeps losing them. They have had to turn to family to help pay bills so they can have electricity, water & a roof over their heads. It seems like bad things just keep hitting them one after another. She deserves a happy thanksgiving with her family without the worry! I would like to apply FOR her, and surprise her. She would be so thrilled and grateful!! Thank you Scary Mommy for organizing this again!

Brenda McPeak 2 years ago

Application site is closed right now. I am a married mother of 2, we just moved June 10 this year after a decade of living with our in-laws. I honestly thought we were going to be okay. Then July 4 happened. We went for lunch at the in-laws about an hour away from our house. We decided not to stay in their town for fireworks, and were driving home about 4:30. A power line came down across the interstate right in front of us, we were doing 70.. My husband thank god saw it and braked, we hit it about 6 inches off the ground, and flipped 3 times off the median, no one was hurt, but my 2 & 1/2 year old SUV was toast. 4 months of an extra car payment on the SUV and the new car we had to get to live out here where we do, and we are heading onto the Holidays hurting bad. The SUV is paid off now, and we are recovering, but will be tight for at least 6 months. The local Salvation army is a 40 min drive from my house, I signed up for their holiday help, but it’s Christmas present help only. The Food Bank gives you a choice of Thanksgiving or Christmas help, but again it’s a 40 min drive, I have to be in line by 7am on a day I don’t have childcare, so my kids have to be there too if I want help. It’s not like I don’t know where the resources are, it’s like they are almost too far to bother.

Kate Carey 2 years ago

I got accepted!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I feel like I could leap from my wheelchair and dance such a huge weight about the holidays is gone. Thanks ScaryMommy people – I can't wait until the year when I can give someone else this feeling.

jaunae bacon 2 years ago

we make 28000 fam of four a year…not poor enough for government assistance but poor enough to struggle horribly…i cannot give my kids a Christmas this year.

P. 2 years ago

While I am a recipient of the wonderful drive you are doing and am forever thankful. I still scraped up the change to donate what I could back to the fund. It wasn’t much but I know anything helps.

I have forwarded this project on to many people and I pray they are showing interest in helping. :)

Kristina Del Toro Weston 2 years ago

Thank you for sharing this.. and for what you are doing.

Jill Smokler, AKA Scary Mommy 2 years ago

Every person you tell is someone new who can help or benefit – thank you so much!!

Jill Smokler, AKA Scary Mommy 2 years ago

That’s amazing. Thank YOU!!!

Jill Smokler, AKA Scary Mommy 2 years ago

We closed it while playing catch up, but you can apply now!

Jill Smokler, AKA Scary Mommy 2 years ago

It had been closed, but it’s open again now. :)

Jill Smokler, AKA Scary Mommy 2 years ago

They’re back up!

Jill Smokler, AKA Scary Mommy 2 years ago

Applications are open – I’ll shoot you an e-mail, too. :)

Leanne 2 years ago

We’re just getting ourselves out of a financial hole, and we have lots of debt, but I got a bonus this week and half of it is going to this. What a wonderful opportunity to help others in need, thank you.

