Parenthood is challenging enough but dealing with the many trying situations that arise on your own, as a lot of single parents are forced to do, can be especially difficult when a support system is lacking. To show her support for local single moms, Tanish Lindsay, founder of There’s Some Good News (TSGN), a racial equity project, joined forces with East End Cares and the Clamshell Foundation on Good News: MOMS, an initiative committed to assisting struggling single mothers and their families.
“Our East End communities have a lot of need, even though it tends to not be as outwardly visible in the Hamptons,” Valerie Hoffman, a volunteer helping to coordinate the project, noted. “When we all pull together, we can make a much bigger impact, and I wanted to be a part of that.”
We chatted with Lindsay and Melissa Berman, East End Cares Co-Founder, about the innovative initiative.
How did the partnership between There’s Some Good News, East End Cares, and the Clamshell Foundation come to be?
TL: A friend of mine knows Melissa and had heard about my project. She knew that I was looking for non-profits to partner up with. We had a group text going on and Melissa was on it. She said, “I’m involved with East End Cares and we’re partnered up with Clamshell.” She said they would love to help my project because it resonates with her.
MB: Kori from Clamshell and I started what we’re calling the Community Love Project to try to support different efforts during these difficult times. I met Tanish through her racial justice work, which it’s so impressive and then just like she said, we heard about this project and helping single moms at any time, but particularly now, is surely something that we wanted to be involved with. It was a no brainer. It’s been a really great collaboration.
TL: They’ve been very, very helpful. TSGN wouldn’t have been this far without East End Cares and Clamshell.
Tanish, could you discuss There’s Some Good News’ mission?
TL: The initiative project, that’s really about bringing the businesses and the people of color together. It’s really an equity and diversity program. As we all know out here in the Hamptons, you go into restaurants or a retail store and you don’t really see people of color there. You go to a restaurant and yeah, they’re in the kitchen, but we want to see at least one or two on the floor as a waiter. We don’t have that many people of color bartending or waitressing – and those are the actual jobs in those establishments that pays more, instead of dishwashing.
We’re really focused on local hire – and it helps with the COVID situation because it helps the businesses hiring locally, so that way they don’t really have to look for housing for these people because they would already have housing. We’re just trying to help these places be a little bit more diverse and help the community as best as they can.
And what about Good News: MOMS?
TL: My mom was a single mom and she struggled. She really, really struggled. It was really about helping single moms – and the fact that around the time when the stimulus check dropped, if they gave us $600, it was like, wait, moms can’t really survive on that. My friends that are single moms were struggling and I felt really bad for them. They complained about how they’re not getting help, so I felt compelled to try to do something. I feel like there are people out here in the Hamptons that want to help, they just don’t know how to help.
What exactly does the initiative entail?
TL: We picked only a few women, it’s four women, and the reason for that is as we all know with bigger nonprofits, they like to help a lot of people – which nothing is wrong with that. I think that’s courageous and beautiful that they do that. By doing that, you’re only able to give them a little bit, which is okay. What we wanted to do now is to help a few people in a very big way, so having four women, we are able to help them for a longer period of time, not just for a month or a couple of weeks, but for a couple of months, maybe half of the year. Then they’re able to save or maybe go back to school. One of the women, she’s enrolled in college and she struggles to pay her tuition.
MB: To Tanish’s point, we felt like we wanted to make a significant commitment and we’re committing to these moms and families for six months of support. We did pick up a couple of extra moms that were recommended from the Montauk Food Pantry.
There’s a lot of value in just knowing that there’s somebody out there who has your back, that your community has your back. I think that Tanish would agree that the moms have reacted really positively.
And speaking of community support, Honest Plate donated meals to the initiative. What does that mean to the women in this program?
MB: So imagine, you’re a single mom, you’ve got mouths to feed, including your own and you’re working really hard just to make ends meet, and then now you come home, and there’s a beautifully prepared meal all ready to go, all you’ve got to do is heat them up and put them out for your family, and it’s beautiful, lovingly prepared food. I think that’s a really big gift for them.
What is your hope for the initiative?
TL: My hope for the initiative is for these women, I don’t want them to be as stressed anymore, and I want them to know that they’re supported. And I want them to feel loved. I don’t want them to feel alone anymore.
MB: I think to inspire kindness, really community love. We always say you get more than you give and I think people feel profoundly enriched by helping others. And awareness. It is a special circumstance to be a single mom, especially.
TL: I wanted to add that I started the initiative and the project with Alex Hu. He’s been my partner from the start.
To donate to Good News: MOMS, visit www.ClamshellFoundation.org