Last week one of my playgroups took a trip to FUNbelievable, and it was fun. As we sat around watching our kids play, we chatted about our upcoming Disneyland mom’s night out and the birthday party for a 4-year-old that was happening the next day.
But the party didn’t happen, because that very night his dad died of a sudden heart attack leaving behind that little boy and his 7-months pregnant mom.
Now, I am a huge fan of playgroups. I am on the board of the Scripps Parent Connection, which has been known for its ability to connect young moms through play groups for more than 30 years. My own Parent Connection playgroup first met nearly 6 years ago when our babies were only a few months old, and just last week we were together again for one last middle of the day meetup before our kiddos were off to kindergarten. In addition to my PC group, I belong to a MOPS group and several Meetup.com groups like the one that was chatting happily with its member on the very day her husband would tragically die.
For as much of a playgroup advocate as I’ve been for 6 years, I never imagined how one would pull together to help a member in need. The FUNbelievable, Disneyland, Meetup.com group pulled together in person and through Facebook to raise more than $2,000 in just a few days to support this member. The owner of Playtown generously opened her business for an after hours fundraiser. Members who sell products and services like Thirty One Gifts, Stella and Dot jewelry and Pampered Chef donated proceeds from sales and silent auction items. Lots of people simply contributed money to a Pay Pal account that was set up to take donations. Others are sending meals to the family. It is a total outpouring of support like I’ve never been a part of before.
Let’s hope that the only support you and I will ever need from our playgroup pals is for our sleepless nights with newborns, our desperate days of potty training, the bitter sweet celebration of kindergarten, friendship and Moms’ Nights Out. But, it’s nice to know that they will be there for much, much more if necessary.
Please feel free to submit your own playgroup link in the comments section below if you’d like to be added to the new “playgroups” resource tab on this website!