sandy leino 2 years ago

I heard about your website on the local news. I’m on welfare as of today. I have to refill out the papers today for me to keep my food stamps, medical and a little cash $226.00 a month. So if my food stamps come through this month I will be ok for Thanksgiving, I also take some of my stamps to by things for the local food bank because they helped me before I got my stamps so I do give back. I was wondering if you can help me with Xmas. I have 3 Children 2 are in college and working they help me with my bills. Its my youngest she is 15yrs. and I don’t have the money to get her anything thing for Xmas. The older ones tell me not to get them anything but it hard not to. I feel like I failed my kids. We were doing ok until Feb 2010 but had hard times but things got worse when my husband of almost 25yrs was arrested for having his own medication. The police (they are dirty) said he was selling his medication which I know isn’t true, but we went to court and the jury believed the cops. Thing is I live in Philadelphia, PA that was before 6 of the Cops in my husbands case where put under Federal watch and taken off the streets not allow to testify in court anymore and the FeDS are just waiting to file the warrants for their arrest. It was in the in newspapers, tv and website. If you got to you can see that over 200 people have been let go because of these cops my husband was already charged and in jail so we had go the system which we are still doing.
If you look up 6 Narcotic Officers under Federal Watch you will see that all of them were part of my husbands case. 2 got the tip and 1 testified, 2 arrested him and also testified, and the last got the warrant for my house. Which we lost, plus they come with trash trucks an threw out over 95% of everything I own. My furniture, my kids pictures everything me and my husband worked for. over our almost 25yrs together.
I just want to let my daughter have a nice Xmas this years, I dad may be home by then I we are not sure but I don’t have any money for that. like I said I have food stamps for Thanksgiving it Xmas I don’t have. If you can help please if not that’s ok I will just have to find away.

Thank You for reading and if you want any more information let me know. I’m a open book.


Kameron Scampoli 2 years ago

My mom was one of many that could barely support her family when I was young. She had MS and was on SSI and surviving on $644 a month. If not for the kindness of others, we wouldn't have had Christmas or Thanksgiving. I'm glad I'm in a position to give back now and help someone else.

Jess 2 years ago

Two years ago we were unbelievably grateful for Jill, she fed us that Thanksgiving.
This year I donate.

Thank you, again.

PamelaJ 2 years ago

Once upon a time I was the recipient of help. It’s never easy but I was so glad the help was available. I think this is a great project and I am donating. You all do a great job!

Kathy 2 years ago

It may be closed now but will open again so keep chexking so you can apply.

Tina Lee Carrero 2 years ago

Well the help link is broken or full, I am a mother of 3 and my daughter is pregnant and due Feb. 14 my husband threw us away and I have been with him since I was 16 never allowed to work and you get one bag of odds and ends stuff at the small pantry here nothing you can even create a meal with let alone meat, they don't have that I suffer from multiple personality disorder, depression, and bi polor, I got sick 5 years ago and now confined to my bed on oxagen with a bad heart, and a detearianting spine, sometimes I just want to blow my head off, I'm no good to my kids, became a burdon to my husband and can't help any of them, my son didn't even get school things he needed, as bad as his dad is, they all would be better off he has the house and fancy car and job that I can't give them…. I don't think it will but if your link should open please email me, or if you do something for Christmas, TinaLCarrero@

Frankie Laursen 2 years ago

I have very few Twitter followers and likes on my Facebook page, but I’ve shared the link and made my personal donation.

Thank you so much for doing this. It’s really inspiring.

Megan 2 years ago

I truly want to thank you for running this program. I think that what you are doing is awesome. Also, your facebook post says that you have reopened the applications and I was able to click on the application and fill it out, but when I clicked on the submit button it said that you were not accepting responses. Is this a technical glitch or has it been closed again?

Melissa A 2 years ago

I am so grateful to have found this site and this project! We are starting our lives over in a new state with new job, but starting over is never easy. I am hopeful we will be able to get help from this, but the submit button on the application does not work? Am I missing something on the page or are submissions done? Thank you so much, this is an amazing endeavor and I am hopeful soon I will be able to give back and help those who need a helping hand too.

Amy C. 2 years ago

Some of these posts bring tears to my eyes. As a kid, I can remember my parents scrimping and saving and struggling to make ends meet. We lived on a farm so veggies and milk (when we had cows) and meat were usually available, but there were some lean winters in there too. As a mom, I have certainly had my share of parenting struggles (I can definitely be “Scary” sometimes!), but luckily my husband and I have not had to go without. It breaks my heart to think of moms struggling, especially at the holidays and I always do what I can to share my own good fortune. I’m adding this one to my list (donation already done) and passing along the word to my friends as well. (And if I can figure out how to post a link on my blog, I’ll do that too.) Thanks for setting up such a great program!

