Arise Works to Support and Uplift Single Mothers in Oklahoma - 405 Magazine

Arise Works to Support and Uplift Single Mothers in Oklahoma

Empowering single moms through community and resources.

Arise Single Moms Development Director Pam Kanaly and Executive Director Shelley Pulliam. Photo provided.

Arise Single Moms Development Director Pam Kanaly and Executive Director Shelley Pulliam. Photo provided.

In 2002, Pam Kanaly, a former single mom, and Shelley Pulliam, a former teacher, united their efforts to provide vital support and resources to single mothers as they navigate the challenges of life. Through the organization Arise Single Moms, development director Kanaly and executive director Pulliam endeavor to empower and guide single mothers toward a path of resilience and fulfillment.

Voted the Edmond Chamber of Commerce 2023 Nonprofit of the Year, Arise Single Moms provides tools and support to mothers parenting alone. “The purpose of Arise is to serve a variety of women — widows, single again, never married, grandmothers raising grandchildren, women who have adopted or whose husbands are incarcerated or in rehab, and more,” said Kanaly.

Photo provided by Arise Single Moms.

From providing practical resources such as financial assistance, housing support and childcare solutions to offering emotional guidance and mentorship programs, Arise fosters a nurturing community where women can find solidarity, encouragement and the tools to thrive. The organization plays a pivotal role in reshaping narratives and creating opportunities for a brighter future for both mothers and their children.

“One of the greatest needs for single moms is discovering a community to receive a sense of belonging, share common struggles and joys and find support for perpetual growth,” Kanaly said.

Arise’s premier event is the yearly THRIVE conference in OKC, scheduled this year for June 7-8. Over the past 22 years, an impressive 17,000 mothers and children have engaged in this weekend affair, bolstered by a dedicated team of over 80 volunteers. The event features esteemed keynote speakers, door prizes and insightful breakout sessions led by Oklahoma professionals and single parenting specialists who address pivotal topics relevant to the single motherhood journey.

THRIVE Conference with Arise Single Moms.
Arise Single Moms’ THRIVE Conference. Photo provided.

“I first came to this event as a last-ditch effort in hopes of finding community and someone to give me the tools to move forward and restore hope,” said a single mom from Tulsa. “That was 12 years ago; I have not missed one since. THRIVE is like Christmas to my household!”  

Arise also offers complimentary online resources tailored specifically for single mothers. These videos, articles and blogs delve into topics such as finances, relationships, emotional well-being, spiritual development and parenting. Its podcast, “The Single Momcast,” boasts nearly 50,000 resource downloads.

On Set of "The Single Momcast"
On Set of “The Single Momcast” by Arise Single Moms. Photo provided.

“One single mom came to us struggling with trying to balance work and home life while having to be the cook, the cleaner, the counselor, taxi driver and more,” Kanaly said. “After listening to our podcasts, she added, ‘I learned more in your free 30-minute program than I have in two years of counseling.’ Popular podcast topics include handling big emotions with your kids, practicing self-care, navigating co-parenting, overcoming disappointment and over 100 more.” 

As we celebrate Mother’s Day, Kanaly and Pulliam share a message of hope and encouragement: “Single moms, you are strong! With God, you are more than enough. Be present. Focus on the kids. It’s been proven that it only takes one healthy adult in the household to raise a well-balanced child, and guess what? You’re it! You can do this. Why not let Arise Single Moms come alongside?”  

Kanaly also noted, “You may not be a single mom, but everyone knows one, and the greatest gift you can give to a single mother you know is to tell her about Arise Single Moms — we’ll do the rest.” 

Organizations like Arise rely on support from volunteers and donations to provide essential services and resources to so many. To learn more about how you can help or how Arise can help you, visit

Interested in learning about other nonprofits in our community? Check out this feature on Restore OKC.