Mother’s Day may be coming up this weekend, but according to Lucille O’Neal, mother of basketball player Shaquille O’Neal, mothers should be celebrated throughout the year.
“I would consider every day as Mother’s Day,” Lucille said. “Mothers care and nurture all year long so every day should be special for them.”
In November 2011, Lucille, the Boys and Girls Club of America (BGCA) and Kimberly-Clark Corporation began the search for America’s Most Inspirational Mom. Through BGCA’s Family PLUS (Parents, Leading, Uniting, Serving) the Most Inspirational Mom search will help implement family-strengthening programs at Boys and Girls Clubs throughout the United States.
“I have been with the Boys and Girls Club for a number of years,” Lucille said. “I think mothers have a hard job today raising children, but when you can be recognized for your perseverance and hard work it is great.”
Lorrie Wolfe, 41, was named America’s Most Inspirational Mom on May 8, 2012.
“Being a part of the search has been amazing,” Wolfe said. “It is such an honor to be named America’s Most Inspirational Mom.”
Wolfe, a resident of Hickory, North Carolina, is a single mother of three children, including one diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome. Six years ago, Wolfe left a life of domestic violence. Despite past struggles, Wolfe has overcome them to raise her children and help others in the community.
Lucille also overcame struggles including abuse, poverty and alcohol earlier in her life. However, such experiences have helped Lucille gain the strength to improve her own life and the lives of others.
“In your heart you always want something good enough that you will do the best you can to overcome what is bad. You take the problem and turn it into something good,” Lucille said. “And when you make that effort, help will come.”
Besides raising her own children, Wolfe also helps at-risk youth in her community. As project coordinator of the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club of Hickory, Wolfe collects clothes and school supplies, and finds part-time jobs for teens.
“It make all the difference to help in the community,” Wolfe said.