Tara Lyman 2 years ago

My mother was a single mom who raised 4 children and struggled every day. I remember growing up that many times food was scarce…especially having 3 brothers that were bottomless pits. I now in a more stable situation and would love nothing more than to help a mother like mine, so today I sponsored a family. Thank you Jill for doing this for all those parents out there that try so hard to provide and sometimes fall just a little short.

Jennifer Strider 2 years ago

I would like to post something at my office so my patients can participate. Can you email me something that I can print?

Lisa Hansen 2 years ago

I just donated..I never saw your site until yesterday and couldn't get it out of my mind!!! I have spread the word on my Facebook page and hoping that it will spread even further to help all those moms in need to put food on their tables!!!! <3

Jill Smokler, AKA Scary Mommy 2 years ago

No, a 501(c)3.

Eleni @ EleniSavesU 2 years ago

I love what you’ve done. You speak to my mommy blogger and social worker in me. Our family always donations a basket for a family in need. The need to do so much more is there. Thank you for stepping up

Jill Smokler, AKA Scary Mommy 2 years ago

It is open to everyone. :)

Kathy Young 2 years ago

Thank you for sharing this – I am going to go to a local church and ask how we can help some families. We are moving – cleaning out our kitchen cabinets to do this would feel good knowing we were helping some families in need.

Rita J. Palmore 2 years ago

Do the families applying need to live in a certain state or is it open to anyone?

Deb Gelber 2 years ago

Its been years since I have been able to donate…I have a 5 and 7yo that need my support, and I am just getting by on that front…however…I love this idea and Id love to help. I'll donate, but If you need help matching families, reading requests, etc…please let me know!

Becca 2 years ago

Best project. I’m in, and I’m now spamming my friends about it, LOL. <3

Jill Smokler, AKA Scary Mommy 2 years ago

I hope we are able to open it back up; will e-mail you if/when we do.

Carpool Goddess 2 years ago

Shared, tweeted and donated! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, and for all that you do. xo

Honest Mom 2 years ago

Thrilled to support your amazing cause, Jill. xoxo

Sandra Koenig 2 years ago

I went to the food pantry here and was given a bag of rotten avocados. They said they had better bags, but they were $5, which I didn't have. Then I went to the one at my church. A man I didn't know started yelling at everyone to form a line. I mean really yelling. I have ptsd and I couldn't deal with being yelled at for being one of those people at my own church.

Jessica Lynn Garofalo 2 years ago

I am so happy that you guys are getting such an overwhelming response from not only those in need, but the donators as well. How i wish i had found this before you shut it down. Could really use it this year.

Lisa Morguess 2 years ago

I’m in! I’m so moved by the generosity of this project. You’re awesome, Jill!

Tamia Ysais 2 years ago

Thank you so much for doing this! I have the application bookmarked,for when it's back up…all of you are amazing <3

Melissa Marie Falco 2 years ago

It’s so scary to be one of “those” people. After being disabled from serving our country, I receive $400 a month in disability. I am not “disabled” enough to meet social security guidelines. I’m back in school, trying to get an education so that I can find a job that fits with me not being able to do much heavy lifting, or being jarred around. Trying to keep enough food on the table for three hungry teenagers is a full time chore. Being a Marine made me too proud to go to the food shelves. I just want to thank everyone who has given. It means the world to the family that receives the help.

Liza 2 years ago

It gets better. This is one of those things that will make you stronger if you don’t let it break you. Stay strong!!

Aliree Paul 2 years ago

Ya same here. I do have turkey at least…l bought after Thanksgiving last year when we found out Caterpillar factory was closing and my husband would be with out a job. Hope u find some help Meg…try your local salvation army or food shelf even if they can't help they might know others that can.

Danielle 2 years ago

I just donated! Plus I shared it on my FB and Twitter pages… such a great thing. Thank you.

