Community kicks off annual ‘Movers for Moms’ donation campaign
HUNTSVILLE — Holding a sign on an offramp in Atlanta as a homeless woman was not how Patti Moody had envisioned her life at 50 years old.
Having been raped, beaten, robbed and “living in constant fear,” Moody’s life had become a nightmare-turned-reality.
“Darkness was not just for nighttime,” she said. “It was with me all the time. I was frightened, distrusting and trapped in a dark hole. I saw no hope. I saw nothing.”
Moody is just one of many women in Huntsville who have struggled—or are still struggling—to fulfill their basic needs and find their way back to a brighter path in life. Owen’s House, the Downtown Rescue Mission’s refuge for women and children, offers these women the hope and help they need to press forward. Since it opened its doors in early 2018, Owen’s House has been receiving support from the community through various avenues. One of these is Movers for Moms, a donation campaign by Two Men and a Truck that aims to gather essential items to support mothers in need.
According to Joe Hollingsworth, franchisee of Huntsville’s Two Men and a Truck, the local Movers for Moms campaign has grown tremendously in just three years.
“We’ve really made a concerted effort with this program for three years,” he said at the Movers for Moms kickoff event March 14, though he noted that the campaign really took off with the arrival of Stephanie Mills, marketing and communications director for Two Men and a Truck in Huntsville.
“She came along right when Owen’s House was completed, and so it fit perfectly into Movers for Moms. So, we ran that campaign last year, and we went from a handful of partners to around 45, and went from 200 donations to about 12,000.” This year, however, Movers for Moms already has more than 100 partners—more than double last year’s numbers. “You go from 45 to over 100, and we’re expecting this year to really see some great results,” Hollingsworth added.
Two Men and a Truck has put together a donation wishlist, which includes the following:
- unisex toiletries (toothbrushes, toothpaste, disposable razors, 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner, body wash, soap bars)
- women’s underwear
- unisex socks
- children’s underwear and socks
- diapers (3 months-6 months)
Donations are being accepted at multiple locations around Madison County from now until May 8. According to Mills, Two Men and a Truck will be responsible for collecting the donations at each site, sorting them and delivering them to homeless shelters right before Mother’s Day.
“It’s such an amazing program, and we’re so excited that Two Men and a Truck started this so many years ago and what it’s grown to become in 2019,” she said at the kickoff. While the local Two Men and a Truck has now been holding the donation campaign for three years, Mills said Movers for Moms is a company-wide initiative. With women serving in several “key leadership roles” in Two Men and a Truck, Mills said Movers for Moms came naturally to the company.
“Mother’s Day really should be a joyous occasion for every mother, but a lot of the time, it’s not, so that’s really one key thing that we wanted to make happen for the moms living at Owen’s House, and of course, their children as well,” Mills added. “I feel like this is going to be an amazing year.”
While Two Men and a Truck may be at the forefront of the Movers for Moms campaign, Hollingsworth emphasized the importance of the community coming together to support those in need.
“This is not a Two Men and a Truck thing,” he said. “It’s a community thing, and if we come together, we can really fortify the Downtown Rescue Mission as far as toiletry items and things that women and children can use.”
Some of their donations from last year’s campaign are still being used at the Downtown Rescue Mission.
Lisa Young, senior director of development at the Downtown Rescue Mission, attested to Hollingsworth’s words. Receiving donations and essential items from the community, she explained, helps them to further their mission of introducing the gospel to the men, women and children they serve.
“What you guys do in participating in things like this is you’re providing the care,” she said. “You’re providing the physical needs—the things that make life a little bit easier for these folks—so that the work of the gospel can come in and change their hearts.”
This is something she has had the “privilege” of watching unfold in Moody’s life, transforming her into the woman she is today.
Thanks to that kind stranger, the Downtown Rescue Mission and Movers for Moms, Moody is no longer that homeless woman living under a bridge with addiction and despair as her way of life. With the gospel as her light, she now gives back to the place that gave to her, serving as a resident advisor at the Downtown Rescue Mission.
She still remembers the community’s help through Movers for Moms, too.
“I will forever have Movers for Moms in my heart because I got to stand in front of this building with Stephanie the day that truck pulled up for the very first time, and I was overwhelmed with what you all did and what you do that we don’t even see—the prayers, the donations,” Moody said. “With our Savior behind us, in front of us and within us, we will all stand strong … Our mission, our purpose and our hope—it lives here, and its name is Jesus. … That is our mission: to deliver Jesus and his word.”