This February, I had the honour of being named “Mama of the Month” by the non-profit organization Mamas for Mamas. Mamas for Mamas is a local organization dedicated to providing ongoing support to low income mothers who are struggling with poverty and marginalization, including the often overlooked “working poor”.
So, what did I do to have been bestowed this great honour? I am the Mamas for Mamas lawyer, and do so on a pro bono basis. I, with the support of Doak Shirreff Lawyers LLP, am working with Mamas for Mamas to obtain their charitable status and maintain their standing as a society. I also work with the Mamas themselves to ensure that when the need for legal advice or services arises, they are connected with a lawyer in our community who can provide them with the appropriate help.
I was first introduced to Mamas for Mamas through Facebook. Mamas for Mamas uses Facebook to facilitate the donating and trading of items and services, as well as to provide a platform for mamas to connect with and support fellow mamas. Their online presence also allows Mamas for Mamas to identify and reach out to mamas who are struggling and offer them support by directly providing them with what they need or connecting them with suitable, reputable community resources.
You will often see the phrase “kindness is our currency” associated with Mamas for Mamas, and that really resonates with me, because I am a mom too. Moms can be very hard on one another, and are even harder on themselves. Mamas for Mamas is fostering an environment where moms can reach out to one another for support and understanding; judgment and negativity are not tolerated and Mamas for Mamas provides a place for moms to go when they need advice, support, or a friend.
I became hooked on Mamas for Mamas when I saw the impact that this positivity and kindness was having on mothers in our community. On a daily basis, Facebook followers are privy to stories of how one mama’s day was completely turned around because of the kindness of another mama. Sometimes it is as simple as one mama sharing her large batch of homemade soup with another; other times it is as big as helping a mama and her children get out of an abusive or unsafe situation. Mamas are helping one another prepare for a new baby, get a job, put food on the table, and choose the right schools, vehicles, or daycares for their families. It is evident that those who are members of Mamas for Mamas are grateful for the support they might otherwise not find if not for the organization.
Personally, I have used the Mamas for Mamas Facebook group to trade items, primarily children’s items, but I knew that I wanted to be more involved with Mamas for Mamas. My “legal” involvement began around Christmas time when a colleague, Alison McLeod, and I donated two Wills and Powers of Attorney packages to two families in need. This is something that we now plan to do a few times each year.
I am proud to be a supporter of Mamas for Mamas and encourage others to get involved in any way they can. Mamas for Mamas is always looking for volunteers to help with their community and fundraising events. More information is available on their website, www.mamasformamas.ca, or by contacting their Executive Director, Shannon Christensen at 236-420-0075.