Last Thursday, we partnered with Secret Deodorant in the release of the #SecretSuperheroMom campaign video series, which shares true, heartfelt stories of moms from YWCA Local Associations who are holding their families and communities together during the pandemic. About 90% of moms worry they are not doing a good enough job, but 97% of kids agree their mom is a superhero. To bridge this gap in perception, the Secret Superpower Mom campaign was born. The Secret Deodorant team filmed and offered surprise gifts from their “Secret Missions” fund to three superhero moms and their families from YWCA Elgin, YWCA Atlanta, and YWCA St. Louis. In addition, their children were asked to tell us why they were grateful to their mom and what her superpower is. The best part of the filming process was that the moms had no clue that we their families were also being interviewed, and their priceless reactions of joy and gratitude for their children’s stories and the gift of childcare services were captured live on camera.
One of the super moms, Martha, is a loving mother of four from Elgin, Illinois who works two jobs, 16 hours a day, seven days a week to support her family. Her superpower, according to her children, is bravery. Not only did Martha immigrate to the U.S. despite insurmountable setbacks and no support system, but she also continues to provide for her family and inspire those around her.
In Atlanta, Tali, a frontline healthcare worker who has been working tirelessly to combat the pandemic has the superpower of strength, according to her family. Even though her husband was forced to quit his job to care for their two children due to constraints of the pandemic, Tali has continued to provide for her family and patients while dealing with the grief of losing her own supermom.
In St. Louis, Chelena, a healthcare administrator and mother of five was forced to give up her career aspirations to care for her children during the pandemic. Her children tell us she has the superpower of intuition since despite her setbacks, she has always been able to find a way to make it work for her family by leaning into her spiritually to remain positive and inspirational for those around her.
Childcare costs in the U.S. have increased more than twice as fast as overall inflation since the 1990s, and the average cost of a full-time childcare program is now $16,000 per year — a price that can match the tuition at a flagship university in some states. It is more pertinent than ever for both parents to join the workforce to provide for their families, and the job losses and economic implications of the pandemic have not made it any easier, especially since women have borne the brunt of the pandemic so far. With this reality in mind and as part of a $1 million pledge to help foster gender equity, YWCA USA and Secret Deodorant have been working together to develop the “Secret Missions” fund, which will provide childcare, workforce development, and carrier reduction programs and services for more than 100,000 women and their families across the YWCA network. This #SecretSuperheroMom initiative stemmed out of Secret’s Raise It Up campaign, which recognizes inequality amongst girls, women, and femmes, and takes action now to raise their voices with the goal of equal representation and pay.
YWCA is grateful for this dynamic partnership and together, we will continue to #RaiseItUp for women everywhere.