Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Q&A with Heathr West; MOMS Club Offers Activities, Projects

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Q&A with Heathr West; MOMS Club Offers Activities, Projects

Article excerpt

Byline: Sandy Strickland

They are more than their name implies. They are stay-at-home moms who've bought puppets for their area library and participated in a 5K run to help a sick child.

The Southeast Mandarin MOMS Club, which is almost six years old, offers a range of activities for its members. The chapter is part of the International MOMS Club - Moms Offering Moms Support - a nonprofit dedicated to enriching the lives of mothers who stay at home to rear their children.

President Heather West said members feel compelled to help others in their community. For instance, they put together a cookbook and bought 20 puppets for the South Mandarin branch library, enabling it to use its portable theater built by a Boy Scout as an Eagle Scout project.

West is the subject of this week's Q&A:

What is a MOMS Club?

It's an international support group for stay-at-home and part-time working moms. It is broken down by zip codes in most areas. Our 57 members live primarily in the 32258 zip code and meet monthly at the South Mandarin branch library, 12125 San Jose Blvd.

Why did you join the Southeast Mandarin MOMS Club?

I joined the club to find things to do with my then 8-week-old daughter and to find support from other moms going through being a brand-new mom like me.

What are the benefits for the moms and children?

The benefits are wonderful moms to socialize with, great kids for yours to play with and fun activities that you are not able to do on your own, such as touring a restaurant or enjoying things in a group setting. Many of the local organizations give us a discount because we use their services as a group.

What are some of the activities?

We have movie outings, lunches, park play dates, zoo trips, themed home events, Moms Night Out, tours of local businesses (like Publix), gymnastics, dance, karate, story time and other activities depending on the time of the year.

Tell me about some of your service projects and why you do them?

We have done various service projects, such as Toys For Tots, donations to Nemours Children's Clinic and Wolfson Children's Hospital, a Thanksgiving food drive for a women's shelter and the Mandarin Food Bank, a puppet donation to the South Mandarin branch library and monetary donations to the family of a sick child. …

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