In 2019, nearly 37 percent of all households in Hillsborough County consisted of a single parent with one or more children under the age of 18. Then, in 2020, throw in a worldwide pandemic, loss of income and school closings—many single parents were struggling emotionally, physically and financially.
Fortunately, there are many nonprofit organizations that have stepped up to the plate to reach the many needs of our community. One of those organizations designed specifically to meet the needs of single mothers is Stronger Than A Mother (STAM). The organization was formed originally in 2012 by Faith Clough, and officially became a nonprofit in 2018.
“Stronger Than A Mother was created due to my own personal experience when I became a young, single mother 24 years ago to my son, Louis,” said Clough. “I was doing everything I could to show him a better way. I went to college, I worked, I started personal training in my very spare time to provide for my son. I made just enough money to not receive any (government) help.”
As many single parents do, Clough was often in situations where she would find herself making tough choices because of financial situations.
“I bought him sports equipment before I would replace the pair of shoes I needed for work,” said Clough. “I had to make hard decisions for years and many times I counted pennies to put gas in my car.”
Clough founded STAM in 2012 when she saw so many single mothers trying to make ends meet. She started giving gas cards to moms that she knew were struggling and she also launched a free kids camp at her fitness training studio to help single parents get business work done after hours.
“We trained the pre-teens and offered support to the parents by providing a safe place,” said Clough. “We now have an intern program dedicated to helping the teens of single mothers gain a certificate in personal training. We are teaching them to be entrepreneurs while educating the teens to a life of excellence through fitness and nutrition. In January 2020, we sent two teens to the USA Olympic training facility to partake in the USA powerlifting teens camp where they experienced the life of an Olympic athlete for one week.”
STAM is currently seeking nominations for deserving single mothers who would benefit from becoming empowered through support, training, acceptance and motivation.
“I know there are other women out there that need a little push or that extra help, and I know they will not ask for the help,” said Clough. “I know because that was me.”
To nominate a single mother, donate, volunteer or find out more information on upcoming events, visit www.strongerthanamother501c.com.