‘It Takes a Mom’ interview series highlights our recent Mother of the Year® honorees by sharing their stories every week. These moms from across the country contribute to our collective voice as mothers. They show us how they harness their maternal energy and how it really does take a mom to do it all! Here’s our interview with Pamela Moses, 2021 Illinois Mother of the Year®.
What does it mean to you to be selected Mother of the Year® for your state?
It’s a great honor and a great thing for myself, my family, and the community. I’m very honored to represent both the state and my family.
What do you love most about being a mom?
I think just being there. Family has always been important. We have had a family reunion since my grandmother passed away back in 1975. My dad came from a large family of 13. We’ve always had family around, and that’s always been important. As I’ve gotten older, as well as my father, I’ve taken on more of that responsibility of getting the family together. So there’s always people around, there’s always family, and I’ve always instilled to my kids that no matter what, it’s family, and you have to figure out how to make it all work. Like they say, ‘you can’t control what other people do, but your blood is your blood.’
My father always said, ‘No matter what job you’re doing, you give it 100%. It doesn’t matter if you’re digging a ditch or building a bridge. Whatever it is, you have to do it. At no point can you ever be above any job in your own company. You have to be willing to do it all.’Pamela Moses, 2021 Illinois Mother of the Year®
My son’s best friend didn’t get along with his stepmother and said when he turned 18 he was going to move into our house. I said, ‘We’ll be your second home, but, first off, you need to go speak to your father. And your father’s going to need to call me. If you have permission from your father to move in with us, you can do that, but you’re not just going to bail because you don’t like the way things are.’ He moved in with us for about 15 months, then he went off to the Marines for four years, so I call him my second son. He’s now living with my son again, along with a couple of other buddies. They just remodeled the house a block behind my office. I’ve always tried to be a good influence to the kids and even young employees that need a good influence in their life. I try to be that when I can.
How would you encourage your children to not give up, to keep going, to keep trying?
At all times, you have to be positive and try to get them involved in things. My kids, at this point, are older. They’re both out of college, but some of their friends aren’t. You hear about depression, and you hear about people who are not thriving in their situation, and you just try to be positive or try to get them involved in things. My kids come to the food pantry to help me. They’ve learned from being around me that service and offering up that help is important.
What do you do for yourself to unwind and relax?
daughter works with me and the building that we’re in. We started remodeling about five years ago. She owns an escape room called Behind Locked Doors, so whenever she’s not working for me doing accounting for my companies, she can bop over next door to her business. She’s doing her own thing and I’m being supportive of that. My son’s actually in the building as well. He has a seed business. It’s surrounding yourself with people you love, right?
What is your company? What do you do?
I have a few of them. I have an export company, where we export ag commodities and C containers. The containers come over here with TVs, iPads, tennis shoes, and they go to Walmart or Home Depot, or wherever they unload them. Then we take those containers and put ag commodities in and we send them back to Asia. We’re feeding mostly the animals, but some of the soybeans do go to tempeh and tofu. I’ve also got a trucking company that supports it and a rental company, which is all the buildings that I own and rent.
One of our main things with American Mothers is the Golden Rule movement. It provides a platform for women who embody the selfless caring spirit of motherhood, and who are using that maternal energy to make the world a better place. How would you exemplify that Golden Rule in your everyday life?
The biggest thing is probably the food pantry that I’m involved in. My best friend and I are co-coordinators. We both have full-time jobs and we took over the food pantry back in 2017. At that point, we were taking care of 157 families in the community per month. Our last year’s numbers were 367, so we’re up a few 100 families a month, about 1100 people in a given month, so I’m down there as much as I can.
When I moved my office here to my hometown, I saved about 10 hours a week of commuting, so those extra hours are spent at the food pantry. We wouldn’t want to go home and watch TV. In fact, I haven’t watched TV in years. So instead, we go down there and we help. Even though we’re the co-coordinators, it’s a community food pantry and it takes a community to run it and lots of volunteers.
Everybody needs help somewhere along the line and God gave us a lot of different ways to do that. Whether it’s your hands, your heart, your mind, or monetary donations, there are all kinds of ways people can help, and I encourage people to do so. I’m not afraid to ask a lot of people to do a lot of things. I’m not afraid to ask others for help, and things always seem to spread from there.
My father always said, ‘No matter what job you’re doing, you give it 100%. It doesn’t matter if you’re digging a ditch or building a bridge. Whatever it is, you have to do it. At no point can you ever be above any job in your own company. You have to be willing to do it all.’
Pamela Moses was born and raised in Taylorville, Illinois, and returned home to raise her children after college and starting her career. Pam transitioned from being an employee to an entrepreneur in 2007. She is family-oriented and has supported her children, Tyler Ann Frump (25) and Brent Allen Frump (23), in their dreams of being business owners as well. When not at work, she can be found as the co-coordinator at the local Taylorville Food Pantry fighting food insecurity in the community. Pam is a lifelong member of the Community of Christ Church, the YMCA, and the FFA Alumni.