What is #Giving Tuesday?

What is #Giving Tuesday?

i Nov 22nd No Comments by

Giving-Tuesday-Logo-2017_date

So what the heck is #GivingTuesday anyways?

#GivingTuesday is a global giving movement that has been built by individuals, families, organizations, businesses and communities in all around the world. Millions of people have come together to support and champion the causes they believe in and the communities in which they live.

We have two days for getting deals – Black Friday and Cyber Monday. On #GivingTuesday, we have a day for giving back. Together, people are creating a new ritual for our annual calendar. #GivingTuesday is the opening day of the giving season: a reminder of the “reason for the season.”

Every act of generosity counts, and each means even more when we give together. #GivingTuesday includes people of all ethnicities, religions and backgrounds. Together, millions of people demonstrate our common capacity to give.

#GivingTuesday is a celebration of North America’s greatest traditions: generosity, entrepreneurialism, community. Everyone has something to give. You can give time or expertise, monetary donations large or small, simple acts of kindness, food or clothing.

2 ways you can contribute to Made by Momma on #GivingTuesday are:

  1. Give to our Capital Campaign to help add #1MoreStory to our Resource Centre.  This project is extremely close to our heart.  We have reached our capacity for operating our programs with the current space we have! http://madebymomma.org/1-more-story
  2. Donate 12 non-perishable food items to our 12 Cans Til Christmas Food Drive. To see what we need most visit the event page at: https://www.facebook.com/events/134207380562029

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your support, encouragement and contributions to our cause.  We are so grateful that you are a part of our village.

Annual 12 Cans ‘Til Christmas Challenge!

i Nov 7th No Comments by

12CANSTILCHRISTMAS 2017

Welcome to our Annual 12 Can Challenge! 

This is a simple grassroots effort to help others in our community when they need it the most.
The holidays are most often a time to enjoy and celebrate with friends and family – but for many others it can be a time of loneliness, sadness and stress. This year the need is incredibly high and we hope that we can rely on our community to help us meet the needs of those struggling.

The challenge is simple; collect 12 CANS for those that can’t! We know it takes a village and together we can make a difference to these families.

1. Every week between now and Christmas we challenge you to purchase and donate CANs for Made by Momma! When you shop for your groceries, purchase one or two extra items – it could be a CAN of food or something else that is non-perishable. (see the suggested list below) Collect one or two CANs each week for the next 12 weeks. It is simple to do and may cost as little as $1 – $2 per week.

2. When you have completed the challenge; drop your collection off to our community pantry at the Made by Momma Resource Centre in December where items will be packed into Christmas food hampers and/or used to prepare freezer meals for struggling families.

3. Invite as many of your friends to this event as you CAN! Get your neighbours and co-workers involved or make it a family project – it is never too early nor too late to teach your kids compassion & kindness!

4. SHARE this event! Social media can make miracles happen!

How many CANs CAN we collect? CAN we beat last year? We’ll keep track as CANs are donated and keep this page up to date! Feel free to post photos (or a selfie!) of the CANs you have collected to inspire everyone!

Top 10 most needed CANned goods at the Made by Momma Resource Centre:
Soup Stock (chicken, beef, vegetable)
Coconut Milk
Tomatoes
Tomato Sauce
Tomato Paste
Pasta Sauce
Beans (chick peas, black beans, kidney beans)
Tuna/Salmon/Chicken
Canned Fruit (peaches, pineapple)
Vegetables (corn, peas)
Cream Soups

Other non-perishable pantry items needed:
Pasta
Rice
Nuts
Dried Fruit
Bags of lentils & dried beans
Oatmeal
Spices
Peanut Butter
Juice
Cereal
Gluten-Free items are always needed.

These additional items are also needed for families in crisis:
Baby Diapers
Baby Wipes
Baby Food
Feminine Hygiene Products
Personal Care Items/Toiletries
Toilet Paper
Paper Towels
Christmas Gifts for our Adopt-a-Momma Program, Santa’s Workshop and/or The Happy Birthday Project.

Not able to shop? Don’t live in Calgary? Still want to get involved?
You can make a charitable donation directly to this program through our CanadaHelps account here:
https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/made-by-momma

Please join our 12 CAN Challenge – it’s simple and easy to do; we have so many families that will greatly appreciate every donation. Remember, together we CAN make a difference!
Let’s change someone’s life – right here; right now!

#12CANs4MBM #MBM12CANS #12CANsTillChristmas

Running from beginning of  October – December 23rd 2017

Chabby House Supports Made by Momma

i Oct 19th No Comments by

Chabby House 2017

Jeepers Creepers! If you’re looking for something haunting to do this Halloween, please head over to “Chabby House” and have a tour of an over 100 year old abandoned house that is shrouded with mystery due to a real life cold case investigation! Chabby House is located at 153 Bridlecrest Manor S.W. Calgary, Alberta.

