In 1973, a group of eight young mothers living in Wheat Ridge banded together on a weekly basis to share the ups and downs of their parenting journeys.

With their kids close by, and under the loving supervision of trusted childcare providers, the young moms united through laughter, a light meal and a craft demonstration, without any interruption from their happy and contented kids.

That meeting in Wheat Ridge, which ended with a short devotional, was the seed that has now blossomed into a hugely successful world-wide organization called Mothers of Preschoolers International.

MOPS is open to any expectant mom or mother of a child or children through the age of five or in kindergarten. MOPS believes that better moms make a better world, and the organization is committed to ensuring that every mother knows she is not alone.

MOPS chapters are located far and wide, including the mountain communities of Bailey, Conifer and Evergreen.

Longtime MOPS member Kadie Kool is co-coordinator of the Bailey chapter, which boasts a roster of 60 members who meet at Platte Canyon Community Church, located at 4954 County Road 64. Bailey MOPS meet the first and third Thursday of the month from September to May, except for January, when the gatherings are the second and fourth Thursdays, due to the New Year’s holidays.

Kool explains, “I actually joined after the birth of my first son, who is now in fifth grade. Two years ago, I ‘graduated out’ when my youngest started first grade, but then I became pregnant with our third son a year later and got to come back.

“MOPS has meant so much to me. I’m from the area and graduated from Platte Canyon High School, so I had friends and family here; but there is just something about having a support system of other moms. During that year off, I really missed that connection. I was so excited about having a reason to come back.

 “We start off at 9:15 with a hot breakfast provided by alternating tables each meeting. Following our opening prayer, we have a short time where we announce upcoming events, such as our monthly Mom’s Night Outs or an upcoming Meal Train for any of our moms with a new baby. We also welcome and introduce any women attending for the first time, and invite moms to share a Moppet Moment, which is a funny or touching story about their children.”

Guest speakers are scheduled once a month, discussing a wide range of topics from parenting tips to keeping the lines of communication open in your marriage to high-altitude gardening. A craft project or fun game highlights the alternate meeting. The mornings usually wrap up about 11:30.

Kool’s co-coordinator for the 2019-20 school year is Brittany Schneider. Schneider and her family were relative newcomers to the area when she heard about MOPS.

“I was feeling pretty isolated and lonely when I met a MOPS mom at my daughter’s preschool last fall. She invited me to a meeting, and it was everything she told me it would be. I got a chance to be a part of a community again and to make new friends,” Schneider said.

Moms of newborns and babies or toddlers are welcome to keep their babies with them during the MOPs meetings, while the older children, known as MOPPETS, are divided by age into classes where they play games, sing songs, listen to Bible stories, and create crafts.

“We have about 54 in our MOPPETS program, supervised by an amazing group of care providers,” says Schneider.

There is a $10 fee for each meeting, or $8 if you pay in advance, that helps defray the cost of the childcare workers. A new mom is always welcome at no charge when she attends her first meeting, and scholarships are available for moms who are unable to pay.

“We don’t want to turn anyone away,” Schneider added.

Megan Bidwell, the MOPS fundraising coordinator, adds that monetary donations of any amount are always welcome and are tax deductible.

“Donations go towards paying for childcare workers, scholarships, speakers, special events, etc. With your help we can reduce the financial burden on our moms,” Bidwell said.

The various levels of giving are:

$50 - Meeting Sponsors: Your business will be announced at one of our meetings and displayed on the Bailey MOPS Facebook.

$75 - one half-year Scholarship: Your business logo will be included in our monthly newsletters.

 $150 - one full-year Scholarship: All the above, and a listing on our MOPS sponsor board.

$300 or more – two or more full-year Scholarships: All of the above, and a representative can make a short presentation at a MOPS meeting.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Bidwell at jdmegan_bidwell@hotmail.com or at PCCC MOPS, P.O. Box 147, Bailey, CO., 80421.

Bidwell would also love to talk to potential donors to address any questions or concerns. MOPS foundation has never wavered from meeting the needs of moms and their children from conception through kindergarten. Join this amazing group that will enrich your life, and that of your child, for a lifetime.

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