Debra Lord Daigle 2 years ago

Having been "those people" in the past and almost there now again due to job change, I remember how it felt. I remember that my pride is not important. My children are.

Katrina 2 years ago

Tonight I read your post about “those people” with tears rolling down my face. As hard as it is to swallow my pride, right now, my husband and son and I are “those people”. I’m graduating from college in December and hopefully then things will turn around, but right now, my husband’s business isn’t even breaking even and the little bit that we can keep after paying the bills only stretches so far, especially with a child with food allergies. I tried to apply for the Thanksgiving Project but it just keeps telling me that the form is no longer accepting responses. If that is the case, I understand, it’s ok, and I’m glad that others are getting some assistance. I know that we’ll muddle through somehow, I have to believe that.

Thank you, Jill, for all that you do, for all of us who are, or have ever been, “those people”. God bless.

Meg Murphy Seppi 2 years ago

Is it already filled? the form is not working. I would be so appreciative :)

Barak Engel 2 years ago

Support added via the donation link. Please keep doing what you're doing. I'm very grateful for all that we have now – it used to be quite different. Hugs to you and to your families.

christy 2 years ago

Are you a combined federal campaign charity?

Hostij Beatle 2 years ago

I am "one of those people" who do need the help. where can I go in my area? no one around here is helping out much this season…

Stacy G. 2 years ago

I am so touched at this moment at the idea that you would ask for donations to help mothers feed their families Thanksgiving Dinner. I’ve been one of “those people” for 3 years now, because I was injured at work and haven’t been able to work. However, I have a great food pantry here that does food boxes specifically for Thanksgiving and Christmas, so we’ll be okay. I’m glad to see that you do this project each year to help those mothers who do not have access to a food pantry. You do awesome work.

Denise 2 years ago

Jill is one of my favorite bloggers, I’d be happy to donate to Scary Mommy Nation. I have to admit, I stopped reading the confessions because they’re always so sad. I’d want to “confess” about my rotten day only to find out the last 20 people were having days 100 times worse. But I still read the blog.

I’ll post something on my little blog too, and make sure the word gets around.

Nina 2 years ago

Such an incredible cause. So proud to call you a friend and to get involved.

Chrystal Tyrrell Butterfield 2 years ago

I love what you are doing . I never thought I would become one of those people either. I have spent the last several years donating my time as a volunteer My husband always joked with me that I had more jobs that didnt pay me than jobs that did. Then it happened In march He had to to stop working due to health problems it has now been 9 months without his income . I have gone from PT employee to full time but it doesnt even come close to the income we have lost . Still playing the waiting game on his Med retirement and living paycheck to paycheck. then it happened …. Yep we ran completely out of money the pantry was empty . Crap what can I sell in a hurry . They wont take my plasma because of the meds I have to take so that is out of the question . Will this ever end?? Try to keep our heads up that is all we can do . and you know if we are not giving our time the food banks are also short handed so do what you can to give back !!

Amy 2 years ago

This is amazing. I’m very touched by this. NOT to take away anything from this great blessing, but if you and your family wanted to do something different for your community, this is what we are doing in ours. The Peterson Everyone Thanksgiving is just what it sounds like. We’re renting the Legion Hall (I hope – they were good to us last year) and inviting everyone who needs a place to come to our Thanksgiving meal ON Thanksgiving Day (unlike most charity meals which are conveniently on the previous Saturday or Tuesday night or some other random time).

Here’s our video:

And then we just set up a Facebook page to help get the word out.

Kristen 2 years ago

Thanks for making it so easy to help, Jill. I hope hope hope that my donation takes away a worry from a parent who is struggling.

Anonymous 2 years ago

Just donated for the Thanksgiving Project. Would have either way, but I shamelessly want one of those shopping bags. What do I have to do to get one? -Ami Dodson

Melanie Heckert 2 years ago

I'm in. will spread the word because even at 54, mother of 3 adults, a Grandma of 4, remarried and owning my own business, I still remember having been one of 'those people'. touched. Keep up the good work, it's the force that will change this country.And Scary Mommy, don't be nervous; you got this.

