Mothers have had to deal with a lot this past year. Whether it was changes to personal work schedules or accomodating for their children’s new remote-learning system, parents in general, and mothers in particular, have had to juggle a lot of different responsibilities in the air.
And some even found ways to add to their responsibilities...all in the name of helping the community.
To honor such women, Cox Communications decided to offer a reward to mothers who have gone above and beyond for their families and community at large during the pandemic. That led to a call on May 6, one Cheshire’s Deb Fowler will not soon forget.
“Kerry Walsh, my boss at the (Cheshire) Food Pantry, messaged me that Cox was doing a Zoom call with the Pantry and I should get on the call since I have been working with them since the beginning of the pandemic.” Fowler explained. In April, Cox Communications donated $50,000 to the Cheshire Food Pantry and Fowler thought this call was going to be another donation announcement.
“I really just thought they were going to be donating more money, which would be great, so I got on the call with the rest of the team. I started to realize immediately that the call was for me, not for the Pantry,” she continued. “Kerry started going on about how much help I had given and how important it was to the Pantry, and then they announced that I would be given $1,000. I was truly shocked and so honored.”
Fowler began working at the Cheshire Food Pantry once the pandemic hit and the facility was no longer allowing volunteers over the age of 60 to work in-house due to their high risk category for infection.
“(So) my friend and I went down to the Pantry and it really was her and I down there for 10 weeks beacause no one could come back because we were worried about transmission and infection,” Fowler said. According to her, a majority of the Food Pantry staff were over the age of 60.
“I packed orders for clients and helped to stock shelves,” she added. “I honestly felt so lucky that I was able to do something and give back any way I could.”
Fowler is no stranger to volunteering. She is also one of Chesprocott Health District’s many vital MRC volunteers who have been critical in the COVID-19 vaccination rollout efforts throughout town.
“I love to be able to help out and do something for the community that's much bigger than myself,” she explained. “It makes me feel so good, and I know it's for a great cause. Everyone is so friendly and happy. It's such a positive experience.”
When Fowler isn’t volunteering, she loves to spend time with her family, which includes her three sons and a brand new cat she acquired during the pandemic.
“We had this cat that just basically chose us during the pandemic and she’s ours now!” Fowler laughed.
She plans on using the money from Cox to save and put towards her children’s college fund, although she does want one very specific thing.
“I do really want a new couch, but I think saving it is probably better,” she joked.