Made by Momma is so thankful be their charity of choice this year!  Instead of charging an admission cost, Chabby House is collecting donations of most wanted items that we need to help the families using Made by Momma.  If you’d like to go on a haunt and visit the homestead of Lavinia Chabassol, the woman who mysteriously disappeared after a physical altercation in her own home (a.k.a Chabby House), we request that you bring any of the following:

Diapers (any size, open packages are ok as long as they are closed in a bag)
Wipes (unopened)
Formula
Mom and Baby Hygiene (Soap, Body Wash, Shampoos and Conditioners)
Non-Perishable food items for our #12CansTilChristmas food drive.

To learn more about Chabby House please visit their website or Facebook page!

http://chabbyhalloween.blogspot.ca

https://www.facebook.com/ChabbyHouse/

Wishing you a creepy time as you wander through Chabby House, knowing you are supporting mothers and their young children as they face a situation of crisis in their lives.

8th Annual Dueling Pianos Charity FUNdraiser

i Sep 28th No Comments by

It is that time of year again!

Back to school frenzy, a slight chill in the air and a heavy dose of pumpkin spice everywhere you turn.  That can only mean one thing….Made by Momma’s 8th Annual Dueling Pianos Charity FUNdraiser is just around the corner!  Taking place on Thursday, November 9th 2017 at 6:30pm at Aussie Rules Foodhouse and Bar.

If you have never attended this event, you don’t know what you are missing.  The fundraiser features two live singers playing their pianos and dueling it out on who can play any randomly requested song (by the audience) best.  These musicians are incredibly talented and will get you singing and dancing.   They take live requests and will follow through with any genre of music right on the spot.

There are balloon pop raffles with generous prizes, a wine raffle with guaranteed delicious wine and bubbles, a WestJet Raffle for a free trip to anywhere in the world, dozens of silent auction items and of course dinner and a bar.  The best part of this whole night?  The fact that people come together to donate their time and money for the many families we help, who are experiencing a crisis in their lives.   We are ever so grateful for the support.

Find out more on this Event Page or on the Facebook Event Page.

BUY TICKETS HERE.

Hope to see you there!

Thankful For Receiving A CREB Investing In Hope Grant

i Sep 27th No Comments by

IMG_8444
Made by Momma was honoured and ecstatic to be among the top 3 charities chosen by the CREB Charitable Foundation to receive an Investing in Hope grant. It was an extremely tough competition this year with an extensive application and vetting process. Made by Momma was among major inspiration and really felt like “the new kid on the block” making the top 3 with established charities Inn From the Cold and Kids Cancer Care Foundation of Alberta. What a feat for us at only 7 years old!! We came in third and were awarded a grant of $75,000!!! This money goes directly to supporting our clients to help with food security and baby essentials.

Investing in HOPE provides one-time grants to shelter and community-related non-profit organizations in Calgary and its surrounding area. In conjunction with monetary donations from the program, the foundation’s philanthropy is also measured in volunteer hours from CREB® Realtor members.

Made by Momma is so thankful to donors, sponsors, and Realtor members who made this possible for us and gave us their votes throughout the process. Also, a special thank you to Realtors Linda Crnkovic and Dan Stante for nominating and supporting us!!

Our 2016 Annual Report!

i Sep 26th No Comments by

Thank you to everyone who helped make 2016 an amazing year!

2016 was another incredibly busy year for our Made by Momma team! We experienced growth in many ways.  We helped over 300 more families in 2016 than the previous year, our NICU Family Meals program has become fully integrated into the PLC and SHC hospital’s Neonatal and Intensive Care Units and The Happy Birthday Project hit the ground running, providing over 1000 birthday party packages to kids who would otherwise go without a celebration.  We also had plenty of opportunities for community engagement and sharing our message.

We would like to take this opportunity to share this message with you through our 2016 MBM Annual Report which summarizes the year we had.  The statistics presented in this report are incredible and show all the details regarding how we assist a family in Calgary during their time of crisis and adversity.

On behalf of our Made by Momma Board of Directors, we would like to thank all of our fantastic supporters and our amazing volunteers who rose to the challenges we were presented. We know it take a village to make a difference and we are so grateful that you are a part of our village.

If you’re interested in learning more or getting involved with Made by Momma please check out our Volunteering page for additional information.

Celebrating Canada 150 With a Block Party!

i Jun 18th No Comments by

ND 2017

What a day to celebrate being a Calgarian by getting to know our neighbours and supporters!

The event began with set up bright and early at 8am! Putting up tents and displaying the bake sale items.  Setting up tables and chairs and tidying around the Resource Centre so that our neighbours and friends could come in and have a look at our brand new kitchen.

Then, the DJ set up his station and once the ponies and Butterfield Acre’s petting zoo arrived we knew the party was going to be a hit!   The children enjoyed every moment.

