The Choice Effect

Beating the Odds: Cindy's Inspiring Leap from Single Motherhood to Philanthropy

August 27, 2023 Sonny Von Cleveland Season 1 Episode 4
The Choice Effect
Beating the Odds: Cindy's Inspiring Leap from Single Motherhood to Philanthropy
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Have you ever wondered how someone could turn a grim life situation into a beacon of hope? Our guest, Cindy, draws from her life experiences, sharing her courageous journey from an abusive marriage to becoming a single parent, and eventually launching an initiative to support other single parents. She touches upon her struggles, how she rebuilt a life for her daughters, and her decision to give away cars to those single parents in need. Her inspiring tale sheds light on the issues of affordable, quality childcare and underscores the importance of resilience and independence.

As you join us on this journey, you'll discover the intricate selection process of her initiative and the criteria that single parents need to meet to be eligible for a vehicle. Cindy speaks candidly about her passion that fuels her business and philanthropic ventures. Not stopping at that, she also introduces us to her show, Little Give, emphasizing the power of small donations and the significant difference they can make in someone's life.

But wait, there's more to Cindy than meets the eye. Not only does she talk about her experiences as a beekeeper and her love for parenting, but she also reveals her secret to maintaining balance in a blended family of six kids and three grandchildren. She delves into her best-selling book, her teachings about the values of independence and resilience for single parents, and her efforts in breaking down financial stability barriers. Listen as she leaves us with words of wisdom about self-improvement and the importance of competing with oneself to achieve success. So, are you ready to be inspired?

Get in touch with Cindy!
Little Give -TV Show
LittleGive.com
If you are interested in potentially being a guest- please schedule a pre show interview here:

https://calendly.com/cindywitteman/20min

https://drivingsingleparents.org/\
https://linktr.ee/cindy.witteman

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Thank you for joining us on the Choice Effect Podcast. This is Sonny Von Cleveland, reminding you that every challenge is an opportunity for transformation. Your past doesn't define you; your choices do. Let's keep inspiring, healing, and choosing paths that lead to our best selves. Until next time, stay empowered and remember: You have the power to change your story.

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Sonny Von Cleveland:

I feel that very much so. I think it's 107 right now, according to Google on my computer screen. It's such an honor to have you here. I completely am blown away by everything that you've done. Can you share with our audience the story behind driving single parents and what inspired you to start this initiative?

Cindy Witteman:

Absolutely Well. It's actually kind of a crazy story. Well, I got married super early. I was trading one bad situation for another. We had some real bad financial situations when I lived with my mom. My mom was also a single parent and so I got married super young when I shouldn't have Traded one problem for another and ended up in a domestic violence situation. I had some kids throughout that and ended up escaping that situation.

Cindy Witteman:

I stayed for a really long time in that marriage because I wanted to make sure that I could provide for my daughters and keep that two-parent home so I wouldn't be a single parent. Because it was the last thing on my bucket list of things to do, and so I kept staying in that marriage. And I ended up hearing on Dr Phil one day that it's better to come from a broken home than it is to grow up in one. When I heard those words it seemed like he was talking directly to me. So I grabbed my daughter's basket of clothes, a bag of diapers, and we left and I built a new life for us.

Cindy Witteman:

So going through my single parent journey was not easy. Escaping that terrible situation was not easy, and I knew there was a lot of other single parents out there who were also going through similar situations and maybe even having a harder situation than I was having. So once I got back onto the side of success, where I was able to take care of my girls and really do something to give back, I knew I really wanted to give back. So in thinking through all the things that I needed as a single parent, I realized that without that car that I had, I wouldn't have been able to work two jobs and put myself through college to get myself in that better place in the period of time that I was able to do that.

Cindy Witteman:

So one day I was at dinner with my it was my fiance at the time. Now he's my husband and I literally stood at the table and said that's it, I'm going to give away cars to single parents. And my husband, being an attorney, being an attorney was like ah, cindy, sit back down here, that's a terrible liability issue, definitely not going to happen. So I listened very intently to him and his advice and all the lawyering stuff and I went home. I built the website, had a business plan before he woke up the next morning and we gave away the car less than two weeks later.

Sonny Von Cleveland:

That's absolutely incredible, and kudos to your husband too. He's like wait, wait, wait, Cindy, have a seat, let's, let's there's. And he's a lawyer, so immediately he went through this is all no, wait a minute, it's crazy. Being a former single parent, can you describe some of the biggest challenges that you faced and how they shaped that journey?

