A non-profit set up to offer immediate help to mothers in crisis is opening its first Vancouver-area hub in Richmond.
The Mamas for Mamas Vancouver chapter is hosting a launch party in its parking lot on Horseshoe Way in Ironwood on Saturday, Sept. 26, before opening to the public two days later.
The organization – founded in Kelowna in 2014 by a trauma counsellor who identified a gap in aid for women in crisis – is run, as the name suggests, by mothers for mothers and provides front-line poverty relief for low-income families in crisis.
As well as emergency and longer-term items such as gift cards, baby food, diapers, kids and adult clothes, Mamas for Mamas has access to counselling and employment services.
“Having our own office offers a safe place for mammas to come, where they can talk about what’s going on, what they need,” explained Andrea Delf, the chapter’s executive director, adding that they’ve been running the Vancouver chapter out of their garages for the last 18 months or so.
“We’re also hoping to bring on our own social worker. We offer a hand up, not a hand out. We just want to empower these women to get back on their feet.”
Delf said the pandemic has led to an increase in demand for help from Mamas for Mamas, with more women fleeing abusive partners at home.
“We can help them furnish their new home where they have (fled) to, for example,” added Delf, a mother of two young kids.
“But we also have close relationships with social workers at the likes of Ronald McDonald House, who will reach out to us if they have a mother or a family that needs help.
“We can quickly gather donations and get it to them within 24 hours.
“A lot of these families need immediate help, as they’re often flown in on a helicopter with just the shirt on their back.”
Tickets for the COVID-friendly launch party on the 26th – which will include complimentary wine, beer, coffee, food and a live DJ - are available on Instagram at mamasformamas.vancouver.