Saskatoon Mothers’ Centre raising funds to continue raising healthy families
- Andrea Ledding | January 11, 2018
Janelle Thomas was facing difficult life circumstances with her first pregnancy, and the Saskatoon Mothers’ Centre was one of the places that made a difference to her.
“I got the support I needed to be a healthier mother and to make better choices,” said Thomas. She continued her involvement with the Centre, wanting to give back to others as well as continue to receive support for herself and her son. Thomas has gone from attending the programming available, to being a peer mentor and hostess/facilitator, to becoming a board member.
“There’s breastfeeding support, sewing classes, cooking classes, book studies, and nonviolent communication parenting groups,” lists Thomas. “There are all kinds of supports available as well as a place for food, visiting, and child and baby supplies.”
All of those services are in peril though as the non-profit board of the organization is working hard to keep the doors of the Centre open. In 2017 they raised money with barbeques, fall suppers, and selling items online — only to find out that due to funding and grant cutbacks, they were out of money by the end of the year. The Saskatoon Health Region has been a constant supporter for the programming and centre needs, but they too have faced cutback after cutback from the provincial government.
So a GoFundMe page was created to Raise the Rent and Save the Saskatoon Mothers Centre in December of 2017, and so far the doors remain open with donations coming in from the public.
“I think that the Saskatoon Mothers’ Centre offers a unique service to the community — mothers are able to just come and relax and visit. I can volunteer alongside of my son,” says Thomas, on a week that has involved a CBC radio interview, and two television interviews with Global and CTV to try and publicize the Centre and attract donors to the crowdfunding campaign. The Centre has applied for charitable status which they hope to receive sometime in 2018.
“When we get charitable status it will be easier to attract donors, because they can receive a deductible tax receipt,” explains Thomas.
Rahila Karimi has been volunteering at the Centre for five years now. A new Canadian and single mother of three, she enjoys feeding others.
“We can offer them coffee or fruit or a warm meal and treat them like mothers. Mothers need other mothers and the Mothers’ Centre,” said Karimi. “Sometimes I bring groceries from home right now because I like to feed mothers. I’m a mother and I have a mother.”
Karimi and Thomas want to see the Mothers’ Centre keep the doors open forever, because of the important work it does every day for one of the most important jobs there is: motherhood. Located at Station 20 West in Saskatoon, it serves the core neighbourhoods and provides important services and spaces to support mothers and children from all walks of life, particularly those who find themselves isolated from the more traditional community supports.
“The Centre really provides an important role for so many,” Thomas said. “We need to keep the doors open.”
Want to help out? Every little bit helps. https://www.gofundme.com/save-the-saskatoon-mothers-centre