volunteers

Bravery.

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Last weekend our volunteer staff had the opportunity to spend an entire day together. We ate, played, and spent time digging into our own stories - in order that we might be able to better walk alongside you. There was a resounding theme that echoed through the day. We, as a culture, must seek to rid ourselves of assumptions. We must validate the unique stories of the women in our lives. We can walk alongside each other in pain and in joy.

Through education and support we strongly feel there is hope for a societal shift in maternal health.

We acknowledge that we all must become better listeners. In humility and vulnerability, we must also share our stories. For often, healing begins with one person's simple bravery.

Will you join us in changing the culture? Will you join us as we seek to better the health of women from pre-conception through preschool? Change begins with individuals. Change begins with us.

All my love,

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'Tis the Season: Volunteer!

Christmas-14 In this season of giving and holiday cheer, I wanted to write a bit about some local nonprofits and groups that could use your help. The weather is getting colder and going without is even harder in the winter months. Combine that with the holidays, a time when we often count our blessings and reach out to those with less, and this is a popular time of year to volunteer.

How to Get Involved

If you're looking for a place to start, consider starting here! The Motherhood Collective is a nonprofit, volunteer-run organization. If we have aided in your journey as a mother (or mom-to-be, or grandmother, or whatever journey you are on), then we are thrilled. Our group is constantly growing and changing, and we have several roles that need to be filled in 2015. If you have found a passion in motherhood and would like to help others along their way, please contact us, we would love to hear from you.

The Motherhood Collective was fortune to be awarded 5th place in the recent Giving Back Awards by Lynchburg Living. We were in the company of some amazing nonprofits that are bettering our community in so many ways. Some notable organizations recognized in the Giving Back Awards that could use your help are listed below.

Why You Should Volunteer

In addition to the obvious benefits of helping those in need, volunteerism is also a wonderful thing to do for yourself. Often mothers find themselves suddenly spending their days without adult company or intellectual stimulation (babies are cute, but not great conversationalists). While going back to work full time may not be an option, volunteering a few hours a week can be a welcome relief for stay at home moms. It is an opportunity to spend some time away from your child, helping them gain independence and giving you a chance to miss them and better enjoy the time you have together. Even in times of struggle (and we have all struggled as parents), helping others brings a sense of pride and perspective that can give you strength.

Whether you work or stay home with your children, volunteering sets a great example. We all want to raise good, helpful children and leading by example is the best way to achieve that goal. Older children may be able to go with you to volunteer as well, and learn the importance of helping others. This time of year is especially ripe with opportunities for kids to give back:

I hope you find an organization that can benefit from your strengths and kindness, and that you both prosper. And remember, these groups need your help ALL year long. Start now, and continue your involvement throughout the new year!

Meet The Motherhood Collective© Staff: Debbie Perdew

Ever wonder who’s behind The Motherhood Collective? Over the next few weeks we’ll be introducing you to our dedicated team of volunteers. These women are all mothers – once, twice or many times over. While they come from different backgrounds and have various approaches to pregnancy, birth and parenting, each one is dedicated to creating a place where ALL mothers can find education and support.0010 We’re so excited to introduce you to Miss Debbie! She is our Lead Childcare Worker and spends her Café Monday mornings lovingly caring for the children of our local mamas.

Miss Debbie has transformed the Childcare we offer on Monday mornings at the Café. As a mother to many, her years of experience as a mama and grandma probably have something to do with this.

Greeting the little ones, ages 1 – 4, with a warm smile and big hugs she works with her two assistants (Miss Amanda and Miss Abby) to bring fun and order to the two hours she spends with the children.

By limiting the childcare number to 15, Miss Debbie and her assistants are able to provide careful attention to allergies, special needs and requests. In addition, Miss Debbie creates an environment that is warm and welcoming for many of our little ones who are experiencing their first childcare situation.

Children spend the morning in a room directly adjacent to our Café meeting space. During check-in, mamas fill in detailed name tags, complete with allergy information, age and nickname. The children are then welcomed into a room with a soaring ceiling and lots of light, and filled with age appropriate toys, books and activities.

Our Cafés meet the second and fourth Mondays of each month. Registration for our Café Childcare opens at noon on the Monday before a scheduled Café. Registration is available on a "first-come, first-served" basis and closes after reaching 15 spots or at 7pm the Sunday before the Café (whichever comes first).

If you are local and have utilized our childcare, we hope you will take the time to thank Miss Debbie for her excellent care of your children. She has filled a very specific need most beautifully.

