About a year ago, Clay County resident Susan Gray, a member of Good Shepherd Episcopal Church in Hayesville, approached Good Shepherd Rector Bill Breedlove with an idea that had been “on her heart.”
This idea has evolved into the program “Moms’ Connection,” a support group for mothers in Clay and surrounding counties. This initiative, simply put, is designed to provide new friendships, relevant and entertaining programming, and support for moms through monthly programs at Good Shepherd. The program has been operating for a year and has plans to expand its reach and events in 2018.
Susan Gray explains, “I had worked with pregnant women and with children for several years as a Social Worker at the Clay County Health Department. I kept hearing from these moms about how isolated they felt. There was nowhere in Clay County to connect with other moms and make supportive friends.”
The timing was excellent. Gray had just cut her hours at work, freeing her to devote time to starting this group. “I felt like God had laid it on my heart to start this group and the timing seemed right. Father Bill, Good Shepherd and our volunteers have been so supportive,” she says.
“Moms’ Connection” is open to all single or married moms, and grandmothers who are parenting children aged birth to 5 years old. Pregnant women may join as well. Moms in Clay and surrounding counties are welcomed to attend and there is no charge for participation.
“Our Moms experience a fun, relaxed time with other moms while their children are cared for in our Good Shepherd nursery by specially trained women. We have time to connect and share with each other in a supportive environment. There are refreshments, resource information, and even door prizes!” Gray says.
The November meeting saw a group of “Connectors” participating in a Self Defense class conducted by Judith Alvarado of “REACH of Clay County.” The ladies shared fellowship as they learned how to keep themselves safe, avoid troublesome situations, and defend themselves against attack if necessary.
Meetings occur the third Friday of every month from March through December. The next meeting, on December 15th, promises to be a great opportunity to try this program out and plan to attend next year. You can come to any or all the meetings. Hours are from 10:00 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. at Good Shepherd Episcopal Church located at 495 Herbert Hills Drive in Hayesville, NC.
“Our vision for ‘Moms’ Connection’ is to grow the group to be a strong resource for moms,” says Gray. “I am so excited about the ideas we have for next year. For example, one meeting will offer a ‘spa day’ for our moms. Other ideas include free certified car seat checks, guest speakers, and of course fun events for the children. We want ideas from the moms in our community about what they would like.”