Online Organization Connects Local Moms
Three days before she went into the hospital for surgery, Theresa Corbe joined the nonprofit, online organization Sandhills Mommies, which uses the Internet to foster a connection with local mothers.
Corbe visited the organization's Web site after she was out of the hospital. Upon logging in, she discovered that many of the other moms had sent her their hopes and well-wishes for her operation despite the short amount of time she had been a member of the group.
Kristy Sartain, the site administrator, sent Corbe a posting asking about her favorite foods. The next morning, Corbe walked onto her front step to discover containers of every food item she mentioned in her reply.
"They even made me a red velvet cake," Corbe says, "Women on the site are so generous with their time and attention."
Corbe's experience is not uncommon to the Sandhills Mommies, which is a local chapter of the Mommies Network. Based online, the organization is rooted in its forums. It also schedules and organizes face-to-face events in the community.
"We have a collaboration of missions," says Sartain. "Our goal is to create a place where moms can be themselves, get involved in the community, and meet with other moms."
Heather Meininger founded the Mommies Network when she moved to Charlotte as a young mom. She found herself friendless in the new area, which inspired her to create an organization connecting mothers in the community.
Mothers from all walks of life frequent the Web site, and Sandhills Mommies prides itself on its all-inclusive attitude. Members are full-time moms, full-time workers, natives of the area, new to town, first-time parents, empty nesters, and more.
"Nobody is discriminated against," says Sartain, "You name it, everybody is welcome on the site."
Forums are the main attraction for Sandhills Mommies. These forums are composed of blogs and postings made by the mothers who frequent the site. They discuss a wide array of information from household organization to cutest child moments.
While the Web site is the center of the organization, The Mommies Network encourages other events. Mothers can arrange play dates and enjoy a family fun night, but the site also provides moms-only outings.
Sandhills Mommies' role in community service is an important part of its mission. Members are currently involved with the "See Ability Not Disability" (S.A.N.D) charity, part of the Family Support Network of the Sandhills. S.A.N.D offers athletic opportunities for disabled children.
Recently, Sandhills Mommies held a bake sale, giving all the proceeds to the S.A.N.D charity to buy team shirts for the participants. They hope to continue working with the charity on a monthly basis.
When asked about the fathers' role, Sartain laughs, saying, "Most husbands just tell their wives that they are glad they found us."
Still, there is a new addition to the organization. Dad's Network, also started in Charlotte, is beginning to receive more support.
"The most important thing is that it is free," says Sartain.
"Our events are not cost-prohibitive, and we don't think anyone should have to pay to make friends."
For more information, visit www.sandhillsmommies.com or www.fsnsandhills.4t.com/index.htm.
Adi Anderson is a summer intern at The Pilot.
More like this story