We couldn't help so many families in so many ways without the support of our Giving Words Team Members. Learn a little more about the people who make it happen.
With an entrepreneur’s vision and a servant’s heart, Eddie Brown and his wife Ginny started the non-profit Giving Words to help struggling single mothers address the ongoing trials of family management. Here's his story: ⠀
"With 23 years in all aspects of the housing industry and 9 years of owning my own business, I have uniquely developed my skills to design, organize, and market our ministry. I have created a network of over 60 partners in the central Virginia area to assist moms in various areas of needs such as car repair and gifting, home maintenance, counseling, budgeting, and appliance repair. Additionally, I have, with the assistance of Apricot software, designed a tailored system that can track all mothers, services, activities and volunteers. This program lays the foundation for our non-profit’s ability to be replicated in every county, state, or even in another country. ⠀
Business acumen alone, however, lacks the empathy to take on such a burden. Even with over 32% single-parent households in Virginia’s and 35% in the United States, each time a mother needs help, she first must feel valued and accepted. Reared by compassionate parents and mentored by selfless neighbors like a local foster mother who cared for drug-addicted babies, I realized before adulthood that I should actively care for the most vulnerable. Later in my adulthood after a divorce and losing custody of my children temporarily, this calling magnified. Later, I became a stepfather, then the primary caregiver of my elderly aunt, and four years ago, the custodial guardian of my infant granddaughter. Each of these experiences, along with my wife Ginny’s 25 years in education and my business training, prepared both my wife and me to identify and empathize with the overwhelming load of single parenting and to offer support and solutions to common problems that can derail the family. ⠀
The vision for Giving Words started with a passion for poverty-stricken children and parents in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, but as our lives became even more grounded in Central Virginia, our hearts for those vulnerable families only expanded."
As the eldest child of a loving single mother, Ginny Brown grew up with an early understanding of the overwhelming task of parenting alone. Throughout her youth, she longed only to give her future children a happy family with two committed parents.
Eight years after graduating from James Madison University with a degree in English education, two children, and a marriage to their father, her dream shattered when her husband left. Ginny found herself in the same position, a single mom.
Thankfully, most moments were filled with joy. With a loving, supportive family and church, a devoted group of friends, and a secure, encouraging work environment, the perpetual task of parenting was manageable and mostly enjoyable. Still, as the years passed, Ginny still longed for something more.
Ten years after her separation and divorce, Ginny met and later married Eddie, and their passions for moms and their children grew together from their childhood experiences and love for two generations of children, their own and their friends’, and now their grandchildren (born and claimed).
Ginny’s position as a high school teacher at Louisa County High School for the past twenty years has kept her connected to single parents, their children, and their constant struggles.
Ashlyn is a freelance virtual assistant and designer who has an affinity for inspiring others.
Ashlyn takes a great interest in studying psychology, mindfulness, self-help, and astronomy. Outside of her interest in these topics, she spends her free time traveling, hiking, and reading.
She has a passion for helping others heal and grow into their best selves. Her ultimate goal is to become a full time life coach.
"Being a single parent is challenging. It can be even harder when you don’t have a local tribe to help take a little pressure off and give you encouragement and guidance. Giving Words provides that, and it all starts with coming alongside a single mother struggling with a car emergency. ⠀
For many of the moms we serve at Giving Words, their car is their biggest asset. It’s their critical connection to work, to school, to medical appointments, to the kids’ practices, and to time with family and friends. But it’s also their biggest challenge. Maintenance is an expense, in time and money. Repairs are totally life-disrupting, and just getting good information about what’s needed can be difficult. When moms join the Giving Words network, they’ve got support in resolving those problems. They’ve got someone they can trust to make sure the work gets done right. And they become part of a tribe looking out for them and dedicated to their stability, growth, and success. ⠀
I’m blessed to support Giving Words and help Ginny and Eddie fulfill their amazing mission."