Cindy Witteman:

Absolutely Well. One of the biggest struggles I had and I know that in the pre-show, when we had chatted, I had shared with you my initial want and desire was to provide childcare for single parents, because that was my number one need. Childcare is such a hard thing to come by, and not only is it hard to find quality childcare, it's extremely expensive. And when you're a single parent like I was just trying to get through you know I had to every single morning. And speaking of struggle, every single morning I wake up, get the girls ready for school, take this one to that school, this one to that daycare and this one to that babysitter, and then on my lunch break I go to my job. On my lunch break, get off, go pick up this one from school, cause she got out now. Now I'll go take her to the babysitter over here, then go back to pick up the other one, take her there too.

Cindy Witteman:

After school then go back to work, work until six, get off, go pick them up, go take them to the next babysitter, go to college, drive to do college all night, whether or that babysitter. Go back, pick them up, bring them home, tuck them all into bed ready for sleep and then call the next babysitter to come to my house to watch them while I went to my next job after they were asleep and worked till two or three in the morning. That was a huge struggle, but I knew I worked so hard in the beginning. If I could just work hard now, it would pay off in the end and then I'd be able to be that mom I wanted to be for my daughters, instead of just being the kiss me goodnight kind of mom that I was at that time.

Sonny Von Cleveland:

So that was Switch more in practice. Bleed less in the fight.

Cindy Witteman:

Exactly yes, and then. So that's my biggest struggle. And then paying for all of those babysitters in childcare and someone calls in they can't watch today or whatever the struggle was, it was such a big, big expense and burden. So when I wanted to start that nonprofit for childcare, I quickly realized that most people believe that government assistance really picks up that tab for people who are struggling. And there are a lot of programs there are, but they have huge waiting lists and there's a big lack of funding and there's a lot of stipulations, so it's not really that accessible. But again, what is a good nonprofit if nobody gets passionate and wants to donate to it? So that's why I had to pivot and do Driving Single Parents, which has turned out wonderful and has been a huge I call it heart work. I love it so much.

Sonny Von Cleveland:

I can only on that note over the past six years. Can you share a particularly heartwarming story or transformation that you've witnessed through this nonprofit?

Cindy Witteman:

Yes, where do I start? Okay, so let's go with the first vehicle that we gave away about less than two weeks after I came up with the idea, and that car went to a single dad and his name's John Conno, and he still drives that car six years later.

Cindy Witteman:

So, yeah, I know. So he was actually unfortunately hit by a drunk driver and in that accident not only did he lose his car, he lost his wife and his right leg, making him a single dad basically overnight, with some tremendous struggles ahead of himself. Thank you so much. That vehicle I personally picked out and made sure it was a vehicle that could accommodate not just his needs and his children's needs but his new handicap needs.

Sonny Von Cleveland:

I think I want to talk to that guy. Oh yes, that sounds like an incredible, incredible story.

Cindy Witteman:

Oh, my goodness, it is, it is, and he would love to talk to you.

Sonny Von Cleveland:

Yeah, jeez, what a just. I couldn't even imagine it's. How does the selection process work for single parents to receive a vehicle?

Cindy Witteman:

Well, basically, all they have to do is live in Bear County at this time because of funding. They have to have a valid Texas driver's license, they have to be able to have the ability to obtain and maintain car insurance on their vehicle, and then the screening process really works. Like the first thing they do is they go on our website at drivingsingleparentsorg, fill out the shortest little application asking those very few questions and really only first and last name. We don't get into any detail on that initial application.

Cindy Witteman:

I like it. Yeah, once they submit that short form, we get that information. We verify they do meet that minimum qualifications. Once we get that, then we send them back an invitation to create a video. So all of our recipients have to create a video that actually expresses their need. And the reason for this is because there's some people who can communicate amazingly on paper and there's some people who cannot.

Cindy Witteman:

You might get an application for a person who has the best story ever on paper, but when you actually talk to them it doesn't really make that connection that we look for with driving single parents. So that's why I do the written and the visual application process. So once they do that video and we review it, I narrow it down to like the top 10 and then we decide we have an executive committee of five that really narrows it down to those top three and then we watch all those videos. Then we do background checks, we make sure everybody is legit and check out their story, make sure that everything is 100% accurate. Once we get through that, then we make a decision who's going to be the recipient and then we let the recipient know they're going to be the recipient. We get the vehicle and we get that car away.

Sonny Von Cleveland:

How many corporate businesses around the world are like man, we should have got this woman, this woman like just you. Putting all that together just is just a testament to your intelligence and your compassion. So, beyond giving vehicles, are there other services or programs that your organization offers to support single parents, or is it just for the vehicles?

