Deborah J. Copeland (Founder/CEO) – In 1985, I was selected as the President of the Singles Ministry at my church. As the Singles group president, I requested my group of 20 members participate in a community outreach initiative. We decided upon a nursing home in the community – Rhodes Nursing Home. The last Saturday of each month, we would go to the nursing home and sing songs, take desserts, and reach-out and touch those lives that were a part of the nursing home by holding their hands.
After 20 years of visiting the nursing home, I became more and more concerned about what was going on with each patient. I began wondering why they seemed so sad, so lost; it seemed as though they believed they had no hope and were left to survive on their own without a family or friend. My compassion for them began to overtake my soul. The thought was so heavy on me that I began to question myself, “Is there something that I, personally, could do to give back to the community?” I knew I could not save the whole world, but maybe a part of it.
At Rhodes Nursing Home we would always close with a song and prayer. Our closing song would be “Reach Out and Touch Somebody’s Hand. Make this world a better place if you can.” That was it, I said! I used those words and decided to try to make it a better place for the elderly people, specifically, the mothers.
I wanted to move mountains, but didn’t know where to start! I knew I didn’t have any money, but I thought: “with God, all things are possible if I just believe.” Someone once told me that “if He brings you to it, He will provide.” That “He” is Jesus. My spirit enlightened my thoughts one day that “I am a single woman; let me give back to the community by using part of my income tax refund to bless someone.”
For 20 years, I would take a portion of my income tax refund and take elderly mothers in the community out for entertainment – food, fun, games, and just plain ole fellowship. My community project began as “An outreach to the Mothers in the Community.” Then God started sending mothers my way: at the store, restaurant, through family functions, co-workers, and friends. It was like God was shining on me with mothers over the age of 69 years. I was always involved in the lives of my Great Grandmother, Grandmother, my Mother, and Aunts. They are elderly now and are the priority of my days.
With God’s help and guidance, my dream was fulfilled. Every year, I began sponsoring mothers to luncheons, movies, and other outings. Word began to spread. The number of mothers increased, so did volunteers step up to help.
First Iconium Baptist Church graciously hosted our 10-year anniversary celebration. The turn-out was remarkable. My heart was overwhelmed at the joy these mothers experienced. Another 10 years passed commemorating our 20-year anniversary celebration – “2017 Red Carpet Event at Prince Hall Grand Lodge East.”
So many of the mothers don’t have the love and care of family members present in their lives. Some invested so much in their children and now are left unrewarded. The Christ in me won’t let me sit idly by. After seeing their lovely smiles, the fellowship of meeting new friends, and receiving kind words of appreciation, I was encouraged to expand this community service by registering it with the State as a non-profit organization. As a legally-recognized non-profit organization, our new name is MOM Foundation, Inc. – “Mirror of Mothers.”
MOM Foundation, Inc. is founded on the principles of God’s love for us and His command for us to love one another.