Giving Tuesday is a global day of giving. A day where everyone, everywhere can do something to support the good causes and communities that mean something to them. It is a day to celebrate and encourage giving in all its forms across the globe!
This year we built our #GivingTuesday campaign around the charity Made by Momma. Board members and directors of the Canadian charity, Made by Momma, have changed their lives to ensure no family has to face a crisis alone. We hope their ethos, goal and journey thus far inspires you to make a difference too.
Guest blog by Made for Momma Vice President, Joanna Low.
Why was the charity started?
10 years ago, a group of moms came together to show that women helping women is truly one of the best resources we have.
When one of the moms in the weekly mom and baby group fell very ill, the group members came together to help her through this challenging time. The mom had recently moved to the city and did not have any family or community support here. The women in her community group stepped in and helped care for her baby so the sick mom could rest. They played with her toddler, helped tidy her home and prepared nourishing meals. They became her village of support at a time when she needed it most. As she recovered and was able to return to the weekly mom and baby group outings, she inquired to what happens to other struggling moms who do not have this kind of support; who takes care of them? And so, the idea for Made by Momma was created.
How did you get Made by Momma off the ground?
Things began to progress organically, and people would connect friends or coworkers they knew were going through a challenging time. Situations were sometimes tragic like those who were facing the loss of a spouse, post-partum depression or a critical medical diagnosis, and sometimes they were glorious like the birth of multiple babies. However, one thing remained the same, the women were facing challenging times alone and they often had nowhere to turn for support. These are women who likely wouldn’t qualify for traditional social support services because they didn’t have a financial need, but they did have a need for critical support, community, and caring. Made by Momma was there to help them through with practical peer-to-peer support.
Things progressed rapidly, from helping a few people a week to helping hundreds, it became very apparent that processes needed to be formalized. Decisions had to be made in regard to the values and structure of the charity. Allyson Palaschuk, one of the founding members, made the commitment to further the charity by dedicating her time to running Made by Momma on a full-time, volunteer basis. A mother of four children herself, she knows first-hand the challenges that motherhood can bring, including her own journey through post-partum depression. Instead of returning to work after her fourth child, she now commits upwards of 60 hours a week to running the charity. The board of directors consists of professional women who volunteer their time and talent to help ensure that the volunteer-run and donation-driven charity operates professionally and effectively.
What would you like to achieve in the future?
Made by Momma helps mothers and young children facing situations of adversity and crisis by providing healthy meals, baby & children’s essentials, supportive in-home visitors and other services to allow struggling mothers the time they need to rest, recover and focus on their families and their health. We do this without any government or United Way funding and depend 100% on donations to provide the services. Support is provided at no cost to the families who are in need.
Made by Momma is currently helping over 7000 people each year, and the board of directors had to make a critical decision; either expand or start turning families away - and the latter was not something anyone was willing to consider.
Having just completed a large capital campaign to expand the Community Resource Centre, fundraising is at a crucial point.
Operating in a city that is facing challenging economic times, donations are at the lowest they have ever been, and yet the need for our services continues to increase exponentially. Made by Momma is looking for new and innovative ways to raise funds. Having been donation-driven for 10 years, Made by Momma is always looking for creative ways to generate revenue.
The upcoming year will feature a charity golf tournament in addition to their 10-year anniversary celebration. The best part is that as a volunteer-run charity with over 800 volunteers contributing over 20,000 volunteer hours annually, the funds raised all go directly into the programs helping families in the community so that no family has to face a crisis alone.
We hope you enjoyed learning about Made for Momma’s journey, if you’d like to learn more about the impact they’ve made, or would like to contribute to their truly incredible cause, please get in touch.