What is TWICE as NICE?
It's Christmas morning, the sun is shining, you smell breakfast from the kitchen, you hear laughter and Christmas jingles floating through the air. You've stayed up all night dreaming of ripping open your presents that are under the tree. While that may be the scenario for the average family Christmas morning, for many children, there is another reality. For some children they wake up anticipating that there will be gifts under the tree and breakfast on the table, only to feel the magic and joy of Christmas snatched from their grasps as they discover there is no tree, much less any gifts. There is silence. Instead of laughter and music, disappointment and sadness fill the room. This reality is far too common, far too expected, and far too normalized. Ask any mother what they want to give their children? The world. Ask them what they would sacrifice to give them that? Everything. The question should not be about their desire to provide the best holiday experiences for their children, rather, the question should be why they cannot. Unfortunately, due to the vulnerability of their situations, they are unable to. Teen mothers are left with the emotional guilt and shame of not being able to give their children the experiences that they deserve, and in turn, the lights stay on, the rent is paid, and there is food and supplies in the house, etc. That is a heavy load to carry, especially as a teenager. I want to change that narrative and help give teen mothers the best of both worlds.
Growing up as the daughter of a teen mother, my grandmother had a significant influence on different areas that were instilled in me as a child. For example, being nice to others was an action and needed to be demonstrated in order to be understood and shared to others. I may have been young, but I was very observant, and I witnessed this morale that my grandmother spoke of through my Aunt Shirley. Even though my aunt bore no children of her own, she had hundreds of children at church, in the family, and throughout the community that depended on her during the holiday season. She always made good on her word, did it with a smile, and had a nurturing and loving disposition to any and all requests. She was TWICE as NICE because she took care of as many children as she could regardless of their circumstances. I know this so well because I was one of those children. Every Christmas Eve, no matter what time her shift ended at work, she would sneak into the house and put gifts under the tree. We would wake up the next morning ecstatic because there were always extra gifts, and it was always exactly what we had desired all year long. She never revealed that it was her. The gifts simply said, "From: Santa ''. That memory has never left me, and I doubt it ever will. As a matter of fact, it was so impressionable, that when I began to build out programs and services, I was very intentional about making sure TWICE incorporated this same mentality for others, just like my aunt did for me. By adopting this core value, TWICE as NICE is able to serve two purposes: mentorship and giving. Being the founder, I was tasked with creating a modernized mentorship program that would serve and benefit both teen mothers and their children. It was put on my heart, at a young age and also as a product of single parenting, to teach young and vulnerable teen mothers how to strengthen their bond with their children while simultaneously pouring into other facets of their life. This is truly what makes the mentorship program TWICE as NICE! I had such a passion and desire to continue blessing families that the name carried over to the Christmas initiative that would be done every year.
TWICE as NICE Christmas 2022 is a program designed to give teen mothers an opportunity to receive something for herself because as we know, with motherhood, enters a season of sacrifice, trial and error, financial hardships, and so much more. When you drive a car for a long period of time, it will eventually run on fumes, and then ultimately run out of gas. TWICE is committed to doing the work to make sure the mothers in our program have enough gas in their tank to continue being the best mothers that they can be for their children.
Now, imagine it’s Christmas morning, you wake up sad because you know that you are not going to receive any gifts, just like last year. You know that you won't have anything interesting to contribute to class discussions when everyone talks about what they received for Christmas, just like last year. You dread waking up because it simply doesn't feel like Christmas, just like last year. But instead of walking into an empty room, you are greeted with gifts this year, smiles and hugs this year, and most importantly, love. Creating positive memories are essential to forming and keeping relationships healthy, stable, and functional. Now imagine being responsible for providing that wish and fulfilling the needs and wants of both mother and child. That is what TWICE as NICE is about. It’s a feeling that lasts all year long and is something that you can be a part of and something you can be proud of.
If you are looking for a way to show your kindness, join our tribe and be part of the task force that removes guilt and gives mothers the gifts that will keep on giving. Let's make Christmas 2022 TWICE as NICE!