by Stephen Dafoe
Morinville – What began as a way for a couple local mothers to connect over coffee and over the Internet has expanded to a network of 500 plus Morinville and area moms who are once again uniting for a noble purpose – making sure no family is left behind this Christmas season. The marvellous idea reinforces the group’s self-chosen name – Morinville Marvelous Moms.
The group, active on Facebook, recently kicked off their second annual MMM Adopt-a-Family program and are looking for new unwrapped items for gifts as well as food items to build hampers. Donations to the cause will be accepted at Morinville Public Elementary School during school hours and at Higher Grounds Espresso Bar during business hours. The donations will be distributed once sorted and earmarked for specific adopted families.
Marvelous Mom member Rebecca Balanko said the group began receiving names of families to adopt as early as September and the moms on the group’s Facebook page began asking about donating in October. “We are expecting 20 plus families to come through,” Balanko said of this year’s expected need. “Currently we have six who have applied. We know a lot of people won’t ask for help, so having that third party nominate you allows somebody to get help.” In its inaugural year, Morinville Moms Misty Featherly and Sarah Hall had the idea for the group to support one family in need. Balanko said that number quickly grew to 13. “It was just a beautiful outpouring of community spirit,” Balanko said. “People just came together to rally for the cause and help other moms.”
The idea behind the program is to spread the costs of supporting a family over a number of people looking to help. Balanko said the group is aware of other local initiatives, including the Knights of Columbus Hamper Program, Midstream Support Society’s Santa Store, and the efforts of the Morinville Food Bank Society. The idea is not to compete but to assist in specific ways.
A big part of the Marvelous Moms initiative is making sure the mothers and fathers are not overlooked. “We’re looking at gifts for the entire family, and making sure we have the supplies for breakfast Christmas morning and the Christmas meal,” she explained. Some of the gifts being considered for parents include things as simple as haircuts or movie tickets.
Those wishing to assist the program can do so by contacting the Marvelous Moms at firstname.lastname@example.org.