Cindy Witteman:

It's really just for the vehicles for now. We do have some things in the work we do. A lot of people ask us questions like where can I go for domestic violence services? Where can I live in a different city or state? Where can I get services? They ask a lot of different questions and we do our best to answer whatever questions we can and send them in the right direction.

Sonny Von Cleveland:

I like it. I like it. So, as a business owner and an entrepreneur, what has been your guiding principle when juggling multiple responsibilities?

Cindy Witteman:

Well, I'll say that for many years I spent a lot of time struggling and pushing and trying and going and running this way and running that way and when I finally figured out that once you find your passion, your passion will push you, you won't actually work, you won't have to work so hard, you won't feel exhausted. So throughout my journey of being a business owner, beekeeper, nonprofit founder, all the things that I do TV show host, all those things, everything that I do, I do with a purpose and using my purpose. And if you look at everything I've done all my life it's all been to help others and that's my passion and that's why I'm able to do all of these things without feeling exhausted.

Sonny Von Cleveland:

That I mean it's not work right when you're, when you're living your purpose. It's just not work and I mean I get it, I've put in 15, 16 hour days and and it's like I enjoy it, it's fulfilling. What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs that are looking to integrate philanthropy into their business model?

Cindy Witteman:

I would say start off small If it's something that you're passionate. If you have a passion where you want to start a nonprofit, then you should definitely seek out some help. Get somebody who knows the ins and outs of the state that you live in and they can guide you to do that correctly, Because that's very important. When it comes to a nonprofit, you don't want to lose legitimacy legitimacy at the very beginning. You need to make sure you get all your you know, teas crossed and eyes dotted, because it's they are. It's very specific and they are very particular about the rules and the red tape when it comes to a nonprofit.

Cindy Witteman:

Now, if you think you want to start a nonprofit but you're not ready now and you still want to do some something philanthropic, you could easily just donate 1% of sales or 0.5% of sales or just look up online nonprofits in my area and give $5 to each one. Things like that. People don't understand that those little gives that you give little give. It doesn't have to be a check for $10,000. It doesn't need to be donating a week of your time every month. $5, $25, a dollar really, really impacts nonprofits.

Cindy Witteman:

I would also everything helps everything, everything and I would also say to research those nonprofits and make sure that they're not the type of nonprofit that really takes a lot of the money for administrative fees. My nonprofit is 99.9%, goes back to the residents of Bear County and there are so many different nonprofits that take up a huge chunk of that for their own administrative costs. So research it.

Sonny Von Cleveland:

Yeah, definitely research nonprofits I've done some research in some of those and the ones that, like, really take a lot of money for their board. It doesn't sit well with me. I mean, I can understand if there's professionals that are putting in a lot of hours and that they need to be paid because this is their income, but like we have there's one out here, desert Safe Schools, which is incredible they raise a couple million dollars a year and not one person on their board gets paid Not one person and for me.

Sonny Von Cleveland:

I just fully support something like that. But let's transition over to the little give, because you just talked about that. Tell us more about your show, little Give. How did you come up, or how did you come up, how did that come about and what's the main message you're trying to convey to your viewers?

Cindy Witteman:

Another great story. So I, like I told you earlier, is that your passion will push you and things will kind of start popping into your life that will support that passion and help you grow in those areas. Well, with when I wrote this book called Shattering the Stigma of Single Motherhood, and after I wrote that book, I got approached about this, this TV show thing, and I thought, oh no, I have a terrible fear of public speaking. I hate public speaking. I am the last person. You want to be a host of a TV show, are you crazy? And so I thought of all the reasons why I couldn't first. And then they came back and said, hey well, you get to pick the name of your show, you get to pick the premise of your show, you get to pick the guest you have on your show and you get to make your own schedule.

Sonny Von Cleveland:

And I thought to myself Okay, since you put it like that.

Cindy Witteman:

Yeah, hold on a second here. So once they removed all those barriers and I got a fresh thought, you know, perspective on it. I thought, man, if I could make a show where I could highlight ordinary people just like me, who are, you know, just doing these things to help others, and highlight those people, that would be worth it, that would be worth swallowing my fear, that would be worth, you know, every hour I put in, every minute. It would be more hard work for me and I could highlight these nonprofits that don't have the money to pay that big board, don't have the money for advertising, don't have the money to hire all these corporations to help them. If I could do that, then you know what I guess I'll do it.