Avatara Pizza served up hot and delicious pizzas for everyone with their food truck leaving smiles on everyone’s faces as they filled their bellies and partied on the block with their families.  The weather didn’t disappoint and the sun shined down making it a beautiful day for getting to know our neighbours and for our neighbours to get to know what we do here a Made by Momma.  The party continued with a palm reader, face painters, and henna tattoo artists as well as crafts and lots of delicious baked goodies for sale for a great cause: helping mums with small children who are experiencing a crisis in their lives.

Our sincerest thanks to the volunteers and the funding that made our party such a huge success.  Our Neighbour Day Block Party 2017 was made possible by the Community Fund for Canada’s 150th, a collaboration between Calgary Foundation, the Government of Canada, and extraordinary leaders from coast to coast to coast.

 

It’s National Volunteer Week from April 23 – 29th 2017

i Apr 23rd No Comments by

National Volunteer Week April 23-29, 2017

THANK YOU TO OUR VOLUNTEERS!

Made by Momma would like to showcase some of our stellar volunteers who have committed themselves to the cause of creating a village for families in Calgary who are experiencing a period of crisis or adversity in their lives.  Whether’s it’s sorting through donations and inventory, gardening, data entry, bagging Cobs bread on a weekly basis, cooking wholesome and nourishing meals, or providing nurturing care to the families we support, these volunteers are the kind and loving people that make Made by Momma run efficiently!

 CASSANDRA AND ERNIE L.

“My dad and me both love volunteering for Made by Momma and couldn’t imagine working with better people.” Cassandra and Ernie L.

Cassandra and Ernie are a father daughter team that has shown immense dedication to volunteering with Made by Momma. Cassandra works as an office manager in a physiotherapist office during the day and Ernie works in sales. In their free time, other than Made by Momma, Cassandra loves scrapbooking and seeing movies and Ernie loves to read. They heard about Made by Momma from another MBM volunteer and decided to give it a try. Cassandra and Ernie have been volunteering for Made by Momma for over 2 years now. They have been dedicated volunteers of the weekly Cobs bread bagging crew and have shown up consistently almost every week since they began volunteering with us, “we both enjoy the bread bagging cause it is really a weekly social with other volunteers,” says Cassandra.   She and Ernie like volunteering for Made by Momma because they feel like it has such a positive impact on the community and the other volunteers are almost like part of their family. “We love the other volunteers we have met volunteering and couldn’t feel more blessed to have so many lovely people to work with.   Our friendship with some of the volunteers now has spilled over into our personal life,” says Cassandra.

When they aren’t bagging Cobs bread on Tuesday evenings, they are helping to sort clothing donations and bake cookies for Katie Fisher Day. They hope that volunteering with Made by Momma will continue to allow them to make new friends as well as give back to their community, “…because of non-profits like this, people that fall through the system have somewhere to go” says Cassandra.

In the future they would like to help with a fundraising event for Made by Momma, “My dad and me both love volunteering for Made by Momma and couldn’t imagine working with better people” says Cassandra. Ernie clearly remembers an especially touching moment that happened to him this year, “I helped a gentlemen out to his vehicle with a hamper and got a thank you hug.”

Made by Momma sends you both great big hugs, Cassandra and Ernie. We sincerely appreciate all that you do for us and applaud your dedication and friendly positive energy at Made by Momma. We value your contribution and are so grateful for your support.

SANDRA P.

“…I spent a lot of my childhood overseas moving around with my family and know how hard it is to feel supported away from home.   Being in a position to pay it forward now as an adult and be a small part of the support network for other people who are looking for a friendly face in a new environment is a great feeling.” Sandra P.

Sandra began volunteering with Made by Momma about one and a half years ago. She heard about us through a friend who had participated in a group cook with us and our organization really peaked her interest because it was geared towards cooking, baking and supporting families in crisis. In her own words, here is a little bit about our stellar volunteer Sandra P. and her contribution to Made by Momma:

I was initially drawn in because I love to bake, and in the future, I would love to participate in a group cook or do some in house baking for the group. I have brought cookies in for meals from home before though, helping me and helping others! I also responded to the message of helping others who might not have the family support as they go through changes or hardships in life, I spent a lot of my childhood overseas moving around with my family and know how hard it is to feel supported away from home. I have tried my hand at home visits, which was great as I love children, but my main focus is the meal packing. I started as a regular volunteer and have since started leading the sessions. It’s wonderful to spend a couple hours gathering amazing prepared food for a dozen families for the upcoming week. Being in a position to pay it forward now as an adult and be a small part of the support network for other people who are looking for a friendly face in a new environment is a great feeling.

MBM does so much! I didn’t realize the size of the organization and how much work goes into all the organizing, sorting, ordering etc. to make sure we are sending out the best products we can, to as many families as we can help. The most fantastic part of it all is that we are still 100% volunteer based! To accomplish so much through 100% community heart and spirit is a constant inspiration.

There are so many great things about MBM, one of the best is the people that are drawn to it. All the volunteers are amazing friendly kind people who I am always happy to spend an evening or a weekend with.

