Have you ever met someone who, right away, you knew was extraordinarily special? Who was passionate, inspiring, and genuinely just a good person? That’s how I felt when I met with Shannon Christensen, founder of Mamas for Mamas, a non-profit organization helping carve better lives for low-income mamas and of course, their children.
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Mamas for Mamas has grown at a rapid rate. Between the passion and tenacity of Shannon and her team along with the help of celebrity ambassador, Jillian Harris, this is an organization that’s doing some serious good for many families; people are noticing and it’s working.
“We’re making change and we can see the results,” explains Shannon. “The feedback from the mamas is that we’re changing their lives and helping shift their kid’s futures in terms of how they see the world.”
Mamas for Mamas will try to source out everything but the kitchen sink if that’s what mothers are requesting. If you want a chicken coop to do your own farming, they’ll find it. If you need a stroller, they’ll track one down. Need feminine hygiene products? Mamas for Mamas has it. Counselling? You can request that too.
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By providing families with an alternative route besides scarcity, Mamas for Mamas believes that supporting mothers and their children with mental, physical, and financial support could stop serious problems from developing later on in a child’s life.
“The more challenging a childhood experience you have, the more likely you could develop chronic illnesses. By stopping adversity at the source, the more likely those negative childhood experiences become positive.”
Some families hold back from seeking help because of pride. But what Shannon wants mamas to know is that there shouldn’t be a stigma associated with using Mamas for Mamas at all.
“As a mom, when you have zero percent left to give, how do you raise a child at 100%? It just makes sense to use Mamas for Mamas when you need it,” says Shannon.
“No one is a charity case when they come to us. Right now, you might need to receive, but down the road, you might be able to give. We all contribute what we can and we take when we need. We’re just a community of moms looking after each other.”
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When I asked Shannon about how Mamas for Mamas started, it was completely clear that she and her team are doing everything for the right reasons.
“I got married when I was 22 and my dad passed away the very next day,” explains Shannon. “He was a lawyer and was miserable and he died because of it. I was going to do things differently for both of us.”
“Everything I thought I knew in this world was now in question because a lot of what I was doing was based on what I thought my dad wanted. But he didn’t care about any of that. All he cared about was me being happy and having a passion.”
After having her children and taking note of the roof over her head and the food in her fridge, Shannon felt incredibly grateful and lucky for all that she had been given; she had an epiphany.
“I realized there was something I could do with all of that gratitude. I wanted to create a community where moms like me didn’t feel alone or helpless. I wanted to end the mommy war and develop a community where we could all band together and be there for our children, and it just started to take off.”
While promotion about Mamas for Mamas isn’t their top priority (they have a ton of publicity as it is!) their biggest focus is on the mamas, which means, they really need new and recurring donors.
“We’re actively seeking meat and cheese donors or vouchers for meat and cheese. We did a poll online, and this is what mamas said they needed the most: Meat and cheese, milk, diapers. Meat and cheese, milk, diapers.”
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“Jillian Harris gets Love Child Organics and Pampers donated to us in huge amounts. Nature’s Fare provides hampers for us at Christmas. We work with tons of great businesses who are all happy to help out with our organization because it’s working!” proclaims Shannon.
While having a well-known celebrity like Jillian Harris is an obvious benefit, it’s undeniable that the passion Shannon and her entire team share about helping families in need are the driving force of what makes Mamas for Mamas, a selfless organization, so successful.
Health, wealth, and happiness. That’s what Mamas for Mamas is all about and what they strive to accomplish in their program every single day.
If you’re an individual or a business and want to help out Mamas for Mamas, check out the different ways you can get involved. Every little bit helps. And trust me, it’s for an amazing cause; one you’ll feel wonderful about helping.