Scary Mommy's Thanksgiving Project. Need help? Want to help? READ THIS.

I'm going to let you in a little secret: 

Scary Mommy (aka Jill Smokler)...she isn't really so scary. She's actually kind. And generous. And very real. Three of the reasons I'm so thrilled to be getting to know her. 

If you've read my blog for a while, you know I've faced some adversity. Nothing truly horrible or life threatening, but adversity just the same. I've been in low places. Dark places. Scary places. 

And each time I found myself in one of those places, something beautiful happened. 


Sometimes the help came from my kick-ass friends. Sometimes it came from my mom. Sometimes it came from strangers. But each time I got it, it felt the same. 

IT FELT SO GOOD. There's nothing like being pulled up, brushed off and given a boost. A nudge. A pat on the back and a bag of groceries. A free haircut. Some cute hand-me-down clothes and shoes. A gift card for the grocery store. It makes you feel human again. Worthy. Capable of getting yourself back on track. It's priceless, that feeling.

Here's the deal: Scary Mommy is doing her third annual Thanksgiving Project. She matches people who need help with people who want to help. Mommy to mommy. Woman to woman. Person to person. A mom in need is given the means to buy food so she can make Thanksgiving dinner for her family. It's as simple as that.

I'm actually crying as I type this out. Sitting (truthfully slouching) in my bed, crying over my laptop. Because thinking about this brings back so many memories. I can't tell you how much it sucks to be in need. It makes you feel like a failure. It makes you feel like some kind of sub-human creature. Lowly. It's depressing, and when it happens around the holidays, it only feels worse. 

My kids and I are doing better this year than we were last year. Hell, last Thanksgiving I was in Amsterdam with a beau, enjoying an all-expenses paid trip of a lifetime. But when I got back from that trip, life hadn't changed. And we were still poor. Three months after sitting in a 5 star European restaurant, I was pushing a cart through the aisles of the food shelf, picking out things to feed my family. The irony of it wasn't lost on me. 

But as I said, things are better this year. We're not rolling around on piles of money, or using dollar bills to wipe our bottoms, but I haven't needed the food shelf for 8 whole months. Money is still stretched as tight as Kris Jenner's face. The kids are still on reduced-price lunches and we're still one of those "scholarship families". BUT THINGS ARE GETTING BETTER. And hopefully they'll be even better next year. And so on, and so on.

Here's the truth, though: there are moms out there who AREN'T better yet. Mommies who are worried sick about money. About paying rent. About putting gas in the car. For those mommies, Thanksgiving isn't something to look forward to (and don't even get me started on Christmas or Hanukkah). It's something to dread, actually. And that stinks.

So, if you want to help Scary Mommy make this a brighter Thanksgiving for a mommy-in-need, go HERE. Psssst....IT'S 100% TAX DEDUCTIBLE.

Do you need help? Swallow that pride, girlfriend, and get your ass HERE. It's easy and it's not humiliating one bit. I should know. I've done it.

On behalf of every woman who has ever looked in the fridge and wondered if she can make dinner out of grape jelly and half a cup of milk, I thank you. 

And for those of you who are struggling, hang in there. It will get better. 


  1. I read your post, "Those People" at Scary Mommy today. Excellent!

  2. Hey. I've been reading for a bit and wanted to let you know you made a difference. One of the local food pantries was holding a drive at my grocery store yesterday and I bought some stuff (more than i normally would) specifically to donate because I had just read your post. I had tears in my eyes through half the store (but they could have been attributed to pregnancy hormones).
    So, thank you. Hopefully the fruit is still good by the time someone gets it. You rock.

  3. Love this and sharing it, just like I've shared Scary Mommy's post about the Thanksgiving Project and I shared your post about "Those people". So awesome.

  4. I just want to thank you for your courageous, honest post, and for your commitment to this endeavor. I know how painful--and maybe even how liberating--it must have been to write "Those People," and I thank you for writing it. While I have never been the parent in that situation, I have been one of the children. I remember, vividly, the tension that would fill my home when food supplies were running low, which they often did. It was the presence of a local food pantry that saved us many, many times. My mother didn't use it every week, but she would go once a month to procure nonperishable items to keep us "safe" for the month. And I remember feeling nothing but relief--and nothing but gratitude--for both the food pantry, and for my mother for finding and using that service. So thank you for your post, and for bringing awareness to these services for all people.

  5. Our local food bank has donation slips by the registers at all the local grocery stores this time of year. I tear one off every time I buy groceries because I have never had to be one of Those Peopls (although I came damn close) and I know how hard it is when money is that tight. I want to think about kids having food in their bodies and if I can help then I help. I am grateful for what I have and want to share the wealth (such as it is!)

  6. Beautiful. A friend posted your food bank article today and I loved it. As a divorced mom of 4, I just had to use food stamps at the grocery store for the first time last month. The hot cheeks thing-- that was so me, especially when I did it wrong and the lady had to redo my whole order. Anyway, that article led me here to your blog and I'm wishing I had found you sooner. I'm supposed to be working this morning, but I've just been catching up on some of your older articles and laughing and crying and both at the same time. Thank you for sharing your experiences. I can't tell you how great it is to know that I'm not the only one dealing with all this.

  7. I tried to access this but it doesnʻt work???
    "So, if you want to help Scary Mommy make this a brighter Thanksgiving for a mommy-in-need, go HERE. Psssst....IT'S 100% TAX DEDUCTIBLE."

  8. I just found your site after reading your article, "Those People" on Scary Mommy.
    I'm loving your transparency! Living in Minnesota can be difficult, since no one ever shares how things really are. Way to break the mold!

  9. I found your blog through Scary Mommy as well. I am still one of "Those People". It has been a very hard three years as I have gone from a middle class stay at home mom to struggling to keep a roof over me and my boys heads after the end of an abusive marriage. Really trying to get in a position where I don't need assistance, nor do I need to rely on inconsistent child support payments, but it often feels like I spend so much time trying to meet our basic needs that I can't get past struggling to get by. Thank you for standing up for "those people" like us and thank you for your Thanksgiving Project.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...