Living in the Maggie’s Place homes is an awesome and fulfilling experience. When you are done living in the homes, you feel that you have mastered all situations good and bad.
For instance: My contact mom didn’t come home last night, I’m worried, but it always works out. 5 casseroles just showed up at my door, everyone eat up, then we do some freezing, problem solved. We have take a 3 month old for the night, because mom is throwing up, just get some coffee and deal. Etc. Etc.
Working at the Moms’ Outreach Center (at The Fiat House) becomes a joyful reunion with these moms that you or other MissionCorps have lived with.
It presents a whole new set of experiences to “master.” I thought I had it down! But now we have these flood gates, as I like to call our alumnae network, which are so much bigger than your cap of 6-7 moms at the homes. Our “flood gates” or current Alumnae Mom count is over 860!
We have housed almost 900!!! women since the year 2000 across 3 different states and 6 different homes.
Our perfectly sized Programs Department of 5 people is in charge of ALL of these women! Engaging them, keeping in contact, offering resources, readily answering calls, emails and questions.
Now to be realistic, we actually have around 400 local moms with around 200 that we consider “active.” This translates to who we also invite to participate in our Christmas Program, so last year we were able to give over 150 families a Christmas! Active means we hear from them yearly, have their address and email and send them our event invites and sometimes they attend. This is more manageable by our Department but does still stretch us in every way possible. The other 400 other moms have moved out of state, or we served in Idaho or Ohio.
The bad news is that leaves a lot of mommas, that we used to help, unaccounted for. The good news is more than half of the time these moms are doing well and don’t need our services. Maggie’s Place did something for them during their stay with us, that made them feel self sufficient and helped them achieve this life style.
There is always the, “Gosh, I wonder what happened to this mom or that mom?”
A year ago, I was getting coffee on a busy street with lots of shops and ran into alumnae mom I had lived with 4 years earlier. One of the first things out of her mouth was, “Sarah, I am still sober! I‘ve made it so long.” It was so good to hear the pride in her voice and to see her again. She had been difficult and feisty to live with. She was one of the last people I thought would be thanking me and giving me a hug on a street corner. We said good bye after looking at picture of her beautiful daughter, who is definitely not the little baby I used to a hold! I reached out to her soon after on behalf of Programs to get her involved again, but she simply had no desire. She was blessed with a job and a support system outside of Maggie’s Place and is just doing fine.
Running into this mom gave me such encouragement, that while several of our moms are not in contact with us, it might just mean we were that season of life that they needed and they are on to the next. Our ongoing support of our parenting moms can be extended to our growing alumnae community!
By Sarah Morrison, AZ Program Support Coordinator