EWE Spirit Grant Recipient Story:
The EWE Spirit Foundation’s March 2022 round of grants included three new recipients, one of which is Mothers Helping Mothers.
For more than three decades, Mothers Helping Mothers (MHM) has enabled local families in Sarasota and Manatee, Florida, and surrounding counties, to give their children a safe, healthy start in life. An all-volunteer, not-for-profit organization, MHM provides basic necessities such as bassinets, pack-n-plays, cribs, toddler beds, car seats, strollers, formula, breast pumps, and clothing to parents in need, free of charge. For those in financial crisis, MHM offers stability and hope with one-time support payments for especially heavy burdens such as eviction and car repairs. The organization also helps to normalize struggling families’ lives by giving out Christmas trees, Halloween costumes and Mother’s Day gift bags.
In addition to its permanent location in Sarasota, MHM distributes much-needed supplies at other pop-up locations and, as of 2022, via a new, air-conditioned “mobile store.” It also offers free classes on topics ranging from budgeting and family relationships to energy savings, career coaching, and physical and mental health.
In 2021, MHM served more than 4,700 families (touching the lives of at least 7,850 children) and distributed 657 new car seats, along with safety-training videos in three languages to ensure proper installation and usage. It also started new programs to provide food boxes, refurbished laptops for kids, reusable menstrual cups, and cloth-diaper kits to help families save money and reduce waste.
None of this work would be possible without an amazing pool of volunteers. In 2021, volunteers gave 18,450 hours of their time to the organization. Cheri Devries, the director of Mothers Helping Mothers, says, “Every day at MHM makes you feel like you are making a difference, even if just a small one, in someone's life. That is worth more than any paycheck.”
That’s the EWE Spirit in a nutshell!