Group Gives Single Moms a Helping Hand
HOPE Network for Single Mothers provides "baby starter kits,” helps mothers get jobs, education.
Once in a while, when Gail Grenier Sweet walks around Milwaukee, she gets approached by women who look familiar.
It happened just a few weeks ago. With tears in her eyes, a woman walked up to Sweet and said: “You gave me a crib when I had nothing.”
Babette Honoré, executive director of HOPE Network for Single Mothers, said the organization’s $5 membership is the only fee moms pay. The rest is free, including the “baby starter kits,” also known as layette bags, that the organization distributes.
Honoré said the layette bags have about $125 worth of supplies, including clothes, diapers, towels and wet wipes. The bags also include a pacifier, a toy and books for the baby as well. These are available to anyone who signs up.
Despite being based in Menomonee Falls, the majority of mothers in the program come from the North Side, Honoré said.
Gracie Marchese, office manager at HOPE Network for Single Mothers, handles deliveries into the city. She also provides assistance in getting mothers connected with resources during visits and from the office. Marchese said she delivers anywhere from seven to 10 layette bags a month.
Since she founded the organization in 1982, Sweet said she’s been inspired by the thousands of women she’s met.
“You’d be amazed at their great sense of humor and their great resourcefulness,” Sweet said. “If you want something done, ask a single mom. They get it done.”
To join the HOPE Network for Single Mothers, you can fill out this application online or call (262) 251-7333 for assistance.
NNS Spotlight: Group gives single moms a helping hand was originally published by the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service.