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Creating Stability Then and Now: MOM's Seasonal Programs

Creating Stability Then and Now: MOM's Seasonal Programs
April 24, 2020 MOM NewsBack to School ProgramThanksgiving BasketsSharing Christmas

MOM has a variety of seasonal programs designed to help families with specific needs during certain times of the year. Made possible through the time and generosity of volunteers and donors, these programs demonstrate the community’s involvement in MOM’s work.

One of MOM’s most loved programs is our Back to School Program. Begun in 2000, this program provides kids the resources they need to start school ready to learn, while allowing parents to use their limited funds to pay rent instead of purchasing school supplies. Local businesses, congregations, families and individuals donate new backpacks and school supplies as well as money to purchase supplies. In its first year, the program handed out 54 backpacks. By 2003, the number had grown to 141. Last year, the Back to School Program distributed 700 backpacks to clients as well as to other students in the Middleton Cross Plains Area School District and throughout the community. 

MOM has always had some kind of winter holiday event or program. In 1999, MOM launched our Adopt-a-Family program which matches donors with families in order to provide them holiday gifts. The program, renamed Sharing Christmas, had expanded to provide gifts for 1700 people by 2010. In order to be more inclusive for clients from many different racial, cultural and religious backgrounds, the name was changed again last year to Winter Wishes. The program continues to thrive with guidance from lead volunteers Jennifer Hess and Terry Hankes-Smith.  

Thanksgiving Baskets began around 2000 under the direction of Kermit Hovey and really took shape with the help of Gene and Marge Gray along with others from St. Luke’s. This program, which served around 250 families last year, provides everything a family needs for a delicious Thanksgiving meal. 

Although we are unsure how seasonal programs might operate this year due to the COVID-19 emergency, we look forward to working with our community to help families with these needs in the future.

MOM’s Seasonal Programs in Action

MOM's Back to School Program helps kids start school ready to learn. Here's one client's story:

Because of the hard conditions in their home country (no food, no work, no electricity etc.), Anthony, his wife and two kids left their home, their relatives and all their possessions behind to make a new life in the Madison area. They stayed with Anthony's brother until they were able to get their own apartment. Anthony was able to quickly get a steady job, although at $14/hour, paying the family's bills was still a struggle. MOM was able to help fill in some of the gaps while the family got settled. Anthony said his seven-year-old son especially loved his backpack and school supplies. They helped him feel confident in the "daily struggle" to adjust to his new life. For this, his father said he "is supremely grateful."

Help Us Celebrate 40 Years by Supporting our Seasonal Programs!

MOM has been able to help so many families in our community through the years because of your support. You can join our Circle of Hope by making a monthly gift to sustain MOM’s efforts to end hunger and prevent homelessness. Donate $40 a month (or another amount) for our 40 Year Celebration!


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