From left: Morinville Marvelous Moms members Misty Featherley, Sarah Hall, and Rebecca Holland pose by the Christmas tree. The group of 500 morinville and area mothers are kicking off their first Adopt-a-Family program to make sure everyone is taken care of this Christmas. – Stephen Dafoe Photo
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 Morinville and area moms who are now uniting for a noble purpose – making sure no family is left behind this Christmas season. The marvellous idea reinforces the groups self-chosen name of Marvelous Moms.
The group recently kicked off their first 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 Dec. 13 and 14 during school hours and will be distributed once sorted and earmarked for specific adopted families.
Marvelous Mom Sarah Hall said the group has existed for one year and began as a Facebook group. “It was just kind of to connect with other moms in the area,” Hall said. “I was kind of new to the area and didn’t know anybody. I didn’t want to spend another winter that way. I knew that other people felt the same way but reaching those people was hard. It kind of just exploded.”
Misty Featherley, another member of the Marvelous Moms Group, said the group holds regular play dates and offers one another advice through the group’s Facebook page. The Adopt-a-Family also came about as a result of the interconnection of the local moms. “I think Sarah and I both had the same idea but weren’t talking about it,” Featherley said. “My family had decided we wanted to adopt another family this year so that we can have our kids involved in the giving part of Christmas.”
Once Featherley put the idea out to other members of the group, the response was instant. “The response was unbelievable,” Featherley said, adding although there are currently three families being taken care of by the group it is anticipated the number could be as high as 10. “We decided to do the event together so we can pool all our resources from the moms and do the best we can.”
Rebecca Holland, another Marvelous Mom, said the need is twofold – finding families in need and finding the things those families need. The idea is to spread the costs of supporting a family over a number of people looking to help. “It’s maybe I can supply this or I can supply that,” she said, noting piecing things together will make the task easier.
Holland 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. “One of the things identified is looking for gifts for everybody – it’s the whole family,” Holland said, explaining understanding some specifics of the families adopted will allow for tailor-made gift giving. “If they need sleepers for a little girl who’s one year old. We’re getting the fine details.”
A big part of the Marvelous Moms initiative is making sure the mothers and fathers are not overlooked, something Hall has seen in the past. “Because of the adopt-a-mom thing I was doing for women in shelters, even though lots of toys come in through Santa’s anonymous, moms were kind of out of that,” Hall said.
Some of the gifts being considered for parents include things as simple as haircuts or movie tickets. A few local teens have even got into the spirit by offering to gift their services as babysitters.
Those wishing to assist the program can do so by contacting the Marvelous Moms at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 780-231-6682. Complete confidentiality is assured.