In 2019, Tanya Dean asked Erin Clay of When In Rome, Georgia if she would be interested in volunteering with a ministry Tanya is involved in. Erin soon learned how Hope4Hearts impacts struggling, hardworking moms in our community. It is an organization that she felt a personal connection with because, at one time, she was a single mother. She, like many of us, know how hard it is to work full-time and raise two kids. Not all single mothers are fortunate to have the support of family to help them. That is why Hope4Hearts is such an important ministry.
How It Began
Sometimes God breaks the hearts of his servants for the things that break His heart. He occasionally provides a front-row seat into the lives of others, allowing them to see how to meet others’ needs. This was the case with Tanya Dean. In 2012 Tanya found herself helping a young single mother. This single mother moved in with Tanya and her family as she got herself back on her feet. Tanya saw firsthand how difficult being a single mother, raising a child, working, and trying to make ends meet was for this young lady. Even though the mother had a job, unexpected expenses and costs such as trying to provide Christmas gifts for her child were a huge burden. The true meaning of Christmas was being overshadowed by stress and worry. That’s when Tanya felt the Lord showing her a way to help single mothers and minister to them. If a single mother is working and making ends meet (even if it is just barely), helping her with Christmas gifts would give that mother the resources she needs to focus on the true meaning of Christmas and point her (and her children ) to Jesus by sharing the love of Christ with her. Tanya’s love of Jesus and her heart for single mothers led her to start the Hope4Hearts ministry. Today, Hope4Hearts has a team of dedicated volunteers that meet and work together. Each team member brings a strength or skillset and is valued. Many of the team members mentor the mothers throughout the year.
Why Help Single Mothers?
You may wonder why this ministry focuses on hard-working single mothers. Being a mother is hard, and being a single mother is even more challenging. No matter how the mothers ended up in their situation, Hope4Heart’s desire and responsibility are to meet them where they are and love and help single mothers who give their all to raise their children. The mothers being helped have come to their circumstances by teen pregnancy, divorce, abandonment, death of a spouse, or, sometimes, a grandparent acting as a mother to a grandchild. Hope4Hearts wants to bring hope to help mothers parent their kids to the best of their ability. Each mother in the ministry is either a full-time employee, student, taking care of a disabled child, or is actively searching for work while volunteering. Every mother considered for the program has been referred by someone who knows the mothers and their story, so they have someone to vouch for their character.
Hope4Heart is Pro-Life and also wants to support mothers beyond the delivery room. It is a huge celebration when a mother decides against abortion, and Hope4Hearts wants to make sure that they support the mother beyond just keeping the baby. They want to support the mother as she raises her children from birth to high school.
Currently, Hope4Hearts is working with single mothers to help provide Christmas gifts for their children. Beyond Christmas time, Hope4Hearts has provided moms with help for unexpected expenses. Hope4Heart desires to have the resources to provide more for the mothers and children throughout the year. Some activities such as the cost of extracurricular activities for sports, dance, music, and art classes can be overwhelming for mothers. Hope4Heart desires to help with the cost of these activities if the circumstance allows.
An unexpected expense such as a car repair can often completely derail a mother’s budget, making it unmanageable. Hope4Hearts wants to give mothers a hand so they can breathe and focus on their children’s overall well-being and create healthy single-family lives.
How To Donate and Help
Hope4Hearts is funded by donations from people that have a heart for single mothers in the community. Starting in October, the mothers are contacted and asked for gift wish lists for their children. Some of the lists will break your heart. Hope4Hearts goes beyond the items on the Christmas list and provides clothes, books, bibles, and learning toys for the children. They also provide an age-appropriate movie, book, or resource pointing the family back to Jesus.
Hope4Hearts has created an Amazon Wishlist for those who would like to donate an item to the ministry. This wishlist includes items that are needed throughout the year. It includes books that help children understand their feelings, school supplies, household items, and other needs.
If you would rather give a cash donation instead, that is also an option. The donation is used to fill the needs of the mothers and children throughout the year and at Christmas time.
If you would like to donate a specific item(s) to a family for Christmas, you can choose a toy or item from the children’s wishlist to give.
The Impact on the Mothers and Volunteers
When you are involved in a ministry like this, you cannot help but be touched by the mothers’ stories, struggles, and victories. Their gratitude will humble you. Jesus commanded us to serve others in need, and this is precisely what Hope4Hearts does.
“Working with Hope4Hearts and Tanya has left a lasting impact on my entire family. It has taught us how to serve our local mothers well, meeting physical and spiritual needs equally. Each Mother is left encouraged, refreshed, and saturated by the good news of the gospel.”
-Maise Ayers, volunteer
“Volunteering with Hope4Hearts carries a double-blessing. First, I get to be the hands and feet of Jesus to some hard-working moms that just need some hope and a little help, especially at Christmastime. I can literally see their spirits lifted when they come to pick up the personal gifts that have been donated for them to give to their children. What a blessing for them! The second blessing is that my perspective is properly adjusted (humbled that is) and I’m reminded that it’s by God’s grace alone that I am able to help…because of how God has blessed me in this life. It’s the quintessential win-win situation! Hope4Hearts is a great cause and I highly recommend it as a ministry in which to invest your time and resources.”
– Dorrene Cook, Rome resident and volunteer
“I appreciate all their help and keeping faith in me. Helping me keep faith in myself, supporting me when I’m struggling. You have helped my boys fit in at school. I’m so thankful God put you in my life. I thank God every day for this ministry.”
Single Mom of two
“Thank you so much!!! That is amazing!!! I wear glasses but they are broken and I need an eye exam but my insurance doesn’t cover it.”
Mom of 2 (regarding provision for an eye exam and glasses)
“I am just so thankful so many people care!”
Son of a single mom when seeing us help his mother
For more ways to give:
- You can read more about Hope4Hearts and learn how to donate Christmas gifts at Deeper Living Ministries
- Follow Deeper Living Ministries on Facebook or Instagram
- Cash Donation to Hope4Hearts
- Hope4Hearts Amazon Wishlist
Hope 4 Hearts Team Members Brittany Fowler and Lanie Dean festively dressed to meet the mothers and give them Christmas gifts.