Living in Calgary it is a great opportunity to give back to your community; MBM started here in Calgary and has grown as an organization because of the local people who want to make a difference in someone’s life. You can be as involved as you want from a casual volunteer to a regular who cooks 100’s of servings of food a week. There is something for everyone.

MBM is there for people who are spending their time looking after others, their children. The old proverb “it takes a village to raise a child” is true, and to be able to offer the support needed to parents and families when they are in need is the most valuable contribution you can make. Whether a parent needs rest, support, help with the food or baby supplies we at MBM are here to help out in any way we can. Giving the parents and the children the best opportunity to be healthy, happy, and feel at home wherever they are, whatever the situation is.

I feel so lucky to have found this group, and to have this opportunity to help make people’s lives a little bit easier, a little bit better. The women and men who volunteer with MBM have open minds, bright hearts, and smiling faces and getting to hang out with them for a few hours a week is always something I look forward to.

We feel lucky to have found you Sandra! Thank you for your contribution and your commitment to helping create a village for families in Calgary who are facing a tough time. We sincerely appreciate everything you do!

CANDIS S.

“I feel that people should consider made by momma as an organization to volunteer with because there is something for everyone either on a regular basis or intermittent.” Candis S.  

Candis is a regular Wednesday morning volunteer. She enjoys cooking meals in the kitchen at the resource centre as well as managing the pick up of hampers by families all at the same time. One of Candis’ many strengths is that she can whip up meals from anything we have available at any given moment. She has a simple request – thaw some meat for her and she will be in to create some something special out of whatever ingredients we have that day. Candis describes her time with us in her own words:

I first heard about Made by Momma in the Calgary Herald when they were part of the Christmas fund over 4 years ago.  The story tugged at my heart for a variety of reasons.  I have experienced many of the situations that our families have; bedrest with a toddler at home, baby in the nicu, sick child in hospital.  I was fortunate enough to have family and friends for help but can appreciate that help is not there for everyone.  Also, my child who became a middle schooler no longer liked me volunteering in his school.

I was looking for a volunteer experience after retiring as a Psychologist that allowed flexibility in hours.  I love cooking and baking and the first kitchen at the resource centre was just getting finished. I remember cooking some first meals with barely a wooden spoon and a pot.  I brought in my own for a while.  My favourite area is the kitchen and cooking with whatever is available.  It’s always a mystery basket when I arrive in the morning.  I suggested that I could become the Wednesday morning gal and be available for pickups and deliveries while cooking at the same time.  I have been involved as a meals coordinator, have assisted with corporate group cooks and with volunteer chop squads.  I also did food pickups from food link for awhile.

I am amazed with how the program has grown and the number of families we help on a weekly basis.  I like the fact that we volunteers are flexible enough to respond quickly either for the short term or long term in special situations.

I feel that people should consider made by momma as an organization to volunteer with because there is something for everyone either on a regular basis or intermittent.  If you like to cook or bake there is a place, if you like to organize there is a role for you, if you like small children you can help out a mom, if you tweet, plan or can fundraise I raise my hat to you as well.  We fill a place in the community for everyday people who are undergoing a crisis of some sort without all the bureaucracy.

Candis, we sincerely thank you for volunteering with us and doing all that you do. The hundreds of meals you have made for Made by Momma have supported many families and you should feel proud of your contribution.

CINDY R. / JEAN S. / KATHY K. A.K.A “THE MONDAY CREW”

CINDY R.

“…very little goes a long way to brightening up someone’s day.” Cindy R.

Cindy has been volunteering with Made by Momma for over 3 years. She has helped with home support, cooking, and is currently involved with inventory sorting/organization. “I am most comfortable with the inventory,” says Cindy,  “I did enjoy the home support but didn’t feel emotionally strong enough to carry on with that.  I became too attached to those sweet babies!”

Initially she was looking for a charity that focused on children to donate to from a fund that her and her husband had set up. She mentioned Made by Momma to her own children and they surprised Cindy and her husband with a group cook session with all of their friends for their wedding anniversary. Cindy says, “Everyone I met from MBM through that experience was so great!  As an empty nester I thought it may be a good fit for me to help with children.   I decided to look into how I could help out in a more hands on way.”

When Cindy first started, she was drawn to our mission statement. Cinday says, “…there is no other agency in Calgary that does not require a certain income level and/or a referral from any other social agency, and everything is provided free of charge, MBM fills an important niche for those who fall through the cracks.  It helps those who have a temporary need and provides that support that so many others get through extended family or friends.”
Cindy soon realized that her efforts however big or small were making a big difference in the families lives that Made by Momma was helping, “There are many more needy families in crisis in Calgary then I would have guessed.  Also, that very little goes a long way to brightening up someone’s day,” says Cindy.

Now, over three years later, Cindy is one of our rocking “Monday Crew” inventory sorters. She looks forward to seeing the Made by Momma resource centre grow and become all that it needs to be in order for the organization to be effective and efficient.

