WESTBROOK — Mother’s Day may be months away, but providing resources for women in need starts now.
Two Men and a Truck is participating in the national initiative, Movers for Moms, which helps women at domestic violence and homeless shelters. Items will be collected throughout the winter and spring and donated to women on Mother’s Day, which is May 13 this year.
Movers for Moms is an annual campaign run by Two Men and a Truck, a moving company with more than 350 franchises around the world. The Westbrook franchise, located at 24 Bridgton Road, was established in December 2016. This is its second year participating in Movers for Moms.
According to Kayla Emond, Two Men and a Truck’s marketing coordinator at the Westbrook location, over 15,000 items were gathered in greater Portland last year. Nationally, over 295,000 items were collected.
All of the items collected locally will be donated to Family Crisis Service’s emergency shelter in Portland. Emond said Two Men and a Truck chose that shelter because it allows women to stay for as long they need to. The shelter has beds for 16 women and children.
Jenny Stasio, the director of operations at Family Crisis Services, said the amount of items donated last year by Two Men and a Truck was equal to their supply for six to 12 months. The donation fully stocked the shelter and allowed staff to create gift baskets for women on Mother’s Day.
“Last year we were amazed by how many things they brought over,” Stasio said. “It was way more than we anticipated.”
According to a wishlist on the FCS website, women are in need of cleaning supplies, laundry detergent, toilet paper, pots and pans, silverware, plates and personal hygiene items such as razors, soap, sanitary pads and tampons. Emond said women also appreciate items such as makeup, perfume and hair care products.
“A lot of these women are leaving their homes with nothing, so they need the little things we don’t always think of,” she said.
Stasio said makeup can be a form of self-care for the women in the shelter, all of whom are domestic violence victims. “I think it makes them feel seen and welcome here,” she said. “They deserve to have nice things.”
Also appreciated are grocery store gift cards, as well as gift cards to salons or movie theaters. Emond said women who are homeless or who have been abused often don’t get to enjoy simple luxuries that many people take for granted.
“They don’t always get the chance to get out and pamper themselves,” she said.
Two Men and a Truck is looking for partners to help collect items. Local businesses, schools and day cares who partner with the company simply have to keep a donation box at their location. Anyone who’s interested can call Two Men and a Truck at 835-8440.
As of Monday, four organizations had signed up as partners, including Rowe Ford in Westbrook, The Academy of Active Learners in Portland, Island Dog Brewing in South Portland, and the Susan Moore team at Better Homes and Garden Real Estate in Gorham.
“It’s still early so we still have time to find people to join forces with us,” Emond said. “I hope to get a lot more partners on board.”
There will also be a donation box at Two Men and a Truck and anyone can stop by to drop off a donation. All of the boxes will be collected the week before Mother’s Day and will be dropped off at the shelter the Friday or Saturday before Mother’s Day.
Emond said movers from Two Men and a Truck can’t personally deliver the items to the women because of confidentiality reasons, but that she’s sure the women are grateful for the items. She said she hopes the items bring them comfort and remind them that they’re cared for.
“These women won’t be getting much (for Mother’s Day) so hopefully this brightens their day,” Emond said.
Stasio said some women in the shelter aren’t able to bring their children with them for one reason or another. She said receiving the gift baskets on Mothers Day makes them feel special and appreciated.
“I think people are really touched by it,” she said. “It’s something they’re not expecting and it’s a really nice gesture, especially on Mother’s Day when they may not otherwise be able to celebrate.”
Kayla Emond and Josh Saklad of Two Men and a Truck, a Westbrook moving company participating in Movers for Moms, which collects items for women at domestic violence and homeless shelters.
Last year Two Men and a Truck collected more than 15,000 items for women at the Family Crisis Service emergency shelter in Portland.
Two Men and a Truck has been in Westbrook for 13 months and has taken part in several charitable campaigns, including Movers for Moms, Movers for Mutts, and a diaper drive.