Charitable Choices: Anna Carr of Mamas for Mamas Vancouver

In a compassionate endeavour to address the needs of caregivers and families in Vancouver, the local branch of Mamas for Mamas is making significant strides in providing essential support. Offering an array of services including free diapers, formula, clothing, and personal hygiene products, the non-profit organization goes beyond material assistance. Mamas for Mamas is also a steadfast source of free mental health support for both caregivers and children, emphasizing the importance of holistic well-being. We spoke with Branch Director Anna Carr to learn more about what they do.

Mamas for Mamas

Describe your charity/non-profit/volunteer work in a few sentences.

Mamas for Mamas supports caregivers and families looking to access essential items and community. Our services include but are not limited to, providing free diapers, formula, clothing and personal hygiene products, free mental health support for caregivers and children, community connection and Resource Navigation services.

What problem does it aim to solve?

We aim to change the landscape of poverty through innovative approaches to financial barriers faced by struggling families.

When did you start/join it?

I started with Mamas at the beginning of 2019.

What made you want to get involved?

I was a mom who wanted to get involved in the community, my own journey into motherhood was isolating, and I recognized that once I had community built up around me, I was much healthier and able to provide a healthy environment for my family, I wanted to help do this for other families who felt alone and disconnected.

What was the situation like when you started?

There was no Mamas for Mamas branches outside Kelowna, I heard their story, reached out to them to see how I could get involved from Vancouver, and the founder drove down and met me for coffee. Through community events, mom coffee times and simply sharing the idea I started to meet like-minded and hearted individuals in the area, many of whom are still the team who run the Vancouver branch today. We created a community of women who had hearts to care for other caregivers and their families.

How has it changed since?

We now have a free Karma Market and see clients every day. We have a large volunteer group here in the Vancouver area, and although we keep our grassroots startup model to help us reach each community within the GVRD, we can now offer more support from a centralized location in Richmond. We work closely with Health Nurses, BCCH Social Workers, Schools, and settlement agencies to ensure we reach those families that are most vulnerable.

What more needs to be done?

The need has grown these past few years, we are seeing our schedule get booked out well in advance and our diapers and formula are going quickly. Families are struggling to afford living, even when there are two wages coming in, so those who only have one and or those on income assistance, are really finding it hard to afford diapers and formula. Just as the food banks are calling for more food right now, we are also in need of more diapers and formula. Of course, this is a systematic symptom, and really, we need more affordable housing, better systems in place to support all the new families coming into the country, and we need affordable groceries.

How can our readers help?

If you are looking for something you can do right now, check in on your neighbour, or if you see a mom in the grocery store wrangling two toddlers and it looks like she might cry, go ask if you can help load her cart for her, take time to see people, be a community for others. You can help a lot without having to spend anything but time. But if you would like to send us diapers and formula, we will take that too. Please connect with us at yvr@mamasformamas.org.

Do you have any events coming up?

Yes, we will be announcing our first Vancouver Gala coming up this July.

Where can we follow you?

Instagram

PAY IT FORWARD: What is an awesome local charity that you love?

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About Emilea Semancik 124 Articles
Emilea Semancik was born in North Vancouver. Emilea has always always wanted to work as a freelance writer and currently writes for the Vancouver Guardian. Taking influence from journalism culture surrounding the great and late Anthony Bourdain, she is a recipe author working towards publishing her own series of books. You can find her food blog on Instagram: