Hickory Hill

Church to host Single Moms Christmas Expo in Hickory Hill

On Saturday, December 14, the World Impact Center will host a day of fun and celebration for single mothers and their children at the Hickory Ridge Towne Center. The Single Moms Christmas Expo will focus on single mothers in Hickory Hill and Southeast Memphis but is open to all Mid-Southerners. 

Organizers said the event will offer resources and a good time for all who attend. The expo will include nonprofit representatives, breakout sessions, prizes and giveaways, vendors, and resource referrals.

The Towne Center is located at 6075 Winchester Road and was former the Hickory Ridge Mall. The expo will feature free rides on its iconic carousel. 

World Overcomers Church owns the former mall. Its World Impact Center coordinates and provides space for a number of faith-based spiritual and support groups.

Sheronda Williams is the outreach director for the World Impact Center and is the event director for the Christmas expo.

“Based on the constant calls we get, we definitely have a high level of single moms in the area that are in need,” she said. “We constantly get calls to get assistance and different things and the majority of the calls come from single moms who are in need.”

“The event is to bring all single moms out in the area to say, 'Hey, we're here. We have resources for you,'” said Williams.

Williams said World Overcomers Church began with supporting single mothers in its own congregation. Now that they have space in the former mall, they're branching out into service for the larger community. 

“For years the church has kind of focused on pulling our efforts toward helping single moms each Christmas, but we only have really been doing it for single moms that are in need in the church,” said Williams.

Vendors at the expo will include AGAPE Child and Family Services, Birthright of Memphis, and others. 

“We're going to look to do this very year to help expand our outreach for the single moms in the area," said Williams.

Danae Lawrence lives in Hickory Hill. She is divorced and a single mother, though her children do still see their father.

Lawrence has 8 year-old twin boys and a 10 year-old daughter. She said she works hard to maintain a fun, safe, and productive life for her children. Parenting all by herself is not easy.

“Everything being on me is hard. If I don't make enough [money], they'll lack. I'm not a team player. I'm a solo act, and that is hard,” said Lawrence.

Lawrence said her children inspire her to be a role model and work hard. 

“Kids know more than we give them credit for, and I know that my kids will look back and remember how hard I worked for them," Lawrence said. "There will be no second-guessing how much I loved them."

She hopes her hard work will also inspire the same in her children.

“They will grow up to be successful adults and great parents because they saw one. That's what keeps me going,” said Lawrence.

Williams said that the upcoming event is not just giving back to the single mothers of Hickory Hill but also giving back to the neighborhood by providing an opportunity to bring people from across the community together.

“We have seen different opportunities come up outreach-wise and business-wise to assist different [people] in the areas,” said Williams. “You see the downsides of the community but you also see the upswing. We have a positive outlook on our community. We're not giving up on it.”

Read more articles by A. J. Dugger III.

A.J. Dugger III is an award-winning journalist and native Memphian who joined High Ground as lead writer for its signature series, On the Ground, in August 2019. Previously, he wrote for numerous publications in West Tennessee and authored two books, “Southern Terror” and “The Dealers: Then and Now.” He has also appeared as a guest expert on the true-crime series, “For My Man.” For more information, visit ajdugger.net. (Photo by April Stilwell)
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