For a group of single mothers accustomed to giving so much, Sunday, December 5, was their turn to receive.
Jane Loerop pauses to speak a mother who attended the Sisters Helping Each Other Christmas party.
Photo taken by Jim Hartgerink
Sisters Helping Each Other, a support group for single mothers at Elmhurst (Ill.) Christian Reformed Church, celebrated the season with a Christmas party.
“God did an awesome thing when these women walked in the room,” said Jane Loerop, who coordinates the ministry. “There was a spirit of love and acceptance of everyone, regardless of race or social status. We were there to bind our hearts to each other and celebrate the Savior’s birth.”
Once a month Elmhurst CRC brings together single mothers throughout the community and serves them in several ways—from providing social activities to education and resources. The goal is helping them care for their children.
“You feel like you’re home because there are people there who can relate to you and what you’re going through with compassion and understanding,” said Jennifer Kroschel, a single mother of four children. “There are a lot of resources and opportunities to make new friends—and it’s all Bible-based.”
More than 65 mothers and children attended the Christmas party, which featured a rib dinner, white elephant exchange, and the opportunity for each mother to have a photo taken with her child or children.
After the children were dismissed to childcare, the mothers were able to choose Christmas gifts to give their children. Each mother was also given a candle representing Christ as the light of the world in a hand crocheted stand.
“This support group is so important because statistics state that one out of every two marriages ends up in divorce,” Loerop said.
At Elmhurst CRC, mothers who have found themselves raising children alone have found out they are not alone.