JEAN S.

“Any help keeping children & families, safe, warm, fed & having hope deserves to progress.” Jean S.

Jean is a retired nurse of forty-three years. She moved to Calgary two years ago to be closer to her family, but she is originally from Scotland. Jean used to live and volunteer in Niagara on the Lake and wished to find something similar here in Calgary. Her daughter in law had heard of Made by Momma through doing a corporate group baking night. Jean happens to live in the area and thought it was bonus that she didn’t have to drive to resource centre in order to volunteer, “Driving is still an adventure,” says Jean.

One afternoon, she dropped in and met Cindy who was sorting donations. “The rest is history,” says Jean. In only six months Jean has participated in our Christmas programs as well as two share tables. She has become a regular member of “The Monday Crew” sorting through donations in order to keep inventory tidy and organized. Jean believes that, “Any help keeping children & families, safe, warm, fed & having hope deserves to progress.”

KATHIE K.

 “The mothers need support to help them be successful in life and have happy children.” Kathie K.

Kathie is a regular member of “The Monday Crew.” She started about 1 year ago after she heard about Made by Momma on a volunteering in Calgary website. She originally planned to do data entry but found herself sorting inventory on Mondays with Cindy and Jean as well as helping with Share Tables. “Cindy and Jean.  They are awesome women,” says Kathie. She was drawn to Made by Momma because of the type of help that we needed – so many different things to do like data entry and inventory sorting…She would love to get to know more volunteers. Since her time with Made by Momma, Kathie has realized that there are a lot of women and children in need. Kathie says, “The mothers need support to help them be successful in life and have happy children.”

To “The Monday Crew” we know how crazy it can be to sort through mounds and piles of donations and inventory.  As soon as an item comes in, it gets processed and goes out to a women or child in need – all because of your kind commitment to sorting!  We thank you for helping Made by Momma stay organized and we sincerely appreciate all of your hard work!

BRENDA P.

“It is fun creating meals out of donated items and the people picking up are always so grateful and thankful for the work done by MBM.” Brenda P.

I am a semi-retired accountant, married with 2 adult daughters.  After downsizing and having grown up children, I needed something productive to occupy my  time.  I found MBM through Meet-up. I started volunteering with MBM in January of 2016.

I was a busy active volunteer in my children’s activities, mostly school and sports. I had a void to fill once they were adults. I chose MBM because I was impressed with the programs they offered, the different volunteering options, and the flexibility it gives to the volunteers.

I love the people who volunteer at MBM and how I feel like a part of the organization.  It is very therapeutic to me to volunteer for such an incredible organization.

When I joined, there were so many different areas to choose from. At first I wanted to try several areas to see what I liked doing best.  I tried a home visit, donation sorting, pulling inventory and packing hampers, casino, gardening, and group cooks.  I volunteered to take care of the flowerbeds last summer and in the fall I became a regular cook on Thursdays and helped out with the client pick-ups while I am at the Resource Centre.  It is fun creating meals out of donated items and the people picking up are always so grateful and thankful for the work done by MBM.

In my short time at MBM, I have seen the growth in demand for assistance.  I feel that MBM provides an important service to those in need.  I hope that MBM can sustain the growth and continue to help so many mommas and their families.

It is incredible the amount of work it takes to run this organization and it is 100% volunteer based.  There is a place for anyone who wants to volunteer.

It is an incredible organization that helps out so many families.  Whatever your passion, there is an opportunity for everyone.

There are so many facets in this organization.  In my opinion:  Firstly, it helps so many families.  Second, it welcomes volunteers to give whatever they can contribute.  Finally, it provides an opportunity to recycle and reuse a tremendous amount of products, which helps the environment as well as families.

I am thankful and grateful that I found MBM and they welcomed me into their organization. MBM provided me with a very positive experience.

Dear Brenda, we are so grateful to have found you! Thank you for your contribution and all that you do for the mums and their kids who are experiencing a crisis in their lives. Your efforts help them move forward again.  We appreciate all of the support you have given us.

SHELAGH B.

“I’m just really happy I’m finally at a place in my life where I can do what I can to help.” Shelagh B.

Shelagh heard about Made by Momma about three or four years ago from the 12 Cans to Christmas program. She has been regularly volunteering since October 2016. “It was an organization that I thought was really needed and I’ve always gravitated to programs for new momma’s,” says Shelagh. Made by Momma was a natural fit because she used to work with the prenatal program at CUPS, before becoming a full time momma. “I love that it is an entirely volunteer run organization and I love that I feel like I’m doing something that is truly needed,” says Shelagh.

Shelagh has participated in a myriad of activities with MBM. She leads the pulling and packing of clothes, diapers, wipes, baby gear but she also does COBS pick ups, client deliveries and sometimes helps with the putting away/organizing and the Casino fundraisers. Shelagh says, “I really enjoy all of them but I think my fav is the pulling and packing…I enjoy the organization of it lol!” In the future she would like to try her hand at meal packing and preparing.

