Half the reward of building a business in San Francisco is watching other people, businesses and organizations grow up alongside you, measuring their success in part by the things they accomplish in order to bring a smile or comfort to others.
Take the Golden Gate Mothers Group (GGMG) for example. Begun in the mid-1990s by a group of San Francisco moms, this nonprofit hit the deck running. On the move and impervious to the economy, this determined group of first-time moms created an active in person and online community to support each other through the mysteries and mayhem that often accompany that first child.
It’s been a while since I first met Arty and Kathy Yu — a pair of Golden Gate Mothers Group supporters. We first got together back in 2002 when the Internet was just finding its legs and Arty and Kathy were a big part of the just-launched website for the fledgling organization.
The group’s reason for existing is quite simple: Help new mothers to get in touch with seasoned mothers to share their tricks of the trade. It’s a support group of mentor mothers helping new mothers who are holding a bottle to their newborn’s mouth for the first time. I can only imagine the relief these more-experienced moms bring to newcomers to the club.
At the time their website was being fine tuned, I had the opportunity to advise Arty and Kathy on the best ways for new moms to deal successfully with the service industry and how they might go about contacting a contractor like myself or other service businesses to discuss appliance, repair and other home issues. You know, like those times a toy car ends up down the toilet and a mom needs instant recourse.
Every now and again, I find myself visiting the GGMG website to see how their community has grown, and I’m happy to report this organization — which works entirely on the backs of volunteers — is growing faster than a hungry teenager.
In fact, what began as a group of 50 moms has grown to an organization of more than 4,300 members. And as time goes by, they have become a lot more organized, not only in sharing good motherly advice with Bay Area moms, but also mothers abroad. I’m so glad to be a part of the information generation and to watch all these cool ideas mature into something that really makes a difference in other peoples lives.
Kudos to the Golden Gate Mothers Group, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. For the occasion, they are tossing a party on Friday, July 15, that benefits the San Francisco-based Homeless Prenatal Program, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to that worthwhile organization.
If any of this is of interest to you, I encourage you to visit http://www.ggmg.org.
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About The Author: Paul O’Grady is the founder and general manager of O’Grady Plumbing — San Francisco’s multi-generational residential and commercial plumbing company. Mr. O’Grady grew up in the plumbing business and is backed by three generations of plumbers. At O’Grady Plumbing, he manages a team of Master plumbers who build, repair, maintain and retrofit plumbing systems and equipment throughout San Francisco and San Mateo.