Sonny Von Cleveland:

Oh, I suppose I could I suppose so that's how it's going to be.

Cindy Witteman:

I swallowed my fear, and there I am now TV show host.

Sonny Von Cleveland:

Can you share a memorable episode or a guess that really stood out to you?

Cindy Witteman:

Oh, there's so many, but I would love to share the one of the Mitchell Chang Foundation. So it's a really heartwarming story that started with tragedy, and I love stories like that. So what happened was is a resident here in San Antonio had sent their child to a swim school at three years old with his brother and unfortunately there were protocols skipped and the ripe eyes were not on this child and he ended up drowning and losing his life at a swim school.

Cindy Witteman:

So a terrible, tragic situation. Well, in the midst of all of that, the family decided they didn't want to have him remembered for that. So they decided that they would donate a playground an all-inclusive playground, for every person who has any disability, whether you have a disability or don't. This playground there's not one in San Antonio like it so they wanted to do that. So they started this foundation, mitchell Chang Foundation and now they're building this beautiful giant playground that will have the ability it will make the ability for grandparents who have some limited mobility to be able to run around and play with their grandkids. To have those kids who have sensory problems be able to play in that playground. To have dads or moms who are suffering from PTSD from the military to be able to have a safe space where they can go with their kids and also get away enough let their kids play if they have a need, a moment. So there's all of these amazing things that she that is just incredible.

Cindy Witteman:

Yes, that she really put so much love and heart and attention into to make sure that the happiness and spirit of her young son would live through this playground and everything is pirate themed, which is what he loved. His original handwriting is on the front of it and I just think it's a beautiful story. And so that's episode 14 on Little Give, if anybody wants to check it out Very emotional interview but at the same time you could see the love and compassion in her heart and in her family to have spent all of this, these resources, to make this playground help to keep him alive through that playground.

Sonny Von Cleveland:

Wow, that's just incredible.

Cindy Witteman:

Yes, that's inspiring.

Sonny Von Cleveland:

That's so inspiring. Transitioning over to beekeeping I wanted to talk about that because it seems like such a unique hobby. How did you get into that and how does it tie into your life, like philosophy and your personal journey?

Cindy Witteman:

Awesome, okay. So the beekeeping thing we have some property where our family owns some property out in a welfare Texas and that property has been the family since years like since like the think, the 40s, 30s or 40s and the taxes, of course, isn't a great area and the taxes have gotten more and more and more expensive. So I really want to make sure that this property can stay in the family for years to come, and although those taxes are affordable now, they will not be affordable for future generations our kids, their kids and whatever and the goal is to keep this in the family. And so I started brainstorming on ways that I can lower those taxes to make them almost non-existent so that our children could continue owning the property and passing it through their families affordably. So I came across this, where you can actually have bees.

Cindy Witteman:

I thought, well, how fun is that I could actually be a beekeeper and be helping the environment here I go helping again and I could help make the taxes lower so that the property can stay in the family for generations. The bees take very little work. They really just go on buzzing around doing their own thing and I just go over there and check on them every now and again, and I have Italian honeybees that are very docile, so I don't wear gear. I will wear gloves every now and again just to make sure that I don't put my fingers on them, because if you put your fingers on a bee, you know what's going to happen.

Sonny Von Cleveland:

So they just go around.

Cindy Witteman:

They're not aggressive, they're really cool, not a problem. The honey is amazing. I love it, and so there I go again with my helping others, and that's how I ended up being a beekeeper.

Sonny Von Cleveland:

That's insanity. It's amazing. Do you ever sleep?

Cindy Witteman:

Yes, actually I slept 13 hours last night. Wow, that's not every day.

Sonny Von Cleveland:

I get that too, though. I get people are like do you do so much, man? Do you ever sleep? I'm like, yeah, I sleep really good actually, Like I'm in bed by 9 o'clock and I'm out and I'm up at 5am and I sleep really well. It's just the time that I am up. I'm constantly filling it with purpose-filled stuff, and so it might seem like a lot on the outside, but it's all just really fulfilling.

Cindy Witteman:

Yeah, and that's the same thing I get. A lot of people are like, do you ever sleep? And I'm like, man, aren't you tired and you're going to wear yourself out? And I'm like, actually I wake up every day like, ok, now what can I do? Excited for the day to come and for the future, because, like I said, my passion pushes me. I'm not pushing anything.

Sonny Von Cleveland:

Yeah, I love it. Let's talk about family a little bit. With a blended family of six kids and three grandchildren, what's your secret to maintaining balance and keeping family ties strong?