Thank you, Miss Debbie, for serving the women and families of The Motherhood Collective©.

Click here for additional details regarding our Café Childcare can be found here.

Meet The Motherhood Collective© Staff: Maria Hayden

Ever wonder who’s behind The Motherhood Collective? Over the next few weeks we’ll be introducing you to our dedicated team of volunteers. These women are all mothers – once, twice or many times over. While they come from different backgrounds and have various approaches to pregnancy, birth and parenting, each one is dedicated to creating a place where ALL mothers can find education and support.0012 Meet, Maria, one of our Managing Directors, who might best be described as the "Swiss Army Knife" of The Motherhood Collective©.

Without Maria we’d be all over the place. She has many job responsibilities, and somehow, they all seem to involve keeping us in line.

Her main focus as one of our two Managing Directors is serving as our Non-profit Consultant in everyday, behind the scenes “business” work. Running an organization such as ours is not all hugs and coffee, and we are very thankful for the hours Maria spends on the not-so-thrilling tasks that make our time with you more enjoyable.

Maria also handles the placement of our volunteers as our Volunteer Coordinator. We are extremely fortunate to have women rise up continually to serve with us. These volunteers help on both large and small levels and they come to us with differing skill sets and available time. Maria works with these women to find ways they can best contribute and give back.

On Café mornings you might never see Maria, because once again she is holding us together - this time as our Café Morning Stage Manager. She assigns morning tasks to the leadership team, checks us in on arrival, runs the soundboard and gathers donation dollars... all so we can serve you better.

Maria wandered into a Café one morning; pregnant and unsuspecting of the role she would one day play. Now the mother of a beautiful toddler, she shares her joys, struggles, and lessons learned in an honest and refreshing way.

With big dreams for the year ahead, Maria brings us years of management experience, a "peppery" frankness and a dry sense of humor that will make anyone smile.

Thank you, Maria, for serving the women and families of The Motherhood Collective©.

 

PS - Interested in volunteering with The Motherhood Collective©? Contact Maria at: volunteer@themotherhoodcollective.org.

Meet the Motherhood Collective Staff: Erica Wolfe

Ever wonder who's behind The Motherhood Collective? Over the next few weeks we'll be introducing you to our dedicated team. These women are all mothers - once, twice or many times over. While they come from different backgrounds and have various approaches to pregnancy, birth and parenting, each one is dedicated to creating a place where ALL mothers can find education and support. Meet the mama behind this blog! Erica has single-handedly brought it to life and given it breath!

Erica Wolfe

Want to write for this blog? This is the woman to speak to -- or email to! In addition to keeping the blog current and substantive, she generously volunteers her time on Café mornings. She often sits among you as a Small Group Leader on Infancy and more recently, as moderator for Panel Discussions.

Erica stumbled upon the Café during her first pregnancy in 2011. Now she is mother to TWO beautiful daughters. What fun it has been to walk with Erica through her pregnancies and early years of motherhood.

With a Northern bluntness and dry sense of humor, Erica grounds our team as she strives to keep us true to our mission of "Nurturing the Mother to Grow the Child."

Thank you, Erica, for serving the women and families of The Motherhood Collective©.

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Are you a writer? Are you passionate about pregnancy, birth, parenting or just motherhood in general? Do you have recipes you want to share with our readers? Email Erica at submissions@themotherhoodcollective.org. We love to add new voices to our site and we always welcome ideas about how to improve content!

Meet the Motherhood Collective Staff: Edi Remark

Ever wonder who's behind The Motherhood Collective? Over the next few weeks we'll be introducing you to our dedicated team. These women are all mothers - once, twice or many times over. While they come from different backgrounds and have various approaches to pregnancy, birth and parenting, each one is dedicated to creating a place where ALL mothers can find education and support. Edi - Director of Social Media The face behind all you see on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Meet our Director of Social Media!

As the Director of Social Media, Edi graciously volunteers her time and talents to bring you the quality information, funny quotes and touching articles you read daily. If you contact us on Facebook, Edi will respond. Need a mama question answered by the Motherhood Collective followers? She'll post it for you anonymously and make sure you get the feedback.

In 2011, Edi was pregnant and her mother-in-law shared a newspaper article featuring our organization. It is fitting that now Edi is the one spreading the news about us!

With an always fresh perspective and refreshing honesty, Edi challenges our team as she seeks to be true to our mission of "Nurturing the Mother to Grow the Child".

Thank you, Edi, for serving the women and families of The Motherhood Collective©.