By Kim Hayes
Community and long-term help for women and families facing unplanned pregnancy are at the heart of the Mommies Matter ministry.
Mommies Matter is faith based, pro-love, and pro-woman.
“To teach the mind you have to touch the heart,” said Founder and Executive Director Monica Flynn, describing the approach of Mommies Matter.
Flynn previously served at Central Ohio’s Pregnancy Decision Health Center (PDHC). She was part of many excellent life-saving services there and wanted to see even more offered to families in crisis.
Mommies Matter “provides an extension of pregnancy care services by journeying with single mothers through their pregnancies, the birth of their child, and beyond,” according to the ministry’s website.
The staff and volunteers build on-going relationships with their clients with no set “expiration date.”
“It is a way out of generational cycles of trauma and poverty,” Flynn explained.
Flynn referred to the relationship between staff, volunteers, and the mommies as a “covenant between equals.”
The ministry has been a GIFT to many families in the four short years it has been around. The GIFT acronym describes their services: Group Support, Individualized assistance, Financial assistance and services, Therapy (counseling).
Shannon, one of the 40 or so clients of Mommies Matter, is the mother of five and has been served by Mommies Matter for over two years. She is a testament to the vision of Mommies Matter which is, “For every mother to embrace her value and dignity as a woman.”
Shannon openly expresses her gratitude to Mommies Matter, sharing her story in her own words in a video for the organization.
“They support you through it all,” she said.
The material aid Shannon has received has been significant, including a van and six months of the insurance for it paid.
Initially Shannon received services while pregnant with her daughter who is now two. At the time she had two teenagers and was not prepared for a motherhood re-start.
Months after her daughter’s birth, Shannon was devastated to learn she was pregnant with twins. For many women, raising five children on their own would mean financial insecurity and little hope for a better future.
Mommies Matter’s intervention for Shannon meant upgrades in her life on all counts. She learned to budget and utilize resources and the support offered to improve her family’s life for the long term.
Now she is in college while raising her little ones, working toward becoming a social worker so she can serve others.
“I am at a point in my life where I want to help and I use it and benefit from it so that I won’t need the same help again,” stated Shannon.
Mommies Matter specializes in finding local services as well as gathering resources where a family’s needs would otherwise fall through the cracks.
Like any 501(c) (3), Mommies Matter fundraises, but they have carved out a unique opportunity for women in church and community groups to do so in a fun and creative manner. Princess Tea Parties give moms and daughters a special event to celebrate being daughters of the King while benefitting the great work of Mommies Matter.
“I will say one of the best things I received from Mommies Matter was a Mother’s Day picture,” she reflected. “That is the first framed picture I have. To some that may be small, to me that’s huge and means a lot. I have it sitting in the middle of my table, and I love when people enter my house and see it. It makes me feel special!”
Twice a month Mommies Matter offers enrichment events which are special get-togethers for all the families involved to gather as a community.
Personal enrichment events are Shannon’s her favorite part of the Mommies Matter experience because it is an opportunity to bond with others while forming a strong community.
Respite care for new moms and other individualized assistance are offered to bring encouragement in what can be a challenging time as a new parent.
Additionally, there is a mentoring program where allies come alongside a mom and establish the relationship of “doing life together” which comes with a seemingly endless list of benefits.
The eternal ramifications of the ministry are significant.
“I really love bible study and through Mommies Matter I gained my faith back,” said Shannon.
When material aid and services are viewed through the lens of “God’s economy” there are no small gifts. Every act of love is a blessing.
Shannon noted she now knows how to establish financial stability as well as to make and maintain healthy relationships.
“They have given me the tools I need to be successful,” Shannon said. “Mommies Matter will continue to empower me because we’re doing life together.”
For more information on how the ministry empowers women as moms visit the Mommies Matter website.
Editor’s note. This appeared at Pregnancy Help News and is reposted with permission.