Cindy Witteman:

Keeping a tight schedule. So I keep my schedule really tight and I make sure that the family is the first thing on the schedule. So it's never planning my family around my schedule, it's planning my schedule around my family. So I have four daughters from, you know, by previous marriage. I've got the four girls and then I have um, two bonus kids, tagging and Tonya. They're incredible. And then, of course, the grandkids are from my daughters, because my daughters are older. They're 25, 24, 21, and then 12. And so I've got the older ones and so the the two older daughters have the three kiddos at the grandson, who's four. And then I have a paisley who is 10, and then I'm at sorry, 10 months, apologize. And then I have little Emily who is six months.

Sonny Von Cleveland:

Hmm, I love that. How has, how has being a stepmom enriched your perspective on parenting?

Cindy Witteman:

Well, you know, I think I talked to a lot of people who are stepparents, who don't necessarily have the same experience I have, but I feel like, as a stepmom, it's not my goal to be mom or dad, it's my goal to be somebody extra who gets to love them. And I think, as long as you keep that philosophy as a stepparent and you make sure you understand that you are not mom and you are not dad and you get to be the fun one, just like kind of like the grandparent, where I get to just be the fun one and do all the cool stuff, and I think keeping that perspective really makes it easy, makes me and mom get along great. You know, and we're friends, you know we talk, we die, happy birthday, how are you? And I think, always setting that barrier, that that that boundary of like you are the mom and I respect you and I am the bonus mom who gets all the fun stuff, so you tell me and I follow those rules and everything works out great.

Sonny Von Cleveland:

That's that's. You're an incredible person. Just I want to say that and throw it out there. Your title mentions you're a best-selling author. Can you tell us about your book and the message that you're hoping to share with that?

Cindy Witteman:

Of course. So the first book I wrote was Shad in the Stigma of Single Motherhood again. But this whole author thing, I thought that could never be me. That's like Norway, like I said, fear of public speaking, like I don't need all that attention. Well, the more I thought about it, you know what? There is a stigma around single parenthood? There really is, and that's one of the reasons why I didn't want to be a single parent, because a lot of people think like you chose it, you know, and I just I really thought you know what, with this book, I could again help others and spread that message that you know, often time people don't choose it. It might be a suicide, it might be somebody lost in the military, it might be, you know, a cancer diagnosis, a brain cancer diagnosis, it might be a car accident. It could be so many different things. That makes you a single parent not a choice. And so because I'm so passionate about that, I thought, ok, I'll do it.

Cindy Witteman:

So I ended up doing that book and it was so much fun. I met so many incredible people. I got introduced to she Rises Studios, which is actually a mother-daughter team who, during COVID, thought you know what? We need to do something about. You know the separation that's going on right now. So they started this she Rises Studios. They help people become authors, and then they're also the one that owns the network that just got launched that I'm on, which is for Little Give. And so after I finished that first book, I thought, oh boy, I take a break now. I don't really think I want to do that again. Well then this book came up, called how to Overcome Self Sabotage.

Sonny Von Cleveland:

And.

Cindy Witteman:

I thought, oh man, that's a big one. That's something I had to deal with. You know, like I said, even just for my more recent things, you know, the self-sabotage situation is a big one for me and I thought, jeez, if I could help people see that you know, I'm just an ordinary person. I came from a really humble upbringing where we didn't have running water and electricity. Sometimes, like I came from a really bad situation, and if I could do all this like seriously, anybody could do all this so if I could convey that in this book how to overcome self-sabotage and help one person okay, I guess I'll do it. So then that's how that book came to be.

Cindy Witteman:

Then my most recent book that's getting released on October the 10th is called Is Manifesting Bullshit, and so that is my new book that I'm writing with my two older daughters, caitlin and Kimberly, and so it started off as a fun mommy-daughter collaboration and they kind of said, oh yeah, we'd like to write a book, mom. I thought, hey, I got connections with she Rises, let's see if they'll host us. So they did. They said, yeah. So the girls and I started that journey together, which is so much fun and once again, showing my tools to try to help others accomplish the things that took me so long. They could probably accomplish it a lot faster if they had the tools I have.

Sonny Von Cleveland:

Well, that begs the question is manifesting bullshit?

Cindy Witteman:

You have to read the book to find out. No, it's not.

Sonny Von Cleveland:

I don't think so. I am a huge, huge proponent of manifestation. I think when you know what you want and when you identify it and you can become self-aware, and then you put purpose and passion into what it is that you want, you manifest anything. You can manifest the life of your dreams. I am a living testament to that.