She has enjoyed witnessing the recent renovation of the Resource Centre, “I just LOVE the new kitchen!” she says and she is proud that we help as many families as we can.

Her time with Made by Momma has taught her that there are many dedicated women who share the inspiration of helping other women no matter the circumstances. “It is an amazing organization that has a huge number of needs and a variety of tasks for people to take on…whether you only have an hour or two a month you can spare or whole days at a time,” says Shelagh.

It’s clear that Shelagh is a passionate and dedicated volunteer. She believes in the mandate of MBM and appreciates that MBM’s services aren’t solely based on a financial need, “If you are a momma and you need some help we are here for you. I’m just really happy I’m finally at a place in my life where I can do what I can to help.”

Shelagh, we’re happy you are with us, helping us with all that you do.  Your dedication to lead the inventory packing on top of other tasks is greatly appreciated.  Thank you for your dedication and your commitment to creating a village for those families who don’t have one.

LAURIE W.

“…now that I’m preparing birthday bags for The Happy Birthday Project, it’s like shopping from all the donations, and I get to be a party planner every week.” Laurie W.

I read about Made by Momma in 2013 when it was featured in the “Neighbours” section of the Calgary Herald with the agencies being supported by the Christmas Fund.  It resonated with me because a week after my daughter was born in 2003, I was ill with a mystery that led to days of hospital tests followed by a week in the hospital.  A neighbour helped out with our newborn while I had to keep going back for more tests, and then my mom was able to come to Calgary to help out while I was hospitalized, but my circle of support was small and I couldn’t imagine what it would have been like if I didn’t have that.

After I read about Made by Momma, it was on my to-do list to volunteer, but I didn’t actually start until fall of 2014. It was the support I could have needed if my situation had been a little bit different, plus I love helping and cooking.

Everyone is so appreciative of the help they receive. I started as the “Thursday resource centre person,” and I did chop squads, volunteered at the Fall Fundraisers and at Gallery Calorie.

Currently, I’m preparing birthday bags for The Happy Birthday Project, it’s like shopping from all the donations, and I get to be a party planner every week.  I love coordinating the tableware, choosing gifts that match the child’s interests and wishes and making special loot bags

In a time where there is so much negativity, This makes you realize how much good there is in our community.  I like to believe that because social workers and shelters refer the families that get birthday bag, that they truly need the help to have a special day.  I’m happy to make that day happen.  It’s very fulfilling. I am amazed by the generosity of individual donors, and community organizations.  I have lots of time to give, but others have given the items that are so needed to make this program work.

Laurie, Thank you for your incredible dedication to The Happy Birthday Project.  You take great care in providing the perfect birthday bags that will bring joy to the kids and their families on their special day.  We sincerely appreciate your commitment to Made by Momma!

LINDSAY & ROB

“The volunteers are passionate and MBM reaches families from vast backgrounds, demographics, and circumstances. They find a way to help anyone who reaches out.” Lindsay & Rob

 Lindsay and Rob are married with an infant baby. Lindsay learned about Made by Momma on Facebook after looking for somewhere to volunteer with about a cause that she is passionate about. “After having a child I appreciate the ups and downs that occur under normal situations let alone under difficult situations. It’s hands on with families by providing meals, baby gear, home support and I have always enjoyed preparing healthy meals for friends who’ve recently had babies or are ill and can now do so on a bigger scale,” says Lindsay.

So after attending an info meeting, Lindsay began volunteering in November 2016. She often brought her husband along and would carry her baby girl on her body as she did her work at the Resource Centre, “we get to help out and be together,” says Lindsay. Volunteering at MBM has become the highlight of their family’s week. “We get there every week even for just an hour or two. It’s a bright and loving environment and it helps families who may not receive help otherwise,” says Lindsay. “I always look forward to volunteering and feel good when I leave.”

Lindsay and Rob have worked on the Christmas Programs, Adopt-a-Momma, meal packing, meal making, hampers, item sorting, and most recently hosting group cooks! “I really love the meal aspect because as a nutrition coach, providing healthy homemade food can make the world of a difference for families,” says Lindsay.

Volunteering with MBM has provided Lindsay and Rob with an outlet to give back and feel gratitude for their own lives. Lindsay says that she has learned, “how grateful I am for my own support system and how much I value giving back and being able to share that with my daughter.”

In the future, Lindsay and Rob would like to volunteer with home support and meet and talk with some of the families that MBM reaches.

What they love about MBM is that the volunteers are a community and support system for those in crisis. Lindsay says, “MBM doesn’t turn people away and is there to support families during some of the most difficult times. As a volunteer there are many options depending on what you enjoy doing and for my family it’s time we get to spend together.”
In some final words, Lindsay and Rob share these thoughts, “Day in and out there are volunteers at the resource centre, doing deliveries, or home support to see that every family has what it needs. The volunteers are passionate and MBM reaches families from vast backgrounds, demographics, and circumstances. They find a way to help anyone who reaches out.  We love this organization and look forward to growing my part in it.”

