National Volunteer Week – April 10 – 17, 2016
By Renu Chandarana
Our volunteers are the backbone of our organization – their time, energy and dedication is how we are able to fulfill our mission day after day. ♥
As National Volunteer Week 2016 comes to a close, we want to acknowledge and profile a few of of our amazing volunteers that truly make a difference to our organization.
“I love that I’m part of the support system for other moms when they need it. I am fortunate to have family and friends who are my support, and by volunteering with Made by Momma I can pay it forward by helping other moms in tough situations. “– Maggie N.
Maggie is a married mom of two young boys (2.5 years and 1 month). She heard about Made by Momma through the Community Knowledge Centre on The Calgary Foundation website and has been volunteering with us since August 2015.
Maggie empathizes with our clients because when her first son was just 6 months old, she broke her wrist and underwent surgery to repair it. She found it difficult to care for her baby because of her cast and was so fortunate to have a strong network of friends and family to help her through that challenging time. “Afterwards,” Maggie says, “I often thought about how hard it would be for moms in similar situations without a support system like I have, and wanted to find a way to help those women if I could. When I read about MBM I knew immediately that this was the organization I had been looking for.” She felt an immediate connection to the work and by volunteering with MBM, Maggie says, “I can pay it forward by helping other moms in tough situations.”
Maggie has put her keen event planning skills to work by joining the Fall Fundraiser committee and Golf for Girls committee. She has volunteered by doing data entry and making deliveries and is even dedicated to donating breast milk to a client. Most recently, she represented MBM by sitting at a table at Mommylicious and found it to be so fulfilling, “I was able to talk to many women who had been helped by MBM and hear first-hand how important the work we do is,” says Maggie.
Of her time with us at MBM Maggie says, “the time and energy spent volunteering at MBM immediately benefits families in our city. An afternoon spent cooking or packing boxes means many children will have a healthy meals and new clothing that week. There are so many opportunities that there is truly something It really is like asking a group of friends for the kind of help you need, be it healthy meals, a box of diapers, or a helping hand. This type of support is so important for women with young children, and MBM fills an important role for women who don’t have existing support systems in their life. And the people are awesome!”
Thank you so much for your enthusiasm and dedication Maggie! We think you’re awesome too!
“I am a mother to 2 boys and I grew up in a single parent home – my mom sure could have used some help from an organization like Made by Momma.” – Barb L.
Barb is a registered nurse who teaches at Mount Royal University. She heard about MBM when a group of second year nursing student’s were assigned to us for their community placement in the spring of 2013.
After seeing how her students did and how the organization was operating, she decided to volunteer as well, “I was very impressed by MBM’s organization after working with Allyson and her team members. I have been a MBM volunteer for almost 3 years,” says Barb.
Barb is able to fit in volunteering with us whenever she saw a break in her busy work and home life schedule. She has assisted with fundraising events, made meals and baking, sorted donations, delivered meals and baking and has done many home visits.
What does Barb like best about volunteering with MBM? She says, “I love the concept of empowering families to help themselves. By providing meals and /or assistance, families can focus on caring for their children and feel supported by volunteers.” She recognizes how important it is to be in the field and on the ground volunteering and giving back to our community, Barb says, “As our economy continues to be unstable, families are struggling. It is the children who suffer when their parents are stressed and under financial pressure. When a volunteer brings amazing homemade and nutritious meals to a family, it brings a smile to everyone’s face.”
Her favourite volunteer job with us is doing home visits. She loves the one-on-one mentorship and finds the ability to assist mom’s within their own homes very rewarding. Of her time with us at MBM, Barb says, “It is an excellent way to meet some amazing people who are passionate about helping others…they have been able to accomplish so much with so little.”
Thank you so much for your time, energy and commitment to Made by Momma Barb, we sincerely appreciate it!
“Made by Momma gives families hope and provides that unconditional support they need. MBM is honestly a home away from home for people who have no one to support them. Even as a volunteer no matter what, I know that the volunteers and people at MBM will be there for me through anything.” – Kaitlin S.
