DAVISON — When Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the cancellation of school and the stay at home order, a group of 37 Davison mothers, 20 volunteers, and countless children could no longer meet.
Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) went from holding their regular meetings in-person to utilizing social media and video conferencing to make their program completely online. Using ZOOM, Facebook, Tik Tok and other social media platforms, the moms group is getting its message out there and is helping keep people connected.
Danielle Crandell of Davison said the MOPS program locally has operated from local churches, currently out of St. John’s in Davison, for more than 20 years. The group, with membership of about 40 women, met twice monthly.
MOPS, said Crandell, tackles a variety of issues for women, ranging from postpartum depression, to service projects and issues involving faith.
“Since the quarantine, Davison MOPS members have sewn countless facemasks, organized resource sharing, and provided online speakers on topics such as breast cancer, special needs children, postpartum depression, musical education homeschooling, hair styling tips, faith, and virtual playdates for our MOPSkids program including a kids masked singer event,” she said.
Crandell added the switch from meeting in-person to online has been great, but she admits the first couple of weeks were “very heavy, with turmoil and confusion.”
Overall, she said, the group has managed to pull together amazing speakers and offer fun things to do, like bingo online.
“There’s something to keep everyone connected,” said Crandell. “Many moms are either overwhelmed or feeling depression, they’re feeling isolated. This helps alleviate that and allows us to reach out to more people.”
Several of the moms, she said, have been making masks for health care workers at McLaren Flint and Hurley Medical Center. One woman, she said, made 200 masks by herself and donated them.
The group is also able to provide resource sharing. As an example, Crandell said recently one of the moms experienced her refrigerator breaking down and within a short time the group had found her another fridge and got it delivered to her home.
“If someone can’t go to a store, someone in the group will pick it up and get it to them,” she said. “We did a birthday parade – 14-15 cars parade for one mom – things like that.”
Crandell said she’s been with the group for five years and has spent the last four years as coordinator for the MOPS group. She said she has a team of 10 who run it with her, and she calls them all “very helpful.” Usually the group meets two Thursday a month, but with meeting now virtually, the group meets Monday, Tuesday and Thursdays, alternating between Facebook Live and ZOOM. Some meetings offer speakers, some are the reading of morning scriptures and others are fun activities or classes.
“We wanted to share this positive community movement that is working to make sure no family feels isolated during this time,” said Crandell. “Suicide rates can be high during times of panic. Our group strives to provide resources, support and encouragement on the journey of motherhood. We feel that by joining together as a tribe of mothers we can navigate this unprecedented time better than we ever could on our own.”