Military spouse pays it forward
By Senior Airman Jacque Lickteig , 460th Space Wing Public Affairs
/ Published July 03, 2007
BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Mrs. Samantha Mothershead paid it forward July 3.
The military housewife earned a grant from the CBS's Pay It 4ward Colorado program, one in which the news station gives $1,000 to five Coloradans who will use the money to change someone else's life.
She qualified to donate 20 to 25 children's car seats to Baby Buds, which is a local nonprofit organization, and the Gateway Battered Women's Shelter. CBS4 taped the purchase and the delivery to Baby Buds July 3, and the segment is scheduled to air July 19.
Gateway Battered Women's Shelter helps women who come out of abusive relationships.
Baby Buds is a job-training program that helps single mothers who come out of abusive relationships, prison or prostitution. In the program, the women run the Baby Buds thrift store at Colfax and Peoria and work in janitorial services.
The proceeds from the thrift store, which runs solely on donations of baby items, pay the women's wages. They also fund other aspects of the two-year program, such as counseling, education, goal setting, and basic computer training. Currently, Baby Buds is at its full capacity with 28 single women participating in the program, Baby Buds director Dianne Sager said.
Mrs. Mothershead said her idea came from seeing so many children who aren't in car seats and hearing about so many incidents on the news where children were killed or hurt because of it.
"I see that and I think, 'What's going to happen if I hit them?'" she said.
She said she chose Baby Buds as the recipient because she knew about it from seeing it, shopping there and donating items for the store to sell. She also wants to raise awareness about the Baby Buds program.
"This donation will help a multitude," Mrs. Sager said. "We need awareness so badly. I don't think the general public realizes how much their support can help these women in the program, and getting the word out would really help them see how they can help."
But, the donation will do more than just raise awareness. Mrs. Sager said about half of the car seats will go to the women in the program who need them and the other half will be sold at the thrift store to raise program funds.
At around $40 each, car seats can be a large purchase for single mothers who live off of sometimes $200 a month like Ms. Brittnee Cavender, a first-time pregnant 19 year old who participates in Baby Buds.
"I don't have a big family to help me out," Ms. Cavender said. "So this sort of thing helps out a lot. Thank you."
Mrs. Mothershead's entry into the program was one of hundreds.
"We chose hers because we liked her idea and her letter was enthusiastic," Mrs. Suzanne McCarroll, CBS4 reporter, said. "We were looking for people who are passionate about their ideas."
Children's car safety advocate
On top of pushing her idea to donate car seats through the Pay It 4ward program, Mrs. Mothershead signed up for Safe Kids Worldwide's Child Passengers Safety Technician Course. The five-day course will qualify her to inspect car seats for expiration, proper size and installation, and check for recalls.
She said she hopes to be able to donate her services to Buckley members through the Airmen and Family Readiness Center, the chapel and the child development centers. She will also donate her time to programs like Baby Buds to ensure people restrain their children properly in cars.
"I hope to raise awareness about child seat safety," the mother of four said. "Each state has different laws regarding car seats. If they are not told, some parents might not know they could be in violation of those laws, especially military parents who move from state to state often."