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Let There Be Mom

By: David Lyda (From: Volume 1 - Issue 1)

PSALM 103: 14 For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we [are] dust. 15 [As for] man, his days [are] as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. 16 For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.

It is a sobering fact to realize that our life here is brief. Caught in the hustle and bustle of it all, we often do not realize the brevity. We all leave a legacy whether we are ready or not. Created in October 2006 as an outreach to families, “Let There Be Mom” offers a chance to prepare. Founder and President, Kipra Anderson recently shared some details about this wonderful service with “Greenville In One Accord.”

GIOA: What is the mission of “Let There Be Mom?”

The families often participate in projects, such as pottery, to remember their loved ones by. (Photo courtesy of “Let There Be Mom”)

Kipra: Let There Be Mom was created to preserve the legacies of moms and dads with life threatening illnesses.

GIOA: How do you accomplish that mission?

Kipra: Once a mom or dad submits an application for services, complete with Physician's Signature, we will set up a time to interview them. The interview lasts approximately 2 hours - it is a time designed for us to "get to know" them. At that time, we also brainstorm on projects that we can do to put their talents, hopes, and dreams in tangible forms for their child(ren). We spend approximately $3,000 on each family that we serve, completing a variety of projects for each child.

GIOA: What kind of projects does your organization do with the families?

Kipra: It is different for everyone, and we try very hard to have projects that are unique to each family, however there are some that are very popular, such as thumb print charms, scrapbooks, photo sessions with photographers, quilts made out of their clothing, recipe collections, and gifts for the future.

GIOA: What kind of demographics do you have with your families?

Kipra: The only criteria to qualify for services is that the applicant must have at least one child 18 years old or younger, they must be able to communicate their desires for the legacy with us, and their Physician must attest to the fact that they have a "life threatening illness" (not necessarily a terminal diagnosis.) We have had the honor of serving families in a variety of economic classes with various ethnic backgrounds, as well as quite a variety of religious beliefs.

Many times charms are made from the parent’s thumb prints. (Photo courtesy of “Let There Be Mom”)

GIOA: Do you ever have to turn down families?

Kipra: We have not had to turn down any family that has met our criteria.

GIOA: What kind of demographics do you have in your volunteers?

Kipra: Volunteers come in all shapes and sizes. :) We have had volunteers as young as 8. We ask that all projects involving handling of precious mementos, such as scrapping sessions, are adult only, but students volunteer quite often by hanging posters about an event, or bundling marketing materials.

GIOA: What kind of emotional toll do the volunteers face when dealing with the families, and how do they handle it?

Kipra: So far, it appears that the benefits outweigh the emotional toll - I believe that in most cases our volunteers are Christians - I imagine to be called into this type of work you would almost have to believe in something greater than yourself.

GIOA: Does “Let There Be Mom” stay in touch with the families after their loved one has passed?

Kipra: Many of them, yes.

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