In His Image-Recap from 6th Annual Valentine’s Banquet

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On Friday evening, February 9th, 2018, SingleMomzRock in partnership with Victory Mission + Ministry held our 6th Annual Valentine's Banquet at Central Assembly. Over 250 single mothers got treated to a glamourous evening of fun and fellowship just for them! They were escorted to their table by gentlemen with roses in hand. Their dinner was catered by Street Chef Catering, we had a couple of photographers on hand to take their picture, they listened to live music by Patrick Mureithi and mingled with other single mom's. It's truly become the biggest event for single moms in our area. Sarah Robertson from 96.5 graciously came back to be our emcee again and the moms love seeing her each year.

Our theme this year was "In His Image". We know how society makes women feel about their bodies and we wanted this evening to be about how God created us In His Image and He loves just how he made us! Our featured speaker was Gwen Mullins, out of Tulsa, OK. Gwen is one of SingleMomzRock’s featured monthly bloggers, a single mom herself, author, speaker and cancer survivor. We knew she was the perfect fit to speak into these mom’s about being made In His Image. She brought a powerful word about her story and how He got her through some of the toughest times and encouraged us to read the Word to get us through our toughest times as well.

We also asked Sarah Buxton, SingleMomzRock’s Director of Public Relations, to speak about her living with alopecia. Her strength and testimony were powerful and brought the house to tears when she took off her wig and showed us that she had just shaved her hair off one month prior to the banquet, to the day, because of the progression of her hair loss. This 21 year old powerhouse is a true inspiration.

We went with an Old Hollywood Glam theme and all our moms looked so glamourous all decked out in their gowns. This year we had over 200 formals donated for our event so no single mom had to worry about buying an outfit if they couldn’t afford it. The tables were covered with black tablecloths and adorned with white floral arrangements and old cameras. Even Humphrey Bogart and Marilyn Monroe made an appearance for pictures.

This year we added a couple new elements to the banquet. One being we invited women leaders from the public to come and be table hosts and to sit at the tables with our moms throughout the evening. This was a huge hit with everyone. We wanted to create intentional conversation and relationships between women in the community and our moms. One table host said this, “I loved it! It was truly amazing! I met some wonderfully awesome ladies. Thank you so much for allowing me to be a part of it”!

We also decided to create a new SMR Ambassador program, which is where we chose a few ladies who we knew had been working very hard this past year to make very positive changes to better them and their children’s lives. We were able to present three ladies with $50 Gas Cards on behalf of Victory Mission + Ministry as well as a bouquet of flowers. All three were shocked and grateful to even be acknowledged.

I was so thankful to have our event this year at Central Assembly, a church that has supported SingleMomzRock for many years. It was almost like a true full circle moment for me. What was even more special was having my new boss, Jason Hynson, Executive Director of Victory Mission + Ministry to see this event first hand. He talked about the new partnership of Victory Mission and SingleMomzRock and then he prayed for all the moms there that evening. I think I even saw him serving some meals to some ladies. He is a class act and I couldn’t be happier.

As I got up to speak, I let everyone know that I had not prepared anything really. Which is unlike me. This year was so different from last year. As I looked into the crowd of table hosts and all the single mom’s that I have worked with over the years, I let them in on a little secret. I almost gave up. Last year after my much needed break there was a time where I didn’t know if I wanted to come back. I didn’t know if I wanted to continue to do SMR. I was tired. I wanted to be normal. I wanted to just come home on certain nights and watch tv and relax with my girls. And every time I would think that way, one of the moms would message me saying, “thank you for helping me get through this” or “you were put on my heart tonight and I wanted to let you know that I’m praying for you”. I told them to never stop doing that. I struggle just like anyone else. I work full time, have my daughters and of course their activities, I am in my final legs of my bachelor’s degree all while running SMR. I am exhausted most days. But I just couldn’t give up. And in this past year, a lot of doors have opened up. An opportunity presented itself for SingleMomzRock to come under Victory Mission + Ministry’s 501c3 as well as me getting offered a full time job in the Development Dept. As I explained to them that evening, I would have never been able to come up with a more perfect job for me if I tried. God knew. And as I have prayed for years, for SMR to find a home, we found not only a home, but we found a family. As I said that evening, don’t ever give up because you never know what’s just around the corner. Just like I never even knew I would be working for Victory Mission and I sure didn’t think SMR would have a home finally. But both things have come true all because I chose to not give up. I don’t want you to give up either because you were made #inhisimage and He knows exactly what you need!

~Janelle