Even if we cannot be together, mothers will not be forgotten on Mother’s Day. So said the donors and volunteers of the South Shore YMCA.
Each year, the South Shore YMCA’s Germantown Neighborhood Center in Quincy hosts a communal Mother’s Day Dinner, a wonderful shared experience for moms often fighting uphill battles, many raising their kids as single working parents, loving, coaching, nudging, and cheering them onto achievement and success. During the evening the moms share testimonials, feelings, fears and more. And they form bonds that last for years.
What about the kids, you ask? The Y provides childcare, fun and games, during the entire affair.
With stay-at-home restrictions and social distancing in place, the center could not hold the dinner this year. Thinking ahead, Kathie McDonough, South Shore YMCA Executive Board member, generous donor and mom, contacted The Chef’s Table in Marshfield to work out a plan. Several moms, volunteers who work with young girls in the Y’s mentoring program at the SSYMCA Germantown Neighborhood Center, joined in to make sure this Mother’s Day, although different, would be special.
The Chef’s Table prepared meals: salmon, rice and vegetables for four, plus salad and cake. Heather Ward and the third grade Girl Scout troop from Derby Academy donated Girl Scout cookies to add to the package while a team of volunteers – Melanie Cataldo and her daughter Olivia, Karen Fanning and her daughter Katherine, Janney Packard and her kids Owen and Madeline, Amy Crane and Mia Rochte – handled the delivery and provided a special gift bag with flowers and gift cards.
“Every mom deserves to be honored and feel special on Mother’s Day,” said McDonough. “It has always been my pleasure to work with the Y staff and The Chef’s Table to provide a meal for these wonderful moms. In these uncertain times it was very important to me to continue our tradition.”
“I love helping others,” said Rochte, “and I’m so glad we were still able to do something this year for moms.” Rochte, a mentor and volunteer, finds volunteering rewarding. “I love it at Germantown,” she said. “Everyone is so appreciative. It’s a warm place providing hope. There’s no judgement, and it feels good to be a part of that.”
The day brought personal connections. The mentors have been unable to see the kids and moms for nearly two months, and vice versa. The smiles alone would have been worth the visit; the meals sweetened the deal.
“It was a privilege and honor to be a part of the 2020 Mother’s Day meal and gift distribution through the South Shore YMCA’s Germantown Neighborhood Center,” said Patrick Murphy, new Executive Director of the Quincy YMCA. “Our team, made up of staff and committed volunteers, were determined to not let the pandemic stop this impactful tradition and even though this year we were mobile and did drop offs, the recipients were so appreciative and happy to see the faces of familiar staff and volunteers who made this possible.”
Hopefully, next year’s celebration will bring everybody together again.
To donate to the South Shore YMCA during this crisis, contact Mary Orne, firstname.lastname@example.org, 781-264-9453, or visit ssymca.org/covid19support to support the challenge through a tax-deductible donation.
About the South Shore YMCA
The South Shore YMCA is a leading charitable organization dedicated to strengthening community. Since 1892, the Y has served communities across the South Shore of Massachusetts and beyond, engaging over 60,000 adults, children, families and seniors each day through membership, critical social services, and programs that support a healthy spirit, mind and body. The Y empowers everyone by ensuring access to resources, relationships and opportunities for all to learn, grow and thrive. By bringing together people from all backgrounds, the Y’s goal is to improve overall health and well-being, ignite youth empowerment and demonstrate the importance of connections throughout our community. To learn more about the South Shore YMCA and our causes, visit ssymca.org. The Better You Belongs Here.