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Starting a Motherless Daughters Group: Step 5 – Finding Others to Join You

by Mary Ellen Collins

We have talked about your purpose, creating a firm foundation, telling your story, and choosing a location to meet. Now it is time to find others to join you. Where do you find them?

First, you decide what type of mother loss your group will focus on. The focus of Motherless Daughters Ministry is currently on early loss, later loss, double loss, and living mother loss. We began with early loss, then grew. There is no one right way to do this. Being similar in the beginning may be an asset until after your group gets started. Once our group was established, we diversified and included more types of mother loss into our group.

Choose your time and date to meet. Will your group meet during the day or the evening? Will you have an opportunity to have childcare available if asked? Some churches offer childcare which may be available to you too. Be sure to ask the church staff.

We can’t assume we can just do good things and the church will back us. The church staff needs to know ahead of time what you intend to do and when. I am always clear when talking with the church that I am only asking for a room, not for them to take on leading a new program. I have found that makes a huge difference in their response.

Ask the church staff whether you can hand out your flyer at the church entrance. Leaving information in a women’s washroom is an easier procedure to implement and is less pushy than standing at the door of the church, where women are often accompanied by other family members.

OK, now you are ready to find women for your group. If you attend a church, that is one of the first places I would search. Talk to whoever is in charge of communications. See if you can add a blurb in the church bulletin. Create a separate flyer and ask that it be included in the church communications. At least one staff member will likely want to see flyers ahead of time to approve them. Once they do, they might be willing to put them in the women’s washroom so women can pick them up in private. Anytime you are doing a mass appeal, ask for an RSVP on your invitation.

Another place to find women for your group is women’s groups you belong to. You may already have an idea of who you would talk to directly. Don’t be shy. Tell them you are starting a motherless daughters group and ask if they know of anyone who might be interested in finding out more. This has always been an easy way to tell someone about this without seeming too pushy. They will have an opportunity to say, “yes that’s me” or they will tell you someone they know who might benefit from it.

Believe me, there are many motherless daughters in either of these groups. They just do not talk about it. Those who find the Motherless Daughters Ministry are overjoyed to know they are not alone.

Think about where you could post your flyers. Brainstorm places where women go. Gyms, churches, doctor’s offices, laundromats, are some ideas. Post your fliers and give information about how to contact you. Be sure to get permission from an owner or manager at the location or your hard work will go in the trash.

There is a website for meet-up groups in many cities. This is another place where many people have found groups to be a part of. Just be aware, you do not know the people on this site so as you begin you will want to talk with them.

The same goes for Local Facebook groups. It may be very successful but I would heed the same warning as I did with the meet-up groups. You will want to talk with them.

However, you choose to find the women to be part of your group, just start small and build. If you have two or three people for the first meeting, consider this a success. The word will get out and others will want to join.

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