Adrienne 2 years ago

This is awesome, Jill! Inspiring and beautiful.

Andrea 2 years ago

Happy to help again this year. It means so very much. I try to make regular donations to local food drives, and today is one I normally attend but am missing, so I will double up and ensure someone gets a great Thanksgiving if I can. Love to you and thank you. Your efforts here are amazing and your community, this community, OUR community rocks. xo

Kristi Campbell 2 years ago

Sharing. Love. Thank you.

Kimberly 2 years ago

As someone who is currently struggling, thank you so much for being honest with your story. My husband and I are both from good, well-to-do families. I have a master’s degree, he is also college-educated. We never lived above our means, but when he was laid off four years ago, we found ourselves in a tight spot. I found employment that got us through, even though it required that I take almost zero maternity leave with our youngest (I was back at work when he was a week old, pumping in a closet). Then my position was eliminated and we were scrambling again. My husband is now working a job that doesn’t make ends meet, and I’m searching for a job like crazy. We’ve been forced to turn to public assistance to keep our kids fed- something I never wanted to have to use, as I felt that other people could benefit more. It’s hard.

I keep getting my hopes up, only to be shot down. I was the top candidate for the last three jobs I applied for. I was offered two of them. Then, at the last minute, they called and said that the funding for the positions had fallen through, and that they were no longer able to hire anyone. Damn biology field. I hope to have a stable job soon, and it’s good to know that people like you have survived the same struggles we’re facing. Thanks again for sharing.

Kristi Campbell 2 years ago

What a perfect project. I get so focused on special needs children due to my son that I often forget how many other WAY important initiatives there are. In fact, if a special needs boy (or any child) (or any person) isn’t able to eat, the programs I’m focused on become irrelevant. Thanks for doing this. I will definitely promote it.

Sandy Ramsey 2 years ago

This is an amazing thing you are doing and I am happy to do what I can to help. I have tweeted, shared, posted on my blog and FB, changed my cover photo and donated…if there is anything else, I will do it. I do not take my blessing for granted and I will always give where and when I can. No family should be without food to eat and not just at Thanksgiving. Thank you for your kindness!

heather 2 years ago

can I personally give a donation to two SMs in particular, and anything leftover to give to another family? one will be easy, the other a little tough, since one mama doesn’t have a supportive hubs. there are so many scary mommies I love, but there are two in particular I have in mind. would it be easier to send directly to the easy one? I will need some help with the other. shit is tight here, but its always tight. but, I always have what I need. and I remember the days when I didn’t, and people were….AHEM cough (fuckerbitches) (I didn’t say that…..COUGH) and, there was always one kind soul that helped me, so I didn’t do anything stupid…….even the tiniest bit… made a difference. I would like to make a difference. can I designate a small donation for two in particular, and donate overflow to mamas not covered?

erin margolin 2 years ago

I think there’s only one thought scarier than others in need not having anything for Thanksgiving dinner…and that’s having to eat anything I HAVE COOKED for said Thanksgiving.

Heading over with Paypal.

Thanks for spearheading this again, Jill.

Lisa Marshall-Owen 2 years ago

This is so awesome! There are so many in need and have nowhere to turn. I'm definitely in to help and I'm going to share on my blog.

Gigi 2 years ago

I remember when this started – and we weren’t in a position to give. Nor were we able to give the next year either. But THIS year, if the stars continue to align I hope to be able to help out.

What a wonderful project that you have created here.

mike 2 years ago

You’re a saint for doing this. I sent you a donation for this great cause. I am not a scary mommy but I have been accused of being a scary daddy.

