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From four members to one thousand, how a mom group has built a community

"4 Mom Friends of the Valley"
Posted at 4:53 PM, Oct 26, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-26 17:53:03-04
  • "4 Mom Friends of the Valley," was founded in an Appleton park with the mission of providing a safe and supportive space for moms to come together.
  • Over two years, the group has grown to include a thousand members, keeping its original goal of fostering a sense of community for moms.
  • The group offers emotional support but also organizes playgroups, which have become essential for moms to connect and tackle challenges, like postpartum depression and anxiety.

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

The goal of this mom’s group has been the same since it started in an Appleton park years ago: to create a safe space for moms to come together. I’m Olivia Acree, your Appleton neighborhood reporter sharing the story of 4 Mom Friends of the Valley.

“We kind of all just got to talking and we decided to just kind of keep meeting up every week. So then at the end of the month, we're like, should we make this like a thing?” said Klotz.

They did, and two years and a thousand members later Elizabeth Klotz says their goal is the same.

“Just having that sense of community of other moms,” said Klotz.

The group offers support for all things motherhood. Plus a few times a week they meet for a play group around the Fox Valley.

Samanda Powell is another member.

“My son was a COVID baby. So, I didn't have any support that whole first year and I had PPD and PPA really bad,” said Powell.

Postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety were common themes here.

According to the National Institute of Health, around one in seven women can develop PPD.

“I just needed something and someone and then I found the group and it was definitely very helpful to connect with other moms going through the same stuff,” said Powell. “And my son needed friends.”

“He talks about it all the time every day is playgroup first thing he says when he wakes up playgroup today,” said Powell.

The group has become a sounding board for many moms. When Klotz shared that NBC 26 would be coming to a meet up, dozens of moms shared that this group means to them.

“It can be very lonely, and you just need those people you need that group for support. You need the help with questions because it takes a village it does.,” said Powell.

Klotz and Powell want people to know that all types of caregivers are welcome and invited to join.