GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - The birth of a child can be the happiest and the most stressful time in parents lives. A local organization has spent years making it easier. This week MomsBloom celebrated its fifth anniversary.
"We've accomplished a lot. We officially launched in 2008 and since then we have seen the impact that just a simple, easy, grassroots organization has been able to have in helping families get a good start in life," said MomsBloom Executive Director, Sara Binkley-Tow.
MomsBloom is revered in the West Michigan community and its work has even gained the attention of the national news media recently.
It started out making life easier for just a few dozen families. And, over the past 5 years MomsBloom has provided free services to more than 800 families.
"I think we have grown in a lot of ways and how we have met families' needs. We have really been able to keep things personalized which has helped families because every family is different," said Binkley-Tow. "We have really stayed true to what our mission originally was and really since day one we have committed to that. We haven't changed too much because it has worked."
WZZM 13 introduced you to MomsBloom back in December of 2011. That's when we did a story featuring volunteer, Nancy Patterson, a retired teacher and a new mom of twins, Toi James.
James is, among the hundreds of new moms who needed some extra support after giving birth. And, that's what MomsBloom specializes in.
Binkley-Tow knows personally how important help is to a new mother. She was inspired to start MomsBloom after her own battle with post-partum depression.
"When I originally thought about starting MomsBloom it was because I didn't have the support systems in place and I suffered with postpartum depression. I didn't share that with anybody," she said. "I didn't have the strength to ask for help."
Volunteers sign on for 3 months to help new moms with light chores or watching the baby while mom sleeps or gets away for a minute.
"Because we really can't do it all. We try to. We feel we need it all. We want it all. But, in the end we really need to reach out when we need extra assistance."
Thursday night MomsBloom celebrated its 5th anniversary during "BloomBash". There was food, music, a silent auction to help in fundraising and of course a birthday cake.
Parents, volunteers and supporters were there to share in the festivities.
MomsBloom has trained more than 300 volunteers to help families. If you are interested in knowing more about this organization check out its website.