You Can Make a Difference

You Can Make a Difference
August 27, 2012 Vicki Ohlerking

In a world of social networking, it is strange to find yourself feeling isolated.

Day after day I would sit in my living room and see moms walk by with strollers. There seemed to be an endless parade of them, but none of them seemed to know each other. Worse yet, none of them knew who I was and I longed to be their friends; longed for community in a neighborhood full of strangers.

Then one day I realized that they might all feel the same way and decided to do something about it… and MOMSource was born. It just started as a small idea that moms are the best resources for other moms- from advice on where to go to the pediatrician to tips on parenting, meal planning, and everyday tasks, together we are a plethora of information. Older moms could teach younger moms and younger moms could find mentors in women who had been there before. I created a MOMSource Facebook group page, reserved our neighborhood clubhouse, designed and printed postcards, and got approval
to have them sent home with 500 kids at the local elementary school. It was a huge step outside of my comfort zone, but if I didn’t do it, I wasn’t sure that anyone else ever would.

The first “meeting” was absolutely nerve-wracking. There were two ladies that I knew were coming and only three more showed up. I ditched the ice breakers and activities I had originally planned and we just ended up chatting and enjoying the kid-free social time. It was a bit awkward, but I braved this unknown world and forced myself to drive conversation. I even announced that our very first Mom’s Night Out would be at the end of the month. When all was said and done, a big part of me felt like the evening was a failure. Only three new people out of 500 postcards? But as God always does, he sent the right people.

Over the next few weeks, the numbers on our Facebook page started slowly creeping upward. Friends of friends started joining our group and before I knew it, all kinds of online discussions started, playgroups formed, and babysitter information was swapped. A girl from the first meeting contacted me about helping out and when we met one-on-one we really hit it off. Together we’ve created more events, marketing materials, and are working on a community newsletter. Today the group has over 100 moms and we have monthly “how-to” workshops, Moms’ Nights Out, and smaller “MOMSquads” that meet weekly. I think it’s only the beginning.

In order to speak truth into someone’s life, we first have to build a relationship and earn the right. Be creative and find a need in your community that you can fill. Use social media and the resources around
you to reach out and build community. People need to see Jesus before they want to hear about Him, and you (yes you!) can make that happen.

Kim Mauney

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