Thank you Lindsay and Rob and your baby girl too!  You demonstrate how easy it is to make giving back to the community a family affair!  Thank you for your commitment to Made by Momma and offering your diverse range of interests and skills that helps us in many different ways.  


ROCHELLE L.

“When I saw the posting looking for a baker, I thought it would be an excellent opportunity to put these skills to good use and provide baked goods to those in need.  You’ve got to bake the world a better place!” Rochelle L.

Rochelle is a Geologist at Cenovus Energy who is passionate about helping out within her community. Her hobbies include: baking, fossil hunting, backpacking and drumming. One day she came across Made by Momma on the propellus website while looking for a volunteer opportunity. She saw an ad for a baker needed at Made by Momma and was instantly hooked, she knew right away that it was going to be an excellent way for her to get involved. “My mother taught me how to bake at age 5 and have been doing it as a hobby ever since.  When I saw the posting looking for a baker, I thought it would be an excellent opportunity to put these skills to good use and provide baked goods to those in need.  You’ve got to bake the world a better place!” Says Rochelle.
Rochelle has been volunteering with Made by Momma for over three years now, “I love the vibe.  Whenever you enter the Made by Momma building, everyone is so friendly.  It truly is like a family,” she says. Along the way, she has learned quite a few things such as sorting baby goods, she credits the other volunteers around her for teaching her many things as well.

Rochelle has offered her volunteer time in so many ways, baking goods for families and for Katie Fisher Day, delivering baked goods, making thank you cards and birthday, Louise Dean share table set up, the Fall Fundraiser, manning the MBM booth at the Timeraiser event, packing hampers, sorting inventory, labeling donations, and finally shopping and picking up donations for The Happy Birthday Project. From all of those amazing tasks that Rochelle has done, her favorite one is when she celebrated her recent 25th birthday and brought in a group of friends to bake, “It was such a fun experience to have everyone come together for an important cause and to see them smile as they wrote encouraging notes on all the bags of cookies,” says Rochelle.

In the future, Rochelle is excited to be more involved with The Happy Birthday Project by baking cupcakes for the shelter birthday parties, “I helped make a birthday bag with a friend before MBM took it over and I thought it was such an incredible way to provide families with all of the birthday essentials to put a smile on a child’s face.  We have already expanded with more shelters and families, so I can’t wait to be a part of this project going forward,” she says.

Rochelle provided some final words about Made by Momma: “MBM is always looking for extra hands.  Volunteering at MBM is excellent because you are guaranteed to be busy!  Furthermore, there are so many different tasks that will build on different skill sets.  Whether you are passionate about cooking, baking, sorting, delivering meals, homecare, card making…there are endless opportunities to lend a hand.  It is the perfect place to meet new people, as everyone is very friendly and cares so much! MBM is fully volunteer run and provides meals, home support and baby supplies for families; they are the support system that isn’t always available during times of adversity and crisis.  MBM also provides birthday supplies and gifts for children in shelters, or for families faced with adverse circumstances, allowing these children to feel extra special and celebrated on their birthday.

I am very thankful to have the opportunity to volunteer with an organization that is making a huge impact every single day!  Made by Momma is a cause that I hold dear to my heart and cannot wait for what is to come…”

Rochelle, we are grateful for your endless contributions and your sincere enthusiasm for helping Calgary families facing crisis. We appreciate all of your dedication and your heartfelt support. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

DAWN M.

“If it takes a village to raise a child, how much better are we when we consider our community to be our family, and we offer support where and when we can?” Dawn M.

When I started volunteering with Made by Momma just over a year ago, it was with the intention of helping moms with small children who were in need of support, nourishment, or resources. Little did I know how much I would gain from my experience.

Made by Momma’s mission is: to provide wholesome nourishment and nurturing care for mothers and young children facing situations of adversity and crisis.

Made by Momma connects mommas in need of rest, recovery and support with prepared meals, wholesome baked goods, baby essentials, children’s items, and supportive visitors. Services are offered to mothers of young children affected by short-term or life –changing illness, injury or adversity.

The resource centre is located just down the road from the Calgary office in Kensington. It is equipped with a commercial kitchen where teams of volunteers, including corporate team building groups, prepare a wide variety of meals for freezing, then dispersal to mommas in their homes, or to the neo-natal intensive care units at the Peter Lougheed and South Calgary hospitals. We also have a space across the street with an extremely organized home for clothes, essential baby items, and equipment. There is another group of volunteers who will visit with mommas in crisis in a supporting capacity.

My own small role is to deliver those meals and essential items. Once a week I head to the Resource Centre to pick up deliveries for two to four families I’ll be assisting that week. On any given week, MBM delivers to a dozen or more families. I make my deliveries at the end of the day, on my way home from work.

