The last two years have been anything but predictable. Despite returns to offices, travel resuming, and the end of lockdowns and mandates, the economic, social, and health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continued to play out most devastatingly in low-income communities and communities of color. Mothers in our communities were fired when they became ill and could not go to work. Schools remained virtual for many Jackson families and both childcare centers and classrooms were disrupted by unplanned closures when students were infected. Families dealt with the physical and emotional toll as sickness and loss came to their own family.
According to national data collected throughout the pandemic, material hardship, or the inability to pay for basic needs like housing, food, and utilities, was a major contributing factor to parental emotional distress. Additionally, unpredictability, particularly in the ability to provide for a family’s basic needs, affected family well-being more than even pre-pandemic household income. With cost of living expenses and inflation on the rise, families who might have been starting to feel a sense of stability at times in 2021, began to again report increased material hardship and instability.
In contrast to national trends, The Magnolia Mother’s Trust, provided consistency and a baseline of support in a world that continued to be increasingly unpredictable. Throughout the duration of the program, Magnolia Mother’s Trust participants reported an enhanced sense of self-efficacy and agency, allowing them to make their own decisions around work, prioritize the care of the children and family, and demonstrate a stronger sense of self and emotional well-being for both themselves and their children.
But don’t just take our word for it. This year’s evaluation report is filled with direct quotes, stories, and wisdom from the mothers who were a part of the program. In it you will see how the Magnolia Mother’s Trust created an enhanced sense of self for participants, provided the ability to care for their children and families in new way, and changed the way they were able to think about work and long-term careers.
We would like to thank the amazing team at Social Insights who served as our evaluation partners, conducted a thoughtful and inclusive evaluation process throughout the year, and ultimately put together this report that centers the beautiful stories and experiences of our mothers. We would also like to thank the W.K. Kellogg Foundation for believing in this work and funding the evaluation.
The full report as well as a shorter summary are available on our website and thank you to The 19th for sharing the result and the story. We hope you’ll take some time to read the highlights below in addition to the full report!