Moms’ support group keeps efforts local

RANGELY I The needs haven’t changed. If anything, they have increased.
That’s why the leaders of a moms’ support group decided to keep all of their efforts — and money — local.
For two years, the group was part of MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers), which is a national, actually, international organization. The Rangely group paid a fee to be a part of MOPS.
Now all of the money raised to help moms stays here.
“We decided rather than having our fees and money we raised pay for the national group, we would make it a local Rangely moms’ group and help moms here in need,” said Tarrah Patch, a spokeswoman for the group. “We would have had to pay them (MOPS) a sponsorship fee to use their name and logo and programs, which was quite a bit of money, and it wasn’t really helping anyone locally.”
The new group is called Rangely Moms. Or, as some refer to it, moms of munchkins.
“We have about 20 or 25 moms coming with all different age groups of kids,” said Patch, who is a mother of four daughters, ages 8, 6, 5 and 3. “It’s about the support and connection we can get through the community of moms with young kids.”
Child support is provided during the eight meetings the group has throughout the year.
“Bethany Green is the moms of munchkins coordinator,” Patch said. “She’s the person they would need to talk to if they would like to volunteer. We’re always looking for people to help us out with our kids. That seems to be our biggest issue.”
The moms group is, well, a group effort. Rebecca Elder and Manda Palmer are the “hospitality ladies,” who are responsible for setting up the meetings and the food and decorations.
The coordinators for the new Rangely Moms group are Julie Noyes and Amanda Davies.
“We really felt our moms were not benefiting from what MOPS International had to offer,” said Noyes, whose husband, Thad, is pastor of Grace Baptist Church. “We felt like we would use our resources better to just start our local group. That’s what it amounted to. It’s really important to use the dues the ladies pay to help the moms in need as well as to make the meetings run.”
The group offers emotional support for moms, as well as spiritual, physical and even financial support.
“We want to be in tune to the spiritual as well as physical needs of the moms,” Julie Noyes said. “We are a distinctly Christian group. We read the Bible and have devotions at every meeting. We’re not ashamed of that. This is not just a bunch of goody-goody moms. We really want to love one another.”
Heather Zadra writes a blog for the group at www.rangelymoms.org.
“It’s entirely local now,” Zadra said of the new group. “There’s more emphasis on meeting local moms’ needs, especially materially since our dues aren’t going directly to MOPS anymore.”
The dues for the new group are $30 for a year, or $5 per meeting. If money is an issue, financial help is available.
“If they can’t afford that we ask them to contact any of our coordinators,” Patch said. “We have people who donate to sponsor a mom. We never want a mom to feel like she can’t afford to come.”
Grace Baptist Church serves as a sponsor for the group.
“They are overseeing it all,” Patch said. “And they graciously allow us to use their building.”
The group meets from 9 to 11 a.m. the first Thursday of the month in September, October and November, then January through May.
The group’s big fundraiser is a joint effort with Giovanni’s Italian Grill on Super Bowl Sunday.
“We’ve been very pleased with how the Super Bowl fundraiser has worked out,” Patch said. “John and Sandy (Payne, owners of the restaurant) have been great. They have gone above and beyond to help us out. Giovanni’s has donated all of the money and supplies. We usually deliver up to 80 pizzas. We’ve been blessed each year. This will be the third year of doing it.”
Sandy Payne, who, along with her husband, John, owns and operates Giovanni’s, said, “We are supportive of the Rangely moms group because we believe that being a mom is a wonderful thing. With the mom’s group you get the benefits of wisdom from the older ladies, support and encouragement from the other moms, and your child gets to play while you get a break. For the past couple of years I’ve helped with the children during their meeting times, which has given me a chance to get to know the organizers better, and the ladies who attend the meetings. We have had a blast doing the pizza fundraiser and getting to know the ladies better during the event.”
Upcoming Rangely Moms meetings will include a cookie exchange in December, which will be held at 7 p.m. Dec. 2 at Patch’s house, 233 S. White Ave.
“We’re calling it a moms’ night out,” Patch said. “We will have an array of cookies and they get to leave the kids behind and come and have refreshments before the season of craziness begins.”
The group also has craft and educational meetings. In January, Sarah Ward, instructor of biology at Colorado Northwestern Community College, will give a presentation on nutrition. In February, the group will have a pajama day, where moms and kids wear pajamas to the meeting. In May, the group will have an end-of-the-year banquet, before taking a break for the summer.
“We don’t meet during the summer,” Patch said. “But we do have play groups on Tuesdays after story time (at Rangely Regional Library). We encourage moms to go to the park and pack a lunch after story time. It gives the kids some fresh air and time to run.”
Donna Kennis and Donna Petersburg, who have raised their families, serve as mentors for the young moms.
“They are there as mothers who have been through a seasoned motherhood and offer support and encouragement and a listening shoulder,” Patch said.
Given the economic times, Patch said a support group for moms is even more important.
“Our goal is to reach out to different moms of young children, from pregnancy to elementary age, who are in need, whatever needs they have,” Patch said. “Even in this small community, there are needs. People without food, whose bills are not being paid, who have had health crises. We’ve been able to help with those. We’re like one big family. That’s what we’re trying to be with these moms.”