Jean 2 years ago

I was witness to how programs like this can change the children of the families in need. In school, my students who believed they would go without on Thanksgiving would get angry or depressed in the weeks leading up to the holiday because they felt left out from the experience that their peers were discussing. They worried that they would have nothing to share when they got back from break (long school breaks also being tough on families because the guaranteed 1 meal a day from school lunch would be absent). When the kids knew their parents had secured a Thanksgiving meal, you could see their spirits lift and when they got back to school, they were “just like the other kids” in sharing their Thanksgiving experience.
This is powerful stuff. So happy to see the blogging community gathering to help like this.

Pippi 2 years ago

Thank you for coordinating this project, Jill. I’m glad help take part in an effort to help others. No one should go hungry on purpose.

Pippi (@peskypippi)

HD 2 years ago

What a wonderful idea! I’ll help! Thank you for doing this.

HD 2 years ago

Jenna your post gave me goosebumps. Blessings to you and your family!

Teri 2 years ago

Spreading the word and partnering with another blogger to help out. This is an amazing thing you’re doing, Jill.

Stephanie @ Mommy, for Real. 2 years ago

Beautiful project, Jill. I will spread the word all over!

Amanda Wasilko 2 years ago

This is such a wonderful thing you are doing. A few years ago, my daughter and I found ourselves in a homeless shelter. It was the darkest point in my life and I still feel that I failed her in a huge, elemental way. If it hadn’t been for the generosity of the community and my family, we wouldn’t have had a Thanksgiving or Christmas that year. It was the only time I had never been able to provide food for her, let alone Christmas gifts. I am ALL IN with this project. I know what it feels like and I wouldn’t wish that helplessness on my worst enemy. If my simple donation can help a mom provide for her child(ren) then it’s the very least I can do. It is people like you and those that help the less fortunate that give me back a little bit of my faith in humanity. You are an angel for doing this.

The Next Step blog 2 years ago

thanks for spear-heading this Jill! count me ALL IN! I worry now and then about our finances, but my kids have never (involuntarily) gone hungry. I'll do what I can to help spread the word and hopefully the donations will astound you!

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons 2 years ago

Love that you are dong this!! What a fantastic way to use for platform for the greater good! I’m happy to share and definitely hope the program is a huge success again!

reidmommy 2 years ago

Thank you for starting and continuing this! My family received your help the first year when my husband lost his job. At the time it was just us and our two kids under two, so we shared the cards with my best friend’s family who were also struggling with a job loss. She cried when I brought it over. I don’t think we had ever been more excited to go to the store! It was wonderful to know we wouldn’t have to look in our hungry children’s faces and tell them there was no more food. We were even able to make pie for dessert!

Grace | Yummy Baby Gifts 2 years ago

What a wonderful cause Jill! I’m sure there are many mothers in need, and this can make their Thanksgiving a little easier. You are an awesome person that we can all learn from.

Considerer 2 years ago

You totally ROCK for doing this, and thank you so much for using your amazing platform here as a flagship to help others.

Jennifer Hall 2 years ago

I have shared, shared, shared this on ALL of my social media channels and added a button to my blog sidebar. I LOVE this project! My family JUST makes ends meet, but I might be able to pitch in a little from my PayPal account. I hope the Internet explodes with support for this!

Elizabeth Eliza 2 years ago

This is so awesome!

Jessica 2 years ago

Love that you are doing this again. I just posted on fb yesterday that my daughter’s “job” for her autism class is sorting food for a local food pantry and she came home and said there were no donations to sort.

Looking forward to helping you make this happen.

Hilary 2 years ago

Thank you!

Jennifer Lopez 2 years ago

My family was a recipient of a food box when I was a kid from the local Girl Scouts for Thanksgiving many years ago. I was shocked and cried when they showed up with toys for my sister and I and a ton of food. It was a little bit embarrassing to be living in a nice city with a nice house but we were definitely in need because my dad had lost his job and was disabled from a terrible motorcycle accident. My moms income was far from enough for all the bills. We got help on bills from family but it was nice to have food and be on the meal program at school to get free lunch. I am definitely into paying it forward and helping others in need.

