MONA currently has over 2,300 members from all over North Arlington. About 30 volunteers donate their time to coordinate more than 300 annual events. MONA offers free monthly socials with kid-friendly entertainers and snacks, dozens of family outings and activities a year, Mom’s Nights Out, workshops for members on a wide range of topics, playgroups, and frequent meet-ups for expectant and new moms. A team of Community Service volunteers coordinate monthly collections and events benefiting local charities. There are also two member-only message boards, one for general information and support, the other for buying and selling goods. The website also has a directory of MONA mom-owned businesses and local companies that provide discounts to MONA members.
MONA was started by a small group of stay-at-home moms in 2000 and has grown steadily over the years. The founders’ goal was to create an organization to provide support and to foster a local community of stay-at-home mothers. Now the majority of MONA’s members work, either part-time, full-time, at home or outside the home. MONA’s guiding principles are:
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- That women must be free to choose their personal path to fulfillment;
- That MONA embraces and supports motherhood in all forms;
- That all mothers negotiate on a daily basis the boundaries of motherhood and work, paid and unpaid, and all mothers have in common child rearing and family as a main focus;
- That the central reason for members to come together is their desire to seek out mothers with a common concern for raising children in the best possible and most healthful way, while recognizing that there are many ways to raise children; and
- That children are a community’s greatest resource.