Cindy Witteman:

Me too.

Sonny Von Cleveland:

And it sounds like you're a living testament to that. I'm still blown away. I actually got you confused with the very first guest on my podcast.

Cindy Witteman:

Oh really.

Sonny Von Cleveland:

Yeah, her name is Megs Gibson in Australia, and it was you that I was thinking about at the young age, having the child being married, because she kind of went through a similar thing. But either way, as a speaker, what's your core message or lesson that you want to leave your audience with? Like, if you could put it down Like what's the main thing you want people to take away from hearing you speak.

Cindy Witteman:

Yes, you can.

Sonny Von Cleveland:

That's perfect yeah everything.

Cindy Witteman:

think about it, ask yourself oh, I don't know if I can be an author. Yes, you can.

Sonny Von Cleveland:

I don't have a TV show.

Cindy Witteman:

Yes, you can anything and, like you said a moment ago, whenever you take your passion, your power and your purpose and you you put it into writing and you Identify what it is you really love and you find that, put action to it and you can make anything, yes, you can. You can make anything work. Anything can happen.

Sonny Von Cleveland:

I think. I think that that's the biggest roadblock to success and Manifestation and living the life that you want is not knowing what you want. I think a lot, of, a lot of people go through life Just going through it, not going for what they want, because they don't know how to identify what they want.

Cindy Witteman:

Absolutely, and that's one of the things I write about in my book is that you know, I spent so much time when I was in my younger years. You know, try and try and trying to get here, to get there and get the girls way and all those things and rushing around and make everybody Happy and impress my dad and press my daughters be a role model, all these things. I tried so hard and then when I finally Found out about manifesting and slowed down and started to write, it was so hard for me to even put down what I wanted on paper because I never considered what I wanted. It was never about me, it was about being a single mom rushing around. It was about impressing my dad, being a role model. How can I be good enough for them? How can I?

Cindy Witteman:

I never considered who is Cindy Whitman, sure? So that's when I started to write and I just tell people all the time the best way to start writing is write about nothing. If you don't know what to write, just write. Today I sat at the store and I don't know and just start writing and then the next thing you know it will come. It'll just come to paper so easily. It's in there it's getting it out.

Sonny Von Cleveland:

That's the hard part and and I think that that's a Philosophy that you can attach to almost anything in life. Right, like as a young youtuber I wasn't young, but as a beginning youtuber one of the things that they tell you is just do it. Just start creating your first. You know, the first long time that you do it is gonna suck, but you're gonna learn from those. And it's the same concept with writing, right, do you? Just? I mean, I just went through that writing my first book as well like you Discover, like I might not know what to do when I start, but if I just start doing it, I'm gonna learn lessons. I'm gonna pick things up and it'll suck in the beginning, but then you start to learn and you grow, and you grow and you just keep at it and, and you learn, and you grow and it's, it's, it's incredible.

Sonny Von Cleveland:

I want to talk a little bit more about your philanthropy Philanthropy. Did I say your philanthropy, philanthropy? I just You're philanthropy and giving back. You mentioned your passion for giving back. Are there any other charitable Organizations or projects or causes that you're involved with that you'd like to highlight? I?

Cindy Witteman:

Would love. The Mitchell Chang Foundation is incredible what they're doing to really get back on a large scale. You know a lot of people work with food. There's so many different really cool nonprofits out there, but I would definitely say if I had to support one other than my own, it would definitely be the Mitchell Chang Foundation.

Sonny Von Cleveland:

The Mitchell chain and they can find that at Mitchell chainorg.

Cindy Witteman:

Yes, mitchell chain org.

Sonny Von Cleveland:

Make sure you guys go out and check that, because that is incredible what they're doing. Yes, I mean and that if we could implement that all over the world, imagine the impact that that could have. And what do you? What do you think about that? I think there's there's such a lack of inspiration to want to Create something global. I think people are intimidated by the concept of global impact. What do you think about that?

Cindy Witteman:

I think that it's almost like the analogy of the stairs. You know, if you stand at the bottom of the stairs and you look at the top and you think about how hard it's gonna get there, it will be hard because you'll never get to that first step. And I think if there's ever a moment where you want to make a global impact, or make any impact at all, take that first step and just like you said a second ago, where you know, just start, the first one's gonna suck, but if you just start, that's right, the first one's gonna be the worst one. So if you get that out of the way now, you can get to the second worst one, and if you just keep going, then you're gonna get to the third and fourth and finally you're gonna have that Beautifully fine-tuned product that you are ready to share.

