Area mothers teach children about the spirit of giving

MOMS club provides gifts to families in need, holiday cheer for residents at rest home

BY JENNIFER KOHLHEPP Staff Writer

Millstone and Roosevelt mothers are taking care of others this winter. Members of the Moms Offering Moms Support (MOMS) Club of Millstone Township purchased clothing as well as wish-list items, such as toys, electronics and appliances, to help bring joy to over a dozen local families in need this holiday season. The mothers wrapped the presents for their giving tree project on Dec. 10.

Aiden Baczkowski (l-r), Rachel Seinfeld, Abie Baczkowski and Joshua Seinfeld have their picture taken with Santa Claus during a MOMS Club holiday party in the Millstone Township Community Center on Dec. 9. More photos at www.gmnews.com. JEFF GRANIT staff Aiden Baczkowski (l-r), Rachel Seinfeld, Abie Baczkowski and Joshua Seinfeld have their picture taken with Santa Claus during a MOMS Club holiday party in the Millstone Township Community Center on Dec. 9. More photos at www.gmnews.com. JEFF GRANIT staff “The giving tree means a lot to the recipients,” said MOMS Club member Melanie Sullivan. “They are basically pretty destitute, and the club provides their Christmas for them.”

MOMS Club President Christine Baczkowski said the giving tree is by far the club’s biggest and most important service project. The club works with the township’s Recreation Department and the Board of Education to provide Christmas to needy families in town. The wish lists are provided to the club anonymously from the families.

Clockwise from top left: Natalie and Harry Biellow (l) and Meredith and Colden Poreda enjoy the MOMS Club holiday party at the Millstone Township Community Center on Dec. 9. MOMS Club President Christine Baczkowski goes over the club’s agenda. Members participate in various community service projects throughout the year. Alexandra Rennie makes a craft during the holiday party. PHOTOS BY JEFF GRANIT staff Clockwise from top left: Natalie and Harry Biellow (l) and Meredith and Colden Poreda enjoy the MOMS Club holiday party at the Millstone Township Community Center on Dec. 9. MOMS Club President Christine Baczkowski goes over the club’s agenda. Members participate in various community service projects throughout the year. Alexandra Rennie makes a craft during the holiday party. PHOTOS BY JEFF GRANIT staff “The past few years have been so incredible with the amount of generosity that has poured out from our membership,” Baczkowski said. “Not only do we provide from their lists but we get so much in donations that we can provide even more than what they want. And, on top of that, we are donating turkeys with all the trimmings this year.”

This holiday season, the club members also spread holiday cheer and taught their children the spirit of giving by caroling at the M&M Rest Home in Millstone, according to member Phyllis Mitchell. Members and their children performed a variety of holiday tunes and provided baked goods for residents to enjoy.

The club’s giving spirit does not end with the holiday season, because members participate in community service projects all year long. This year, the club also provided home-cooked meals to the local fire department, first aid squad and the New Jersey State Police barracks in Millstone to commemorate 9/11.

The proceeds the club made from selling used books and baked goods on Millstone Day went into the Mother to Mother Fund, which is an international fund available to all MOMS Club members worldwide should something catastrophic occur such as a fire or death in the family. Club members donated candy and baked goods, and their children dressed up in costumes for a Halloween parade for the residents at the M&M Rest Home. The MOMS Club has also adopted a local soldier who is stationed overseas, and members are currently taking up a collection of items for care packages for his company.

“Why do we give back to the community?” Baczkowski said. “It’s a win-win situation by doing so. Not only does it teach our children empathy, but they can actually live it. We are not just writing a check. Our children can actually witness the true meaning of giving back to their community by our actions, not just lip service.”

The MOMS Club members also like to get involved with the school system to have an impact on their children’s current and future education.

“I think we as a club can have a big impact on what goes on within the community because we are not only the voice of one but the voice of many,” Baczkowski said.

The MOMS Club of Millstone Township is the local chapter of an international nonprofit organization that offers local, stay-at-home and parttime working moms support and the opportunity to share activities and experiences with other local moms and their children. Baczkowski said the Millstone MOMS Club currently has 60 members.

“Our primary function is to provide a support system for stay-at-home and part-time moms from Millstone and Roosevelt,” Baczkowski said. “Our group does this in different ways. We conduct monthly meetings and distribute a monthly newsletter that discusses various functions within our organization. This includes but is not limited to various play dates, current and upcoming service projects, and topics of interest such as community services, school services, etc.”

The club offers a wide range of low or no cost to monthly calendar activities for all age groups, ranging from newborns and up. Activities include monthly meet-and-greets at Kiddie Academy, which provide a forum where moms and their children can meet new and current members. MOMS mornings out help moms who may be feeling the empty-nest syndrome get out and meet other moms. MOMS nights out provide fun activities for moms only. There are also monthly play dates based on children’s ages, helping hands for moms who have a new baby, illness in their family, an impendingmove or general need for help with meals and child care, a book club and a recipe exchange.

Baczkowski said she joined the club when her son was 6 months old.

“I really wanted to get out and meet new people in town who also had children of the same age,” Baczkowski said “Unfortunately, many moms don’t know where to go and meet other moms because the majority of the time, you meet people when your children are in school. But where does someone go to meet other moms who have infants?”

Baczkowski said joining the club was one of the best decisions she has ever made.

“Not only do I know much more of what is going on in town and in the school system, but I have made friends with some incredible women,” she said. “They are my rock and have helped me get through some difficult days. And, I know these women will be my friends for life.”

The MOMS Club of Millstone Township is open to mothers from Millstone and Roosevelt. For more information about membership or advertising opportunities, contact Melanie Sullivan at 732-851-5559 or melansulli@yahoo.com.