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Opening Hearts this Mother's Day

Opening Hearts this Mother's Day

Posted by Jodie Hoye on 9th May 2019

I’d like to tell you an account of The Mountain’s generosity. This is a previously unsung truth that deserves to be shouted from the mountain tops, far and wide. Here’s my story:

I am a foster mom. My partner and I have had over 20 kids come through our doors over the past 8 years. Some have stayed for a night, while others have stayed for years. Kids in the system are unjustly hurting from their parents’ poor choices, and these kids always have baggage. Lots and lots of metaphorical baggage. However, they often have very little packed in their actual bags. Some are able to bring clothing, and some don’t have any clothing to bring. Most foster kids come with absolutely nothing.

The cool thing about The Mountain t-shirts, as you know, is that there really is something for everyone. Unicorns, dinosaurs, space, cats, dogs, horses…. You get the idea. The Mountain has donated hundreds of t-shirts to our local foster parents’ association, as well as dozens of shirts to the kids who have passed through my home. I have come to work and gotten a call for emergency placement, and one of my first questions for the case worker is always, “What is the child’s favorite animal, and what size t-shirt?” The unquestioning generosity of The Mountain has enabled me to welcome children into my home with a new shirt. Every time. Without hesitation.

It’s hard to describe the effect one brand new t-shirt from The Mountain has on a child in The System. And actually, the power of one brand new, cool t-shirt is just the beginning! We all know that feeling of finding that perfect t-shirt, ordering it, and then wearing it for the first time. It is emboldening, exciting, and full of pure joy. Do you remember the first time you felt like that? Or the last time you felt like that? It feels good, right? It can turn a bad day into a good day instantly! But let me tell you about a better feeling: watching a child experience those emotions.

I’ve witnessed many frightened and innocent faces light up when they see their first Mountain t-shirt and understand that it is theirs to wear and keep. The emotions start as joy, but every time that shirt is worn, it instills a sense of pride and self-confidence. It is a statement that says “I have interests. I have a point of view, a sense of humor, and I won’t fall into the shadows.” It’s a conversation starter. One t-shirt can present an opening into an often closed-off, self-preserving, scared, and insecure person. One t-shirt can empower somebody who feels like they have no power over what is happening to them. For a child in foster care, a Mountain t-shirt can help develop and express identity, and is a positive reminder that being a foster kid is not an identity, but something that is happening to them in the short-term through no fault of their own.

I am so proud to work with The Mountain. We are a team of caring moms and dads. We are a family, and we support families of all design. Thank you, The Mountain, for bringing light into this world, and for enabling me to contribute.