Sonny Von Cleveland:

You'll just keep climbing and and just on on the the single parent Thing, because that's such a big part of your organization. What do you believe is the most significant impact of teaching single parents the value of independence and resilience?

Cindy Witteman:

So the type of people that we have, that we give our cars to, are already those type of people. They're already there and that's a big thing for me. You know, I never want to give away a car to someone who's going to have to sleep in it. Also, car can be a humongous burden. You've had cars, I've had cars. They could be a huge burden if you don't have money to fix them, pay for car insurance, because that's usually a state requirement, so they can be a burden.

Cindy Witteman:

So all the people that we help are those people that what I call are in the messy middle. You know, they're those people who are working those two jobs, who are trying to get that higher paying job across town. They are, you know, trying to enroll in college. Maybe they were enrolled in, enrolled in college and they had to drop out because of lack of transportation. They're those type of people and so usually the people that we give cars to are not the kind of people who we have to have to help with. Those other like maybe some emotional issues or other things like that. We really try to focus on those people who are at the point in their life where they're they're doing too well to get that government assistance, but they're not doing well enough to get to the next level. They're stuck right in that messy middle, and so that's what we're all about.

Sonny Von Cleveland:

What do you think is the the number one blockage for people like that that are stuck in the middle, like they have an opportunity and and they're, they're employing some, some things that are being offered to them, but they just don't go to the next level. What do you, what do you think that is?

Cindy Witteman:

Well, there's a couple things. So one would be if they didn't have a car, then it's hard to really especially here in San Antonio, texas and a lot of other places around the world If you don't have that vehicle to get you there and you're always 30 minutes late because the bus got laid over or took too long or whatever. So that's that one barrier where you can't climb, no matter how ambitious you are, because you don't have the tools. And that's what these people do is they use this car as a tool to get themselves to the next step.

Cindy Witteman:

The other humongous problem here is is that once you're at a certain level say, for instance, you've got, you have to. You have a job, right, and you make enough money for childcare assistance, which can range anywhere from 1000 to $2000 per month, okay, on a single parent, especially one who's not receiving any kind of child support or any other additional funds outside of their regular job, right? So let's say then that job, they're making only $30,000 a year and they qualify for that $1700 a month or $2000 a month in childcare, so their children are being taken care of a childcare. If they get a job that makes $1 more or promotion that makes $1 more. They lose $2000 a month because now they have to pay for childcare.

Cindy Witteman:

So they get stuck in this problem where they can't grow, they can't get better, they can't do better financially because the gap between the where they're at with their pay right now and where they need to be to be able to afford that childcare is too great. So that's why people get stuck in that messy middle, and that that's that situation where they can't, can't seem to get to the next step.

Sonny Von Cleveland:

Wow and then. But then there's Cindy, right, and Cindy is a beacon of hope. I mean I can just imagine, like the people around you, I mean you get to have so many people that are like thankful for your existence, and it's fulfilling, right, like I mean, at the end of the day, selfishness is not self care is not selfishness, but I think that people we need, we need to kind of redefine what selfish means. And there's there's greed, but then there's I do a lot of things because they make me feel good, and that's that's selfish at the end of the day, right, and I don't think that that's such a bad thing. If you implement good into the world, do you find that you have just a ton of people that are like trying to vie for your attention?

Cindy Witteman:

I don't know why, for my attention, but I do think that you know, when I get those those kudos, you know like, wow, cindy, do so much, wow, you're, you're helping all these people, and how does that make you feel. Or when I get the keys to a recipient, you know how does that make you feel. That must make you feel on top of the world. And I just keep saying you know what it makes me feel, like if I can get other people to believe in me, I can get him to walk with me, and then we can do more and we can do better and we can go and make those global changes and do all of those things if I can get people to walk with me. And so I'm not looking for someone to be so proud of me or think that I'm just this amazing, you know person or something. I'm just thinking, man, if you can see it, you can walk with me and we can do it together.

Sonny Von Cleveland:

And on that note, I've come to find there are, there are people that just have such a negative outlook in life and of one of the things that I've come across here is people are like, yeah, but you're always sharing it, you're always putting it out on social media, you're always, isn't that seeking attention? And it's not, and right, and I want to try to emphasize the point that by sharing and by putting it on display, it's inspiring people. The whole point of that is to try to inspire. I'm not saying, hey, look at what I did. I'm saying, look what you can do Right, and how you can inspire people. Do you ever get me negative feedback from people?

