Bridging the Gap: How Forward Foundation VA Supports Single Parents in Crisis

Andrea Starr

Welcome to another episode of The RVA Small Business Show with your host Cory Mosley. On our Non-Profit Spotlight, we are joined by Andrea Starr, Executive Director and CEO of Forward Foundation VA.

Forward Foundation VA is a nonprofit dedicated to assisting working, single parents and their children in the Greater Richmond area who are amid a financial crisis.

What makes the foundation so unique is that we are serving as a gap filler for these families that fall in between the cracks. -Andrea Starr

The Unseen Struggle: Beyond the Financial Threshold

Imagine being a single parent, working tirelessly, yet still unable to make ends meet due to circumstances beyond your control. This is the reality for many, and the Forward Foundation VA has stepped up to fill this crucial gap. As Andrea Starr, the Executive Director and CEO, explains, the foundation aids those who “typically would not be eligible for services through the state because on paper, they’re making too much money.” But in reality, they’re trapped in a limbo, making too much for state aid, yet too little to survive.

The Unique Approach: Seeing the Full Picture

Life is complex, and so are the financial situations of many single parents. The Forward Foundation VA takes a holistic approach, looking beyond just the numbers. Whether it’s prolonged litigation, caring for elderly parents, or coping with the death of a spouse, the organization seeks to understand the full story. “It’s not right to just look at, oh, well, you’re making this much, you should be fine,” Andrea states. They recognize that life is “far more complicated than that.”

The Origin Story: From the Sophie House to Forward Foundation VA

The Forward Foundation VA wasn’t always the organization we see today. It began as the Sophie House, founded by Kimberly Braine-Tillem a single mom who recognized the need for support within her community. Over time, the organization evolved, honing its focus on providing childcare subsidies and financial literacy education to single working parents experiencing financial crises.

Eligibility and Demographics: Are You or Someone You Know in Need?

Eligibility for the Forward Foundation’s services is straightforward: if you’re a single working parent, full-time student, or a blend of both, facing a financial crisis, help is available. The demographic is closer than you think – it’s your neighbor, your coworker, your family member. They are the silent strugglers, professionals like you and me, who need a helping hand.

Community Involvement: How Can You Make a Difference?

The Forward Foundation VA thrives on community partnerships and volunteers. Whether it’s leading a workshop, hosting fundraising events, or simply spreading the word, your contribution can make a real impact. “We’re really good at getting creative in how people that want to get involved can become involved,” Starr encourages.

The Celebratory Gala: An Unforgettable Evening for a Noble Cause

The foundation’s annual gala is not just a fundraiser; it’s a celebration of the community’s support and the successes achieved together. With a seated dinner by a renowned chef, casino fun, photo booths, and an after-party, the gala is an event that continues to garner acclaim. It’s a night where gratitude meets purpose, and every ticket sold weaves into the fabric of hope for families in need.

Join the Movement: Take Action Now

The Forward Foundation VA’s mission resonates with the fundamental belief that everyone deserves a chance at stability and success, regardless of life’s curveballs. By partnering with them, volunteering, or attending their gala, you can be part of a movement that uplifts and empowers single parents in your community.

The Forward Foundation VA stands as a testament to the power of compassion and community. By addressing the complexities of financial crises and offering tailored support, they are changing lives, one family at a time.

Key Takeaways

  1. Look beyond the numbers: Understand the unique challenges single parents face and support organizations that do the same.
  2. Share the story: Awareness is key. Spread the word about the Forward Foundation Virginia and similar organizations making a difference.
  3. Get involved: Community partnerships and volunteer efforts are the lifelines of nonprofits. Find out how you can contribute.
  4. Celebrate and support: Attend the gala or host fundraising events to ensure the continuation of vital programs for single parents in need.


Connect with Andrea Starr

Connect with the Forward Foundation VA

Don’t forget to mark your calendar for the Fifth Annual Celebratory Gala on February 24, 2024. Learn more about the gala here.

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