Prairie Godmothers – the local organization of women helping women – held a Build-A-Bag Brunch on Friday and members filled more than 100 gift bags that will be distributed to single mothers in the coming weeks.
Sponsors provided bags and a free brunch, while volunteers were given a shopping list of items that would go in each bag: Shampoo and conditioner, body wash, disposable razors and other necessities were required, but the donors were also invited to add something fun such as nail polish or a candle. Volunteers could also add a note of encouragement.
An email sent to the members noted that the brunch was held just before Mothers Day:
“Single mothers work so hard to parent on their own, and these gift bags will provide them with encouragement and an emotional boost on the holiday dedicated to recognizing the priceless investment mothers make in their children.”
The gift bags will be distributed in partnership with the Family Crisis Center, the Central Kansas Dream Center and First Assembly of God Church.
Event committee member Rachel Mawhirter said no endowed funds were used for the brunch. Individuals and businesses donated the food, host site, door prize, linens and decorations, gift bags and nail files that went in each bag.
“We’ve had a lot of people come through,” Mawhirter said. “We’ll be able to bless a lot of people.”
The Prairie Godmothers group now has 279 donors and nearly $115,000 in endowed funds, Mawhirter said. Interest on those funds can be used for one-time emergency grants to women. In 2014, the group awarded 26 grants totaling $5,136. So far in 2015, 14 grants totaling $4,770 have been awarded.
One grantee was a woman who was in an accident and lost some of her teeth, Mawhirter said. The woman didn’t have dental insurance, so the grant helped pay for oral surgery. Other grants went to women who found themselves in financial straits after becoming widowed. One was able to get a job thanks to the grant.
Kimberly Becker with the Dream Center said one homeless woman who used to be a Registered Nurse was able to receive continuing education and pay the fees to have her license reinstated; she is a nurse again and earning a good wage.
Anyone is welcome to become a Prairie Godmother. Information can be found by “liking” Prairie Godmothers on Facebook, or at the Golden Belt Community Foundation, 1307 Williams St. Tax-deductible donations may be mailed to: Prairie Godmothers Funds; Golden Belt Community Foundation; P.O. Box 1911; Great Bend, KS 67530. Checks should be made to GBCF and note “Prairie Godmothers” in the memo line. One hundred percent of every donation remains in Barton County.