Submitted by Anne Day, Rotary Club of Guelph Trillium
Across Canada on May 9, mothers were being celebrated on Mother’s Day. Thanks to efforts by the Rotary Club of Guelph Trillium, ten young single mothers in Guelph were celebrated too.
Since the pandemic, club members have been actively finding ways to contribute and help local community groups. With Mother’s Day fast approaching, members decided that it was important to honour these young mothers.
Members were asked to donate practical items that the mothers would use on a daily basis, as well as treats that they likely could not afford to buy for themselves. Everyone was very generous and the young mothers received several packages, including a special card saying Happy Mother’s Day and that we were celebrating them.
The young women are all residents of Michael’s House in Guelph where they receive support, shelter and assistance in moving on with their lives. Founded in 2001, Michael’s House now offers a six-bedroom residence and an eight apartment building to house the mothers and their children.
As Karen Kamphuis, the Executive Director shared: “For most of the mothers, Mother’s Day is a difficult day as many of them don’t get recognized or valued for the big job that they do as single Moms.” She also reported that the gift cards for coffee and ice cream were a real treat and made for a special outing for the families. Because of this latest lockdown, the families tend to go for long walks, to the park if it isn’t busy, or walking along the nearby trails. And thanks to their new cooler bags, they have been packing up snacks and heading out with bikes, strollers and scooters to go exploring with the kids.
Clearly the gifts were a big hit. This is the second year that the club has undertaken to collect gifts for the mothers at Michael’s House. “It is wonderful to see how the members rally round to make this happen and put in so much thought and care into what to give” shares Jannette Tenhag, board member.
As Helen Keller once said, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”