Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Dear MOMS Club®

Dear MOMS Club®,

Thank you for allowing me to find you when I needed you.   I was a mother in a completely different part of town than where I grew up and lived most of my life and the only companion I had was my AOL Message board for September 2003 mothers.  I heard some of the moms talk about how they joined their local MOMS Club® and absolutely loved it.  It got them out of their home and gave some entertainment and purpose for the mothers and the children.  I heard their stories for a couple of years.  I had checked the website when my middle child was less than a year old but there was not a chapter in existence.
When my youngest child was five months old, I decided to check the website again.  There was now a club that included my area in their boundaries.  I was so excited.  I emailed right away to find out what I needed to do to join this club.  I received an email back within a couple of hours and lucky me, there was a business meeting coming up.  I showed up and was confident in myself.  I saw other moms, just like me.  I joined MOMS Club® that day.  February of 2006.  It’s been eleven and a half years since that day and I am still a member of that club even with all the changes we have gone through.
I jumped right in headfirst.  I needed this in my life.  I became friends with Yolanda, our Founder and President.  I am still friends with her and I think she is a great and wonderful person and I love seeing her new adventures in life.  I attending age-specific play groups, lots of outdoor events, lunches and brunches, but I can tell you, my favorite part was the monthly business meeting.  It made me feel like I was part of something bigger, an organization with a purpose.  I started by submitting calendar events.  I would spend hours scouring the internet in hopes of finding events for both mom and children that were either free or very low cost.  This is where I learned about all the awesome events going on in the Kansas City area.  There was so much to do that I was completely unaware of before.  So MOMS Club® thank you for allowing me to learn more and explore my community.  I was seriously an expert on all the children’s water and splash parks in the area.
When elections came up, I was nominated for Administrative Vice President.  I accepted the nomination and was voted in that July.  As the AVP, I helped out the President when needed; I coordinated the service projects and fundraisers.  We didn’t have any fundraisers, but we did have a few service projects.  We prepared a meal at our local Ronald McDonald House and fundraised through WalkAmerica (now March for Babies) for March of Dimes.  Both events had amazing turn outs.  The WalkAmerica went so well, I was asked by March of Dimes to be on their local committee to help organize the family team things for the next event.  MOMS Club® led me to many volunteer opportunities. 
The year I was AVP, I decided to volunteer for International MOMS Club® as a website reviewer.  I loved doing this.  The big world wide web.  The chapter websites were waiting to get published and all they needed was my review to be complete.  I did a lot of these.  I emailed a lot of Presidents.  I approved a lot of websites and chapters were able to grow their membership.  After this job was completed, I decided to become a Big Sister through International MOMS Club®.  As a Big Sister, my job was to assist a small number of chapters.  I was their first stop liaison to International.   I would answer questions, review their newsletters and receive a monthly update from each chapter.   I started out with a few chapters in the Kansas City area and soon moved up to Area Coordinator and received additional chapters to help out.  After a few months there, our Assistant Regional Coordinator, my friend Yolanda, asked me if I wanted to become a State Coordinator.  I said YES!  As a State Coordinator, I had to interview with Mary James.  She called me, we did an interview, I was nervous.  I got the volunteer job.  I became the State Coordinator for Missouri and eventually I was given Iowa.  I also had Big Sisters and Area Coordinators under me.  I was happy as a clam mentoring other moms.  I got so many newsletters.  I read so many newsletters.  I got more ideas for my own chapter.
By the end of my term as AVP, our chapter was asked to sister.  In MOMS Club® to “sister” is to break off into smaller chapters.  Our chapter became so large, that we were asked to split into three chapters.  The current President took over the west portion of our chapter, I took over the central portion of our chapter and our Membership Vice President took over the east portion.  We worked long and hard to come up with boundaries and to get everything approved.  Right before our sistering, we had a huge celebration.  It was an emotional event and few tears were shed.
In July, our new chapter was founded.  We were official.  I was founder and the first President of this chapter.  My board consisted of volunteers that first year.  They were all dazzling and delightful and I couldn’t have had a better committee to steer our new ship.  After my year as President, the Membership Vice President was voted into the Presidency.  She had a different way of running things and membership dropped.  She learned from her ways and soon membership surged again.  I did serve one term as Administrative Vice President after my initial founding of the chapter.  MOMS Club® gave me a sense of leadership and accomplishment.  I founded a MOMS Club® chapter and it’s still going super strong today!  Thank you for that.  It makes me feel like I’ve achieved something.  I was the one responsible for bringing all these moms together.  They are still finding this chapter and still joining and finding friendship and purpose.
I was able to travel during my time as State Coordinator.  I traveled to Texas to attend the Regional Conference.  I met many MOMS Club from all over our region there.  I still remain friends with a few of them.  I recently ran across pictures from this event on my facebook memories and it brought back the fun times.  I remember the food, all of the chapter boards and raffle baskets.  I remember hanging out with my friends from far and near.  If you are a MOMS Club® member, I encourage you to attend these events.  I helped when we had a small Missouri, Kansas and Iowa luncheon.  It was a blast.  Another one that was worth the whole Saturday.
I made some of my best friends during this time.  I am still in communication with a handful of them and I love seeing their families grow up and all the exciting life events they are going through.
I have my membership pins for being Founder, President, Administrative Vice President and Member.  I have kept them all.
I am not active in my chapter that I founded, even though I am still a member.  I will always be a member of this chapter.  I do try to attend the End of the Year banquet if I am available.  I know none of the current members will even know who I am and that’s okay.  I did this for them.  I did it for the mothers who needed other mothers.  I did it for the mothers who needed friendship.  I did it for the mothers that needed other adults in their life with so much in common.  MOMS Club® is for MOMS.
Thank you MOMS Club®, I appreciate you for helping me through that chapter in my life.
Founder of the MOMS Club® of Kansas City-Northland,  Missouri (originally KC/Gladstone)
Fall Party Meeting 2007
My daughter is the cute cow.
Chocolate Making Demo.

Area Luncheon
Shannon and myself.  We look so different now.
I still have my prize!  I used it on my vacation
We fancy

One of our Favorite FREE activities!
Regional Luncheon
Chapter End of the Year Party 2006
My kiddos are old now.
Are you a MOMS Club(R) member?  Tell me about your experiences!  What was your favorite part?

If you are making your way over here from the share on the International MOMS Club(R) facebook page, please feel free to look around and stay away.  If you are a blogger, drop your blog in the comments below so I can check yours out.  Thanks!

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