After volunteering for Mom’s House, which provides free childcare for single parents attending school, Wendy McKeon decided to leave the business world to get involved full time. As executive director, she’s been with the Phoenixville-based organization for eight years. In October, Mom’s House celebrated its 30th anniversary.
1. Phoenixville Food Truck Festival. “It’s every kind of food you can imagine, from nuts to cheese curd to barbecue to vegan.”
2. Forrest Gump. “All the flashbacks and the history that are woven into the movie are just a lot of fun.”
3. Bluebird Distilling’s Bluebird cocktail. “They use all fresh herbs and fruit, and they muddle it all together. It’s just really good.”
4. Bruce Springsteen. “I love his message of hope.”
5. Great American Pub. “They have this great outdoor seating area with these really cool swings that you can sit in.”
MLT: What are the main goals of Mom’s House?
WM: Mom’s House provides free childcare for low-income single parents who are full-time students. Our goal is to have these young men and women remain in school, despite the fact that they are young parents. A lot of teenaged parents will drop out of school and that starts a whole cycle of welfare or poverty. Childcare is the biggest obstacle to going back to school; we help with free childcare, and that removes that obstacle for them.
MLT: How has the mission of Mom’s House changed in the past 30 years?
WM: We used to follow a more traditional college schedule, but we realized about five years ago that a lot of our clients are involved in educational programs that go all year long. So we started to stay open all summer and develop the summer program.
MLT: What’s the most rewarding part of your work?
WM: Just being able to help these young men and women achieve their goals. It’s not as easy [for them] as it is for someone without children to finish their education. It just makes it very rewarding to see them graduate or complete their program of study and move on from there.