December 03, 2015 - 8:00 PM
KELOWNA – A locally founded charity that is exploding in popularity raised thousands of dollars for struggling mothers over the weekend.
Mamas for Mamas was founded by Kelowna resident Shannon Christensen earlier this year. In less than 12 months their membership has grown to over 5,000 and they continue to expand at a rate of 200 every week.
At their first ever Country Gala at the Laurel Packinghouse on Nov. 13, the organization brought in more than $15,000. After expenses were paid, roughly $7,500 went into a fund that will help low income mothers when they need it the most.
The money, Christensen says, will go a long way to make future programs a reality.
Their distribution program has already helped hundreds of families by delivering items like furniture, clothes, diapers and strollers but they are also working to implement a sustainable nourishment program to help low income families have access to fresh produce, eggs, meat and bread.
“Everything a mom needs to get started, we get them,” Christensen says. “It’s for women leaving abusive relationships, women who are 18 and just found out they are a pregnant, any mother who needs help.”
Christensen and her team are also collecting information for local resources that don’t have the money to promote themselves or their services.
“Kelowna Community Resources does such a good job but we’re trying to do something specifically for mamas,” she says. “Some of these programs that already exist will basically pay a mom to go to school or become and entrepreneur. It costs a lot of money to advertise free programs so we want to shine a light on what’s available.”
Christensen says they are also looking into starting their own free daycare so moms have somewhere safe to leave their children while the go to class, work or a job interview.
“Until we have the capacity to start our own daycare… we want to partner with existing daycares and subsidize (them) so parents who qualify can do free drop ins.”
They are also looking at partnering with NOW Canada, a non-profit that helps get women out of the sex trade industry and into a six to eight week course about holistic health.
“These are just a few of the programs this money will go towards,” Christensen says.
For a complete list of programs offered as well as resources for low income mothers, visit the Mamas for Mamas website or Facebook page.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015