Becoming a parent is such a beautiful gift. I welcomed my first child into the world in May of 2011 and it has been such a wonderful experience. A friend and I started a mom group in our area a few months ago and we’re having a really fun time with it. I plan special guest demonstrations/speakers for baby-friendly activities and we celebrate holidays with special parties for our little ones. It has been a lot of fun and I would highly recommend joining a group for any moms who haven’t yet done so.
I feel so blessed to have my son and my supportive family and friends. It’s very heartbreaking to hear of people who are struggling with issues such as health, finances, and support. I hear stories of babies born with health concerns that require them to stay in NICU, children without enough food to eat, children without winter clothes to stay warm and parents who want only the best for their children but struggle to provide this without support. I started thinking about how I can help and how I can inspire others. I’ve heard the saying “strength in numbers” and I know I have a group of wonderful women in my moms group who would also like to help. I’ve started to think of ways that we can give back to our community through our group and our play dates. I hope this list inspires other moms to enlist the help of moms in their groups. No matter how big or small the gesture is, all support is appreciated by those in need.
Craft or Home Business Sales. Many stay-at-home moms have home businesses. Some sell a product as part of a franchise and some sell personalized items they create. Perhaps you have a few excellent cooks in your group who would like to do some baking or make-ahead meals to sell. Ask the moms in your group if anyone has a product for sale that she’d like to display for the other moms in your group. You can choose a day for the sale and have each mom contribute a small fee (for a charity of chosen by your group) for setting up a table at the sale. All of the moms could attend and browse through the various products. This is an excellent way to help moms advertise their products and a way to collect donations for a charity in your community. If you are looking for more space and want to open up the sale to family and friends of the moms group, check with a community centre in your area and ask if they’d be interested in donating a room for a few hours. Many community centres would be happy to help if they know the money collected is going to a good cause.
Donations & Raffle Tickets. Last Christmas, while planning our holiday party, I thought it might be a fun idea to raffle prizes for the moms. I contacted various companies around the city to let them know about our mom group and asked if they’d be willing to donate a prize. I let them know that all money raised would be going to a charity in our community. I was surprised by how quickly companies stepped forward to offer wonderful prizes such as spa gift certificates, spa gift bags, bakery certificates, movie passes and many other wonderful prizes. At our mom group holiday party, we sold tickets for $1 each and the moms could decide which prizes they wanted to enter to win. We had a lot of fun, plus we raised money to donate to a charity. If you didn’t want to collect money at the party, there are many other ideas for “selling” raffle tickets such as: each item brought for the food bank equals one ticket or each piece of used clothing brought as a donation equals one ticket. Many new moms receive formula samples in the mail and for moms who choose to breastfeed exclusively, this would be a wonderful donation to the food bank.
You don’t have to wait for a special holiday like Christmas to hold this type of party. Use your creativity for party ideas such as a pink tea party to raise money for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.
Sponsoring a Local Child. No one wants her child to get sick, especially not a life-threatening illness. Someone in your group may know of a child or family that could use some extra support. This could be something like preparing meals to deliver to the family, sending care packages to deliver to the child, or raising money to go towards something special for the child. You could work with an organization that specializes in fundraising efforts like this or maybe you want set this up on your own as a group. Perhaps you’d like to include other mom groups in your province and set a challenge for the most unique ways to raise money to fund a wish. Ideas could include a community garage sale, bake sale, BBQ, recipe book, steak night, mom’s night out, etc. If your mom group has a website or an online group, you could keep people updated with progress towards your goal. Together you can make a wish come true for a deserving child.
Blood Donations. Approximately every minute of every day, someone in Canada needs blood. You, or another mom in your group, may have a friend or family member who has needed blood or blood products for a medical treatment. You may want to donate but hesitate because of needing someone to watch your child while you do the donation. If there are other moms in your group that would like to donate blood, you can contact your local Canadian Blood Services office and ask to set up a group donation along with the use of a room for a play date. The moms in the group could take care of each other’s children while each person donated. To find out if you are eligible to donate blood, contact Canadian Blood Services.
As individuals and as a group, we can make a difference. There are many individuals and organizations that could benefit by the support of your moms group. I hope you feel inspired to bring your group together for a good cause. I’d love to hear your stories about how your mom group is giving back to your community.