Erin 2 years ago

I’ve been reading the blog for awhile, and as a relatively new mom, I can relate to so many posts. I love that you’re doing this project, and I am happy to make a donation. I’m fortunate to have great family and friends who will help me when I need it, so to be able to pay it forward is a great feeling.

Steph 2 years ago

I received help two years ago at the lowest point in my life. That donation – that dinner – helped set off a string of events that changed my life for the better. You may think of it as just a dinner, but it’s so much more. It can be a life changer.

Lizamomof4 2 years ago

I had a good life. I lived just outside of Chicago with my baby and husband. As an at home mom, I ran every morning thru a park or along Lake Michigan with my baby in a very nice jogger. He and I frequented the zoo or a museum weekly (we had memberships everywhere!!). I shopped at Whole Foods as my regular grocery store and my son never wore a hand-me-down. Wasn’t I something?

Then, my husband lost his job. We lived outside of Chicago in a house with a $3500 per month mortgage and a lifestyle to match. I remember when he called me from the train on his way home, my life crashed. I hung up the phone and said “Oh, shit.” Of course, my little guy started to say “Oh shit oh shit oh shit”. “No buddy, Mommy said Ocean!”

Although we tried to cut back on everything and live as frugally as we could we were broke all to soon. We were in a suburb 10 minutes outside of Chicago, you do the math. My husband was sure he would be employed again in no time, with his education and background – I agreed with him.

I did not rely on public assistance the first time. We were too proud. After our saving depleted completely, we maxed out 3 credit cards. It was nine months before he found another job and we had to move out of state. It was awful to say the least.

Fast-forward 6 years and I was 6 months pregnant with our 4th child. My husband’s position was eliminated. After our baby was born I got a part time job at a friends store, but I had to work my hours around my husband’s because we could not afford daycare because our income was so low. He tried to establish his own business because he did not want to be employed at the whim of another ever again. It was a less then fruitful venture to say the least. I was terrified, He was completely defeated.

My husband was very humiliated when I applied for public assistance in the form of State provided healthcare, free lunches for my kids at school, WIC and food stamps. But we were still swimming in the debt of the last flood so I knew we had no choice. He wouldn’t go grocery shopping because he couldn’t face the humiliation of those WIC checks and food share card. If you have ever had to use them, you know what I mean.

When shopping with WIC, you have to get the approved brands (not always easy to find in the bread aisle), the correct ounces of whatever and be sure you use a check-out where you don’t know anyone in line. Usually the clerk doesn’t know exactly how to run them so he/she needs to pull out the huge and properly labeled WIC binder or call a manager to come over to help them. After being on them for a while you learn to recognize which line to wait in because you know which clerk is discrete and runs the checks in a snap….trust me, you don’t want to have to be on them.

I was poor. But, I still had food. Public assistance is humiliating but it is there for a reason – to help you and your family get back on your feet or stay afloat for a little while. We were on assistance for 1 1/2 years. We did not abuse it. Well, maybe I abused it a little. You would not believe how much milk you get from WIC when you have 4 little kids. I shared the milk with friends I knew were struggling but not collecting assistance.

My husband is once again gainfully employed and I am still at home, but watch a friends’ kids to bring our income up a bit until this last once starts full time school. Having lost our family income not once, but twice in 10 years was the worst thing we have ever had to deal with. I don’t know when we will ever get out of debt. But I know I am so lucky. It can all be gone in a flash and you stare at the ceiling wondering how you are going to feed them all.

I live in a nice house and our heads are above water, usually. My son’s best friend lives in a motel room with his mom. Every-time I feel our $ struggle, I think of that mom. We try to have that little guy over whenever we can. Even at the worst of times, we had a house, shoes, food, a car… There are so many areas where you are better off than you think you are.

