Noelle Kirchner, M.Div., is a Presbyterian minister and mother of two boys. As they wrestle on the floor, she enjoys wrestling with her manuscripts. She writes for Huff Post Parents, the TODAY Show Parenting Team, and has been a repeat guest author at in(courage). You can find her on her blog, where she writes about faith and parenting, and on Twitter and Facebook.
Motherhood is a time of abundance. We experience the joy and privilege of new life, marvel at its innocence, and celebrate its triumphant milestones. Meanwhile, God grows our heart in ways that were previously unimaginable.
But motherhood can also be a time of lack. We are stretched emotionally, physically, and even spiritually as we wrestle with the expected and unexpected difficulties of this sacred task. All of us wrestle, but some do so more than others. It has been my joy and privilege to make the acquaintance of a mom who is well aware of that fact.
Bridget Cutler started The Moms Helping Moms Foundation because she wanted to do something to help fellow moms in need. She noticed the poverty rate in her home state was significant and climbing. Her work organizing supplies for moms in New Jersey has garnered her national attention -- She was named a CNN Hero this year. But I met her because our children attend the same Christian preschool.
Watch this short CNN Hero video segment to meet Bridget:
Bridget, in your own words, how would you describe the work of your organization?
"I started this organization in 2011 after my first daughter was born. I wanted to help local families who were facing financial hardship get access to basic supplies for young children. Over the years we have grown, and we were granted 501c3 status last year. Our organization collects donations of new and gently used baby items from families who no longer use them. Through partnerships with local service organizations, we distribute the supplies to local families in need. It's a very simple idea, but it's very impactful! We have been told countless times that our help has lifted a burden and allowed recipients to focus on being better parents."
I am grateful for Bridget's vision and work. The beauty of it doesn't stop with the donations themselves, however. It also has to do with the face to face assistance that moms receive when they "shop" for free at the foundation's store. We all know that motherhood supplies can be overwhelming and baffling at times - what a gift to have experienced moms personalize that aid!
Would you like to help the Moms Helping Moms Foundation? Click here to learn how you can donate your time or items if you live in or around Union, NJ. Union is in the New York metro area, and it's the location of their new store. Otherwise, they accept donations through their website and certainly welcome your prayers!
The foundation models that there is power in community. I love the solidarity of moms coming together for a common purpose, and I pray each of us is able to do so in our respective communities. God will do the nudging; we just need to respond. When we embrace our role as the body of Christ, we can make a big difference by offering even simple gifts. Sometimes it just takes:
...And one act of kindness to start a movement that can change the world.
If you want to be a part of a community of moms who are looking to infuse God into motherhood, and receive spiritual support for its sacred task, consider becoming an email subscriber to this blog! Those who do will receive a free printable - it's a beautiful rendition of the 5 scriptural promises to live by!