LeVelle Moton still remembers growing up in a single-parent home with little resources and few ways out the projects.
His mother, Hattie McDougald, was often mom and dad. And although she didn’t have much, she made a way by creating a strong foundation at home to keep her two boys out of trouble.
“It wasn’t easy and you’ve got to have a plan,” McDougald said. “You can’t give up. You’ve got to love and believe in yourself and stick to your guns. I think that is how I did it. I had to work two to three jobs to do it and I just put my mind to it and it happened.”
Added Moton, “I have 9,000 more resources than she had, and I wouldn’t be able to do what she did.”
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Sunday evening, Moton showed his appreciation to his mother, by giving back to more than 100 single mothers in the Triangle. He hosted a formal dinner at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel in Research Triangle Park for the women, who were nominated by friends, and gave them gifts including gift cards, tablets and computers.
It is something the N.C. Central University basketball coach said he hopes to do every year.
Single mothers never get an opportunity to do something for themselves, because their whole lives are dedicated to serving their families.
LeVelle Moton, NCCU basketball coach
“Single mothers never get an opportunity to do something for themselves, because their whole lives are dedicated to serving their families,” Moton said. “They are raising kids, keep their families strong, trying to put food on the table, single and alone. And they didn’t sign up for it to be that way.”
This was the third year for the event, the Single Mothers Salute, sponsored through Moton’s foundation, Velle Cares.
Melanie Saunders, former WNCN anchor and the keynote speaker for the event, told the moms that women are master multi-taskers. She said they are the epitome of strength and can handle the biggest burdens.
“Regardless of your professional worlds and your achievements, our main focus is our children and we should never apologize for that,” Saunders said.
Monique Broadie, 39, a single mom of two, has attended the salute every year. She said the events in the past have inspired her to keep moving forward despite her challenges, and to give back to other single mothers.
Broadie, a caterer, said being a single mom is a challenge but very rewarding, especially when her children accomplish their goals.
“From a financial standpoint sometimes you want to be involved in more things and it’s hard with a single income or to attend a lot of their games,” she said. “Once I started coming to this event, it just put some more things into perspective about how much more I need to put into my kids and make sure they know that I’m there, and sometimes instead of putting the money into the house, put it in time with the kids.”
All of the moms submitted essays for why they are the Single Mom of the Year. The mom with the best essay this year was Shanail Monick, 33, a survivor of lupus.