We occasionally have $2 in checking the day before payday – but I haven’t had to float/bounce a check in a few years. We have a family income. We are chipping away at the debt. We have healthy children. My kids need glasses and dental work and I can get that for them. We have three well balanced meals everyday. We have 2 cars and a house. My marriage survived the joblessness.

I live in an old charming house that needs a lot of work with my babies and husband. As an at home mom, I occasionally get to run thru a park with a kid or two in a very old jogger. My kids and I frequent free art galleries at the University and attend all the free shows the library hosts. We visit a free local zoo when we have the gas to get there and really enjoy the numerous parks in the area. I shop with coupons and study the ads to get the best deals on bananas. I dress my kids in hand-me-downs or stuff from the thrift stores only. (Except shoes – new shoes are my snobbery.) I have a good life.

Lauren Krutsinger Blanche 2 years ago

This is a wonderful idea! I am SO happy to be able to do something more this year, and to know that my donation is going to another "Scary Mommy" is the whipped topping on the pumpkin pie! Just like you said, under a different set of circumstances, this could be my family… it's not that hard to imagine. When my beautiful baby girl was born, I didn't realize how hard it would be and how much help I would need… so I thought asking for that help was weak. When I gave in and decided that it was ok (and maybe even the stronger thing to do) and started to ask for help, that is when my life became not only manageable, but FUN! Your website was part of the reason that I decided to ask for help, knowing other mommies need help too made a world of difference :)! So, to be able to do something to help "one of us" feels very right… thank you Jill.

Jessica 2 years ago

I am tearing up at the beauty of this project. Which is really unfortunate since I am already congested (thanks a lot, kids). I will be donating!!

Nonprofitess 2 years ago

We’re less than one year out from needing to be on the receiving end of this. Thanks for letting us help raise up our sisters, and thanks for reminding us that we’re all part of this village.

Stacey 2 years ago

This is such a wonderful project. My husband left/lost his job last year (long story) and things have been very tight. But we are blessed to have more than many, so I have happily donated what we could afford.

CT 2 years ago

We’ve received a meal for Christmas from our church last year. Actually, we received A LOT more than just dinner, which was awesome. Thank you for doing this as we’ll now be able to help someone else. Paying it forward always feels wonderful.

Kate 2 years ago

Amazing. Off to share.

Amanda Wagner 2 years ago

I've been on the receiving end of such projects before…now I'm in a better place, and able to give back. But I get teary thinking about the sleepless nights I spent wondering how I would make the utility payment, let alone the holidays happen. There is no shame…and there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Shell 2 years ago

Love that you are doing this again, Jill. You have such a good heart.

Alison 2 years ago

I’m so proud to call you friend, Jill! This is a terrific initiative, and I’m happy to help in any way I can. xoxo

Shelley @ThatGirlShelley 2 years ago

This is absolutely awesome. I will be donating to this wonderful cause. I will also put up the badge on my blog.

tracy@sellabitmum 2 years ago

I love that you do this and I will share and help and spread the word. Let’s help more families. xoxoxo

Sunday Stilwell 2 years ago

I know firsthand how much a program like this can change a mom’s life. When I was newly separated and my ex was out of work and unable to pay child support and we were waiting for our application for food stamps to be approved a family brought me a $50 gift card to the grocery store two days before Thanksgiving. It meant the world to me.

I will gladly share and give what I can, Jill.

Gotta pay it forward. xo

Jenna 2 years ago

I love this program so much. Was a recipient the first year, and now, for the second time I’ll be able to give. Thank you for continuing this; I’m sure it’s a massive amount of work, but it’s so very good. And we need more good in the world. :)

lesbomom 2 years ago

This is so awesome, Jill. I am so proud to call you my friend, my boss, and the founder of the community that I belong to. I know that this ScaryMommy community can and will be able to move mountains. We will be doing our part to send whatever change and monies we can SMN’s way.