Cindy Witteman:

You know, I think I have a really good habit of not paying attention to that, because I feel like I don't do any. I don't put any focus on something that's not going to serve me, and the last thing I need is to have somebody who needs to be worried about their own life in my ear. So what I try to do is I try to just avoid that at all costs. And so, because I'm so, I've, like, mastered that in my early stages of manifesting, I used to and this is a funny story I tell my book is I had negative thoughts all the time.

Cindy Witteman:

What about this? I'd worry, I'd stress, I think about all the things are going to go wrong. You know, because of my upbringing and all the things I've been through, I had all of that stress and worry and always looking at the negative and trying to anticipate the negative so I could switch it to a positive before it came to be so. One of the things I did was I put a simple rubber band on my wrist and every time I had a negative thought, I just popped that rubber band.

Cindy Witteman:

And it gave me that sharp little like reminder oh, get your mind right, because I feel like those negative thoughts in your mind get in there and they kind of multiply and then you start like just seeing more and more negative around you all day long, every day. And so you got to learn to change the channel. And so that's what I try to do with people who have that negative feedback I just change the channel.

Sonny Von Cleveland:

And that's exactly it. Yeah, that's exactly what I was hoping for. That you would say, because that's what I do, right, like the negativity doesn't exist for me. If I see it, I acknowledge it and it's like, okay. Next it's like Don't pay attention to it, because it only. Negativity only exists if you, if you give it a space to exist, right, and they go away, if you ignore them, because all they're looking for is validation in a fight. Yeah, give it to them.

Cindy Witteman:

It's a Gossip. It's kind of like gossip. I used to have people always come try to tell me all this and that, all this gossip about everybody, and then they realized I wouldn't say anything back and once I didn't feed into that. Now they go gossip to somebody else, which I love, because then that means my brain space open for me not to have to to pay attention to any of that or ignore any of that. I can be focused on all of my projects and how I'm trying to to do things to better the world.

Sonny Von Cleveland:

Yeah well, cindy, I think you are the epitome of an independent, strong woman and what people should aspire to be, and I'm so Grateful that I got to hear all about this and I look forward to seeing the rest of what you do with this life, because I'm gonna tune in. I'm watching now. You're on my radar and I'm not gonna let that go and Plug anything that you want. Tell anybody where they can find you, how they can find you, before you Sign off with a little nugget of wisdom that I like to do.

Cindy Witteman:

Of course. So you can find me on all social medias. I'm just under my name, cindy Whitman. It's CINDY W I T T E M? A? N. If anybody wants to find out more about driving single parents, you want to apply, you want to donate? You just want to know more. Maybe you want to start something in your area like this? Yeah, you can email me at info at driving single parents org or just visit our website, driving single parents org.

Cindy Witteman:

If you want to know more about the TV show, you can go to little give calm. You can also find that on Phoenix TV, on Roku fire stick and Apple TV. You have to download the app and log in. Sorry about that in order to be able to watch the show, but it plays in over a hundred countries. It's a lot of fun. I highlight ordinary people doing extraordinary things to help others, uplifting our 30 minutes, depending on the week. You can check it out there little give calm. And if you want to know more about what I do for my all my businesses, you can go to CF views calm. That's C as in Cindy, f as in Frank. Views V, I, e, w s calm.

Sonny Von Cleveland:

I love it. And finally, as we wrap up this amazing little episode, what nuggets of wisdom would you drop on any of our listeners that are out there? What would you want them to take away?

Cindy Witteman:

I Would just say, if there's anybody out there who's experiencing self-sabotage, you feel like you can't Stop competing with everybody and start competing with the person you were yesterday. Every day, wake up and compete with you and you alone. The more that you sit there and you worry about what everybody else thinks, or what will my dad think, or my friend think, or what about this and what about that, and you start really tuning into what you want and trying to make yourself a better person every day, you will go so far, so much further than you will worrying about everything and everybody else. Take action, do what makes you happy, find the power in your purpose and you're gonna do wonderful things to help others.

Sonny Von Cleveland:

So very well said, cindy Whitman. Thank you so much for your time and sharing your story. I greatly appreciate you.

Cindy Witteman:

Thank you, I really appreciate you having me on. I love everything you're doing as well. I'm so grateful to know you and to keep following your story and listen to your amazing podcast.

Sonny Von Cleveland:

Thank you so much.

Driving Single Parents
Selection Process and Supporting Single Parents
Beekeeping, Blended Families, and Book Writing
Creating Global Impact and Overcoming Barriers
Wisdom and Self-Improvement for Success

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