(ARA) - Katherine Gordon, an eighth grader at Canton Charter Academy in Canton, Mich., steps up to the large moving box adorned with a large purple heart. As she begins dumping an assortment of soaps and lotions into the box, her teacher, Charles Lindquist, watches on and marvels at her effort. "This is the third time Katherine has come in with an armload of gifts this week," he says. "I believe she's determined to gift every mom in the city!"
The effort to collect Mother's Day gifts at Canton will go to women staying at First Step in Greater Detroit, but the same scenario will play out in more than 200 schools across the country this month, to benefit tens of thousands of women living in 102 domestic abuse and homeless shelters.
The program, called Movers for Moms, was started in 2008 by a group of Michigan-based Two Men And A Truck franchisees looking to make an impact on their statewide community. Two Men And A Truck operates more than 200 locations in 34 states. When word of the successful first-year effort spread, other franchisees jumped in with both feet. This year, more than 100 of the leading moving company's locations in 27 states will participate in the Movers for Moms program.
The moving company has partnered with schools to provide classes with boxes, coloring pages and the moving logistics required to gift community shelters this year. The kids do the rest, often to the wonder of school administrators who saw an estimated 65,000 items collected last year. The goal this year is to top the 100,000 gift threshold.
"We started with a simple notion that all moms should be celebrated on Mother's Day," says Melanie Bergeron, chair of the board and daughter of Two Men And A Truck founder Mary Ellen Sheets. "The moving industry may be a 'man's world,' but our company was started by my mom. I spent more than a decade serving as president and CEO, and many of our most successful locations are women-owned. As a result, I believe we have a unique perspective on women's needs within the communities we serve. And while this may be a small gesture, I believe with the help of our school partners, we make a big impact on this special day."
To support the Movers for Moms Mother's Day program, visit www.twomenandatruck.com/moversformoms. To identify a community shelter to support year-round, visit www.ncadv.org.