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Greencastle, Pa., club offers support to MOMS

September 19, 1999

MOMSBy RICHARD F. BELISLE / Staff Writer

photo: KEVIN G. GILBERT / staff photographer




GREENCASTLE, Pa. - Their topics run the gamut from romance to breast-feeding, from birthday party ideas to family vacation spots, and when they meet, the parking lot of Trinity Lutheran Church in Greencastle fills up with minivans.

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They are the MOMS of Greencastle - a support group of mothers of pre-schoolers who meet twice a month at the church to socialize, compare notes on child rearing and laugh with each other.

Meeting Other Mothers for Support was founded in January by Georgina Cranston, 36, and Brenda Yost, 30. The women met through their husbands, who work at Grove Worldwide in nearby Shady Grove, Pa.

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Before she became a mother to Bridgette, 3, and Emma, 4, Cranston had finished her MBA at Penn State University and sold medical supplies. Yost, a part-time office manager, has Ashley, 3, and is expecting her second child in December.

"One day I was sitting home thinking that there must be other stay-at-home mothers who would like to meet other mothers, but there was no avenue to do it," Yost said. She talked to Cranston about it, and both decided to start their own club.

"When you're a stay-at-home mother you meet other mothers in places like grocery stores and playgrounds, but you never get together," Cranston said. "Greencastle is a fast-growing community. There are many mothers like us who have moved here but have no roots here or family support.

''Our bi-monthly meetings help us to overcome the isolation and frustration that occurs during our children's early years, create a network of support and a forum where we can share ideas, feelings, experiences and goals."

Yost checked the Internet and found similar support groups such as FEMALE - or Formerly Employed Mothers at the Leading Edge - and MOMS, or Mothers Offering Mothers Support. Both women liked the latter acronym.

"We thought MOMS was perfect because that's who we are," Cranston said.

They learned it cost $65 to join MOMS and get the organization's literature, so they formed their own group. They used the same acronym but called themselves Meeting Other Mothers for Support.

They printed fliers and business cards and spread them around. The group organized with 10 members. Next was finding a place to meet.

"None of our homes were big enough to hold that many children," Cranston said.

The church agreed to let the mothers meet in the basement, an area large enough for the women to gather and have day care for their children. They charge $1 per meeting for day care, which is run by volunteers and two paid providers during meetings.

Once this summer, the mothers and children went on a daylong field trip to Catoctin Mountain Zoo. On occasion, speakers are brought in for meetings, but not too often.

"Otherwise we wouldn't get a chance to talk to each other," Cranston said.

A committee comes up with the topics for each meeting. The topic for a meeting this morning was to be violence on television.

"The topic for the meeting after that is creating family holiday traditions," Cranston said.

The group is seeking new members. MOMS is open to any mother. For more information call 717-597-3483 or 717-328-4422.

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