By Jenny Davies
National State Liaison
The goal of every State Organization is to promote awareness of multiple births, participate in research, share procedures, exchange ideas and information, and help form new clubs. Many State Organizations also maintain scholarship funds and/or philanthropic state projects.
NOMOTC is aware of 17 State Organizations that participate in scholarship funds. Twenty percent of all funds raised for the Florida Organization Mothers of Twins Clubs Philanthropic project each year are put aside to sponsor scholarships. Arizona State Mothers of Multiples holds a yearly "Multiple Madness picnic" at which families of multiples from all over the state gather to raise money for scholarships for MOMs returning to school. Some states accept donations from the clubs within the organizations.
Each state has different recipient selection procedures. The individuals who make the selections may be lawyers, high school counselors, state past presidents, or a committee of board members. Scholarships are awarded to one individual or divided among several, and depending on the state can be awarded to a pre-schooler, graduating senior, high school student, college student, sibling of multiples, or parent of multiples. One state even picks its recipients randomly out of a hat.
State Organizations may meet once, twice or more a year, but a clear similarity is the shared concern for improving the welfare and happiness of children and/or parents of multiples. Because of this, quite a few of the State Organizations sponsor projects which involve the collection of money or items for philanthropic organizations that are close to their hearts.
At the Illinois Organization of Mothers of Twins Clubs, Inc. convention, local clubs place a bid to chair a philanthropic project for the next year. At last year's convention, they came up with the idea of making various cancer foundations their cause for 2006-07.
The Northern California Association's chaplain presents a family or philanthropic cause to its membership. They then "pass the hat" at lunch. NCA adds $150 to whatever is collected and a check is written to the family or cause. This is not necessarily limited to families belonging to one of their clubs, but a lot of the time it is "one of us." If it is an outside cause, it usually is something that has affected one of our families.
The hosting club of the Arizona State Mothers of Multiples convention chooses a philanthropic project and the attending clubs support their choice. Some philanthropic projects in which they have participated include a diaper drive and Sewing for Babies, for which ASMOM solicited fabric, sewing materials and talented members' sewing skills.
At the Southern California Mothers of Twins Clubs, Inc. Workshops and Conventions, the hosting club decides what philanthropic organization they would like to support. Last November, Workshop attendees were asked to bring donations of cash, toys, school supplies, and toiletry items, which were then delivered to the Shriners Hospitals to benefit children receiving free medical care for orthopedic problems or burn injuries.
Every two years, the Florida Organization of Mothers of Twins Clubs selects a children's charity to support; for the 2005-2007 cycle they are supporting March of Dimes. Last April, they participated in the national WalkAmerica. The walk helps bring national publicity to the March of Dimes' mission to help fight premature births, the leading cause of newborn death and many lifelong disabilities. Many FOMOTC members' stories were shared on mile markers throughout the walk.
The North Carolina Mothers of Multiples & Colorado Parents of Multiples help support the TTTS Race for Hope by having booths and participating in the walk in their communities. This walk promotes awareness of the life-threatening fetal disease and benefits future parents of Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS) babies.
As children we learned that giving to others is important and makes us feel good, our State Organizations help us set an example for our children.