Families are not the only ones at Mom’s House that transform. Read a sincere letter from our exiting Board Chair, Jean Good.
A few reflections, from my viewpoint as a board member, vice-chair and chair over the last three years; It has been a privilege to journey together with all of you as well as prior board members as we have worked on behalf of the parents and children that come to Mom’s House. We have challenged each other to become more informed about the mission, develop more partnerships, and be engaged board members. We believe in the mission to empower single parents to break the cycle of poverty through childcare, support, and resources.
Lately, I have thought of the metamorphosis of the monarch butterfly; from caterpillar to chrysalis then butterfly. To use this analogy, it seems to me like Mom’s House has been a caterpillar for a long time. Steady, crawling, staying alive, but wanting more essential things. Mom’s House is referred to as one of the best-kept secrets of Lancaster County. We want to change that perception.
It seems to me that my time on the board could take the mysterious chrysalis stage of the butterfly – what happens during the time that the caterpillar turns into a butterfly? For our board, I believe our time in the chrysalis filled us with reflections on the past, analysis of current plans, and focus on future growth. We asked difficult questions about our current processes and policies to develop our strategic plan for growth. At times, the “chrysalis” felt like five steps forward in our planning, but two steps back to regroup and rebuild, so that we can move forward as an organization.
To the credit of our board members and Executive Director, Sara Johns, I believe we are achieving a metamorphosis! Together we decided to take steps to seek outside advice and counsel from experts in donor relationships and strategic planning. Over the last year, we worked with two consultants who walked with us and helped us by using their knowledge and skills to guide us on this journey. Thanks, board members and Sara for embracing the process with a common goal for developing a plan that will carry this organization into the future.
From my viewpoint, one of the most critical questions we grappled with is; “Are we serving the parent or the child?” At first, it seems obvious; we serve the single parent seeking to complete their education. At second glance, we thought, we serve the children entrusted to our care. Then we realized you couldn’t separate the two. A family is a unit. To that end, Sara educated us on the difference between daycare and childcare.
Mom’s House provides childcare and an education plan tailored to each child to prepare them for kindergarten and a thriving education beyond our program. Mom’s House has achieved 4-star status with the state, a situation not known to be obtained by a center that doesn’t charge it’s clients. As we asked Sara to help us understand this model, we realized that growth is what we need to give each family the best chance to change their future; to change the future of the generations to come.
We care for the parents by supporting their education, following up regarding grades, and progress, and then celebrating the graduation and eventual career secured. Our care allows them to support their family and lift themselves and future generations out of poverty.
It is up to each of you to decide when the butterfly has fully emerged. Maybe it already has; I have confidence that this organization is poised and ready to move as a group toward a more stable future and foundation to minister to families to come.
-Jean Good, Exiting Board Chair