I’ve made deliveries to mommas with newborn triplets (some with health issues), mommas with sick babies, mommas with newborns and partners with health issues, mommas escaping abuse, and mommas in immediate financial crisis. Each time I am humbled by how appreciative, grateful and polite our mommas are. They are happy to pay it forward when they have the chance and indeed many of Made by Momma’s core base of volunteers are mommas we once helped out.

Working with Made by Momma also gives me a strong sense of perspective and a deep gratitude for the blessings in my life. Many of these mommas do not have the resources or family support I take for granted. If it takes a village to raise a child, how much better are we when we consider our community to be our family, and we offer support where and when we can?

I am so humbled to be a part of Made by Momma and I plan to organize a corporate group cook with my work family to join me, for a day in the kitchen, preparing meals for my Made by Momma families. It’s a small thing for us, it’s an incredibly big thing for them.

Dawn, thank you for your dedication to making sure our meals get to the families that need them. Your compassion shows and your commitment to advocating for our cause is sincerely appreciated!

 

Neighbour Day 2016

i Jun 22nd No Comments by

Neighbour Day Block Party 2016

The Made by Momma Neighbour Day Block Party took place on Saturday, June 18th 2016 from 11:30am to 1:30pm at our resource centre in West Hillhurst.

From the moment we began planning our Neighbour Day celebration at the Made by Momma Resource Centre in West Hillhurst, there was a lot of excitement about sharing our mission with everyone around us.  Many of our neighbours had seen our resource centre, but didn’t know exactly what we were all about.  We wanted to take this opportunity to share our space with our neighbours and get better acquainted.  Each of the board members involved with the planning came to the table with big hearts and big ideas!  We had volunteers working on graphic design projects (Special thanks to Rand Al-Hashmy), a Pinterest worthy delicious bake sale, planning crafts, fun games and activities, calling and securing vendors, partnering with a food truck, walking door to door to post our invite, managing social media and of course the ordeal of getting a city permit for our very neighbourly Neighbour Day block party – check out the link at the bottom of this post for a Calgary Herald article about that…

Slight permit woes were not going to stop us from having our big ideas come to fruition.  It was a busy 2 months of planning, and we are so thrilled with how the day turned out. So much so that we think we might need to make it last more than just 2 hours next year!  We had smiling kids with their beautifully painted faces, pony rides galore, bouncy houses bouncing away and a bake sale to die for!  The Avatara Food Truck served up delicious pizza to the crowd and a talented DJ spun some super happy pop music to keep us all tapping our toes!

We were so happy to meet our neighbours and invite them in to see what we are all about.  We took this opportunity to also launch two new initiatives: A Little Free Library where anyone can come by and take a book from a huge array of genres that we have sourced, and The Happy Birthday Project which enables families, facing a time of serious adversity in their life, to provide their child(ren) with a special birthday party package.

Thanks to our generous neighbours and volunteers, we raised over $750.00 in our bake sale and cookbook sale, received baby care donations including; 1000 wipes, 736 diapers, 19 baby hygiene items, 6 cans of formula as well as some personal hygiene products.

Check out some pics below!  Hope to see you again next year!

With our sincerest thanks,

The Made by Momma team.

Link to Calgary Herald Article: http://calgaryherald.com/news/local-news/charity-upset-with-750-fee-for-neighbour-day-block-party-event

Scotiabank Calgary Marathon 2016

i May 29th No Comments by

While we didn’t have a grown up team of runners this year, we had these little guys run the kids 1km fun run!  Boy did they have fun!

In addition to the strong effort the little runners put forth, Made by Momma volunteers got up bright and early to man the water stations and help hydrate the long distance runners – and was it ever a bright day with the sun shining and a cool breeze blowing!

Thanks for all of your hard work and dedication guys!  It’s not easy getting up at the crack of dawn – but when you are inspired by the work you do and those strong and healthy runners…how can you not jump into action?  Of course – it’s always for a great cause too!

Here’s looking forward to Team Made by Momma 2017 – runners, walkers, water station volunteers, and cheerleaders!  Join us!

CM 2016 Kids Run Team Made by Momma water station 2016

 

How to Help Fort McMurray Displaced Mommas

i May 8th 1 Comment by

Donations Needed!

without WC

 

URGENT needs for Fort McMurray/Area displaced families:

  • Diapers – ALL sizes
  • Baby Wipes – (new/unopened)
  • Formula – (new/unopened/not expired)
  • Baby Food – (new/unopened/not expired)
  • Baby Hygiene – (new/unopened)
  • Adult Personal Care/Hygiene – (new/unopened)
  • Gift Cards (to purchase needed essentials)

Please note: These are the ONLY items we are accepting for our Northern Alberta families! Any other donations will be distributed to local families in need.


Calgary/Airdrie DROP OFF LOCATIONS:

  • Made by Momma Volunteer Resource Centre  66 21st Street, West Hillhurst NW – check open hours first

#ALBERTASTRONG