Kaitlin came to Made by Momma by way of an internship through the Public Relations program at Mount Royal University. In the last 15 months that Kaitlin has been with us, she has represented MBM as a volunteer for many of our big events such as Stroller-A-Thon, the Scotiabank Marathon, Golf for Girls and the Fall Fundraiser – and she brought her mom on board as a volunteer too. She has also played a role in putting together MBM’s first and second annual reports as well as helping with communications and social media tasks. It’s clear that Kaitlin has a passion for giving back to her community, “I love what MBM does, I have worked in a daycare for a very long time so I see a lot of families that are struggling to make ends meet. MBM provides families like these a second chance and I think that is so important. Especially now with the economy being as bad as it is,” says Kaitlin. In her spare time Kaitlin enjoys photography and has played competitive soccer for the last 18 years, she also is passionate about working with children and animals. Her future goals include working in PR within the not for profit sector.
Thank you for your continued enthusiasm and dedication Kaitlin!
“I liked the grass roots nature of the organization and the low (really zero) administrative costs. I don’t think people really realize how high these can be in some organizations due to the number of paid members (i.e. in some cases it is a business venture).” – Andrea W.
Andrea is a mom of two hardworking daughters who are studying at university away from home. She heard about MBM through the company she was working for, and began volunteering with group cooks, packing food hampers and making deliveries. When Andrea got the opportunity to begin home visits with clients, things just clicked for her and she knew that this is where she belonged, “I am a very type-A driven individual, very results focused and not very good at sitting still. I had no idea I could look after 6-month old triplets (adjusted for being premature) for four hours each week confined to a small living room over a period of visits for about three months. It is amazing how you can use three of your four limbs to keep them fed and content,” says Andrea. With her daughters away at University, Andrea enjoys spending some of her free time with MBM because of, “It also really puts your life in perspective. Some of the families I visit are in quite difficult situations and I (or so many of my friends) have no reason to complain about our situations in Calgary,” Andrea says. In the future Andrea would like to continue home visits with clients, as that’s what she is passionate about, but would also enjoy meal coordinating in order to satisfy that Type-A brain of hers!
Thank you for all you do for our Made by Momma families Andrea!
Nexen Energy ULC
Nexen Energy is a Calgary oil and gas company that develops energy resources for the UK, West Africa, the USA and Western Canada. A part of Nexen’s mandate is to provide protected time off for their employees so they can volunteer and give back to their community. The awesome Community Investment Team at Nexen has been involved with MBM since 2013 when they first participated in a group cook hosted at the ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen, providing many meals for our MBM clients. Since then, their time with us has snowballed and in the last 15 months, they have contributed to over 500 servings of food and baked goods for the many MBM clients. In addition to the Nexen volunteers rolling up their sleeves and cooking meals, they have also done numerous projects around the resource centre and included us in their volunteer fair. As well, Nexen has generously committed to 3 years of support for our community pantry and baby essentials program which equals to a value of $5,000.00 per year! ♥
Made by Momma is ever so thankful to have your support and we sincerely appreciate the time, dedication and enthusiasm that Nexen employees bring to our group cooks!
“I don’t volunteer in the traditional sense, my schedule hasn’t allowed me to commit to a role and so I created a way to volunteer. “ – Tara P.
I first learned about MBM around 3 years ago and was immediately impressed with the organization based on how it was founded. I have an acquaintance who volunteered for MBM and between media/social media and word of mouth I started learning more.
I don’t volunteer in the traditional sense, my schedule hasn’t allowed me to commit to a role and so I created a way to volunteer. I volunteer by sharing posts of needed items through social media with my friends and community. I will pick up donations that otherwise wouldn’t reach MBM – I sort them, clean them if possible or needed and then drop them at the Resource Centre.
Through my community we have donated countless clothing and shoes as well as crib mattresses, strollers, a high chair, diapers, toys, books, toiletries and other items. At Christmas I also approached my dentist and he donated a large amount of toothpaste, floss and some toothbrushes. My sons dentist also donated toothbrushes and floss.
It’s hard for me to call myself a volunteer for MBM but I’m helping in my own way- spreading information about this fabulous organization and its existence is how I started and now my neighbors know my name and some contact me to pick up or I come home to boxes of donations on my porch. I have found my neighbors in Royal Oak and Rocky Ridge are extremely generous and really appreciate having a local drop off/ pick up available and I’m happy I’ve been able to fill up my car over and over!
Also, my 3 year old son loves helping me pick up and is always asking when we can go to MBM to deliver more donations. I love being able to share with him about the role of service and volunteer organizations from such a young age.
I look forward to watching MBM continue to grow and expand and finding time to be at the RC helping in any role I can fit in future.
Thank you and your whole community for your continued support and generosity Tara!
A million heartfelt thank yous to our MANY wonderful volunteers for their part in making Made by Momma who we are.