Women United Members DeAna Susinskas (L), and Laurie Kozar (R), flank a few of the many women who have worked together to make this Valentine’s Day a little brighter for struggling single mothers in Monroe County this year.

Women Helping Women

February 9, 2018

WOMEN UNITED’s Shoe Box Project for Single Moms

Over 300 struggling single mothers in Monroe County will have a slightly brighter Valentine’s Day this year because of WOMEN UNITED, a new group of dedicated women working together to make Monroe County a stronger community through philanthropy, advocacy and volunteerism.

WOMEN UNITED, affiliated with United Way of Monroe County, was formed earlier this year and is dedicated to supporting single mothers in Monroe County. The group’s inaugural project is a ‘Valentine’s Shoe Box Project’. WOMEN UNITED members collected donated items that struggling single mothers might enjoy but with which they might not normally treat themselves, given their financial hardships of paying for basic necessities like food, housing and childcare. These pampering items were assembled into individualized boxes over the last two months, and are being distributed to single mothers who are clients of United Way’s partner agencies.

“Single mothers are the most economically disadvantaged group of parents in our community, making up 23% of all families in Monroe County, with a median income of only $25,500 – significantly less than single fathers and two-parent families,” said DeAna Susinskas of ESSA Bank & Trust and co-chair of WOMEN UNITED during the county-wide distribution of boxes on Friday, February 9th. “Once the members of WOMEN UNITED became aware of the incredible challenges facing this group, it was clear that this was where we wanted to focus our efforts.”

From the West End with The Growing Place Child Care Center’s two locations in Kresgeville and Polk Township to Delaware Water Gap with Women’s Resources, single mothers across Monroe County who are presently accessing services from United Way’s partners will be receiving these Valentine’s gifts. Other agencies whose single mother clients will be served include Pocono Services for Families and Children, Family Promise of Monroe County, Pocono Area Transitional Housing, The Salvation Army, Pocono Family YMCA, the Pocono Alliance and Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bridge serving Monroe County.

“The goal of the project was to reach 300 women,” noted Connie Yuhasz of Weiler Abrasives Group, and the other co-chair for WOMEN UNITED. “To our great joy, we exceeded our goal, and are so happy to be able to deliver Valentine’s Shoe Boxes to single mothers across the county.”

WOMEN UNITED is just getting started and has more events planned in 2018. For more info, including their schedule of monthly meetings, contact Monica Cravotta, VP development and programs at United Way of Monroe County.