Kitchen renovations continue on after receiving more funds from silent auction

Proceeds from a recent silent auction are going towards kitchen renovations in order to help a local charity gather its volunteers, prepare meals and store items for families in need.

Made By Momma, a local organization with the philosophy of “mothers helping mothers,” has recently acquired a new space in West Hillhurst out of which the charity will run.

“Up until this point we were working out of our homes,” said Allyson Palaschuk, one of the founders and president of the organization. “It was too much, it was
overwhelming, and we all felt like we needed somewhere we could gather.”

Palaschuk came across the new property one day last February while picking up a donation, and figured she would give the renter a call after several other landlords seemed wary of renting to a charity with no stable source of income.

“I think the landlords had to have taken a real leap of faith and just believe in what we do to say, ‘Yes, you can have our building,’” said Palaschuk,

“It was just their open heart and generosity that without them I don’t know where we would be right now.”

Palaschuk slates the kitchen to be fully functional by Spring 2013, and it will serve mainly as a hub for the volunteers and endless number of items the organization receives daily.Cindy Meade places a bid on one of the auction items.

Photo by Kassidy Christensen

“Our goal is that it’s a commercial-style community kitchen, groups of volunteers can come to use the kitchen to make meals for us, as well as other organizations and companies can come to cook, said Palaschuk.

“This way they will be able to come straight to us, we will have all the ingredients, the freezers, and everything will be in one central spot.”

Once complete, the space will also have a small playroom and nursery for children of the volunteers.

Rebecca Ghelfi, vice-president of the organization, plans to not only support families as much as possible, but
also to start running workshops for the general public on nutrition, health and other subjects to expand the charity.

“We’re really just here to help the families in whatever way we can,” said Ghelfi.

Made by Momma is a local organization founded in 2010 focused on Calgary mothers volunteering to help other families in times of need.

“I think it’s important that when something happens, somebody omes along to help you,”said Palaschuk. “And if it’s not your family and you haven’t made any friends, who’s it going to be?

“That’s the backbone of what we do. We don’t want to see another mother struggle. We want to make sure everyone feels supported.”

Background

The charity was founded by Ashlee Andrews – a friend of Palaschuk’s – back in 2010 when her family fell severely ill with H1N1. Having just moved to Calgary from the United States at the time, and with no family near her, Andrews turned to the group of moms she had made friends with for support.

“It was the moms she had met at the library and her small social circle that came over and brought meals and muffins and helped them through that really hard time,

“She got to thinking, maybe we as moms should come together and help other moms, and it grew and grew and grew,” said Palaschuk.

Many of the donations Made By Momma receives are food, clothing, formula, diapers or time. Currently,
Made By Momma has more than 240 volunteers, varying in different levels of commitment. The charity also grossed more than $16,000 at the silent auction, held Nov. 10 at Kilkenny’s Irish Pub in the northwest.

Alana Dietrich, mother of one and volunteer comments, “It’s just me and my daughter, and so often we cook too much food and it’s an awesome way to share it,

“It’s really nice because you can do the little things and help when you can, there’s not a lot of pressure. It’s really encouraging.”

kchristensen@cjournal.ca