Before I became a single mom, I cut up all my credit cards except one. Thanks to God and the Queen–whose face is printed on the Cayman Islands dollars I earned overseas, I was debt free and lived on one of the world’s most beautiful beaches. When I got a job with the Cayman Islands government hosting a television show, I bought myself a congratulatory present–a $350 pair of Chanel sunglasses. Despite the splurge, I didn’t spend money frivolously. I donated to charities, helped friends and family members, and built a nice nest egg. I later took a pay cut to return to the United States and pursue a long-term relationship and what turned out to be a short-term teaching career. Still, I made more than enough to pay my bills. But life happens, and then I applied for my ACCESS card. 

Pregnant, Single, And Putting My Pride Aside

Then I became pregnant. The relationship with my baby-to-be’s father fizzled, and I moved in with my sister with a suitcase, not a paycheck. I quit my job, cashed out my pensions, and stepped out on faith. Someone suggested signing up for assistance–something I never imagined I would have to do. I also assumed I wouldn’t qualify. At first, my ego prevented me from picking up the phone and calling the Department of Human Services. Then, I put pride aside and put my family first. I didn’t want to burden my sister financially, and I wanted to provide the best life possible for my daughter. I filled out an application and surprisingly was approved for WIC–a program that provides supplemental food, health care referrals, and nutrition education. I also received food stamps and health insurance. Although I am no longer receiving these benefits, here’s…

From debt-free to an ACCESS card. The wisdom I gained and why I won't cut up my access card

5 Reasons I Won’t Cut Up My ACCESS Card.  

1.  My ACCESS Card Reminds Me To Trust in God

My father is a king, which therefore makes me a princess. A princess will always have a roof over her head, clothes on her back, and food on her table. I had to cast my cares unto the Lord and not stress about finances, even on days when I bounced checks. God always provided more than what I could afford! I lived in an apartment complex across the street from a park.

2.  The Card Reminds Me To Practice Humility

Everyone weathers a storm. It doesn’t matter what degree you obtained, the car you drive, or the house you reside in. At some point in your life, a crisis crashes down. Since tough times don’t discriminate, my father always taught me to treat the CEO and custodian equally. I am not better than someone else just because I am an educated, middle-class mom. When I first became a single mom, I didn’t receive child support and struggled financially. That experience, while tough, made me more resilient and empathetic. 

3.  The Card Reminds Me to be Thankful

Every day around the world, 24,000 people die directly from hunger or hunger-related diseases. Many of these deaths involve children. I am thankful that I will never go hungry.

4.  The Card Makes Me More Compassionate

I realize that there is always someone out there who is worse off than me. I must show compassion in more than just words but with charitable acts, such as donating clothes, time, and money to those less fortunate.

5.  My Card Reminds Me That I Have a Bright & Prosperous Future

I am blessed and highly favored!  Fortunately, I only received public assistance for ten months. I  now have a good job and a great blog, which I created while out-of-work.  Recently, my blog landed on the top 100 home-based businesses list.

There is no shame in needing assistance at times in your life. Sometimes assistance means the difference between homelessness and a roof over your family’s head. Sometimes it means a hot meal to eat versus an empty fridge. My ACCESS card helped me during one of the hardest times in my life. The tangible help and wisdom I gained will stay with me forever.

Have you ever needed assistance on your journey?  Need resources for you and your family? The Single Mom Resource Directory is the perfect place to start.