Help Send Sierra’s Mother Back to College!

You’ve all probably noticed that I link to Sierra’s blog, The Phoenix and the Olive Branch, quite frequently. While I didn’t know her before entering the blogging world, Sierra is more than just a fellow blogger to me. She’s a friend. We’ve emailed back and forth, we’re facebook friends, and we’ve actually met in real life. And on top of that, our current career paths are about as similar as our backgrounds. Well, Sierra’s asking her readers for a helping hand, and I thought I’d bring her need to your attention too.

As Sierra has written, after years of embracing the lifestyle of Christian Patriarchy, her mother went back to college. A happy ending, right? Unfortunately not:

In the second-to-last semester of her online degree program, a crisis drove her off course. The financial aid office at her college informed her that the administrator who was handling her account had failed to submit her paperwork on time. Suddenly, three courses from graduation, she found herself unable to register for her final semester unless she could pay the $6000 bill for the dropped semester. Although she fought the decision (after all, it hadn’t been her mistake in the first place), the office refused to budge. Lacking the resources to hire an advocate or the energy to continue arguing, my mother eventually put on her soldier’s mask and brushed it all aside. She would focus on work. She would take care of my sick father. God would open another door eventually, in His time.

I watched this happening with helpless open hands. I had just started college myself. I was wracked with guilt already for leaving. I will fix this thing, I vowed to myself fiercely. If I do nothing else in this life, I will help my mother go back to school. I will win back what was stolen from her.

Well, Sierra has now set up a money raising project in an attempt to fulfill the vow she made those years ago. Her goal is to raise the money to pay her mother’s debt to the school so that she can return and take her last couple of classes and get her degree. I’d like to invite any of my readers who feels so moved to contribute to her money raising fund, which she has called the Happy Endings Project.  Thanks in advance!

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About Libby Anne

Libby Anne grew up in a large evangelical homeschool family highly involved in the Christian Right. College turned her world upside down, and she is today an atheist, a feminist, and a progressive. She blogs about leaving religion, her experience with the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, the detrimental effects of the "purity culture," the contradictions of conservative politics, and the importance of feminism.

  • Sierra

    Thank you so much for sharing, Libby Anne. Thank you also to anyone who clicked on my page or shared it. I am very hopeful and will have more news about it next week. In case anyone wonders why this hasn’t appeared on my own blog, it’s because my mother reads it. I am trying to keep this secret as long as possible. I want her to find out when she’s holding a re-admission letter. :)

  • sara


    I want to donate! Is there any way I can donate via Paypal? Thx.

    • Sierra

      Hi sara! Thank you so much – email me at and I’ll give you my paypal info. :)

  • Karen

    I sure hope that donation page is secure, because I just donated. Having just finished up my MS at age 52, I strongly encourage everyone who could benefit from it to go to college, finish up an unfinished degree, or pursue a better one. I figured I should put my money where my mouth is, especially if it’s a liberating act for a sister who’s been caught up in the CP/QF systematic woman-trashing.

    • Sierra

      Thank you very much, Karen, and congratulations on your degree! I am (and will continue) keeping everybody up to date on that page. My next task is to figure out how big a loan I can take to get this balance within reach. I’m in plenty of debt as it is from university, but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. And I am just as stubborn as my mama.