FOCUS ON VOLUNTEER LEADERS: Tiny Blessings

Anita van de Poll works with Brandy Jones to head up Tiny Blessings, a weekly drop-in coffee and chat time on Wednesday mornings for moms and their preschool children.  Get to know Anita and her heart for this ministry.

Anita van de Poll

Tell us a bit about you and your family.

My husband George and I have three amazing kids.  Jade is 9, Liam is 7 and Sidney is almost 3.  I grew up in the Netherlands and have been in Canada going on 16 years.  This is my home (it is where the heart is!).  George and I have our own business and this allows us to raise our children ourselves.  Between the two of us, one of us is usually home to spend time with them.

Describe your role in Tiny Blessings.
Besides setting up and getting the coffee going, the most important part of my time on Wednesday mornings is the time I get to spend with other moms or grandmoms.  Making everyone feel welcome and at ease; being available for those who want to talk about their daily life–positive or more challenging–has been an immense blessing for me and I am doing my best to pay this forward to others.
How/why did you start coming to Tiny Blessings?  What do you see as the value of Tiny Blessings?
As our two older kids are already full-time in school, and most of our friends have kids their ages, I found myself without anyone to relate to and get together with, who also have a younger child.  When Sidney was about a year and a half old, I felt the need to connect with other moms of little ones, all over again.  I had been to the New Moms Brunch the year before, but had not started coming to Tiny Blessings, as this was nap-time for Sidney.  With that changing, we started going together on Wednesdays and both have had many wonderful blessings.
Why are you involved with the Tiny Blessings team?
Paying it forward.  I can’t pay back those women who were there for me when I first started coming to Tiny Blessings, so I am giving forward.  I feel very strongly that God has brought me into this playgroup for that reason and I hope I am doing the right thing every week.
Why do you like Tiny Blessings or what have you learned from it?
We enjoy connecting with moms & kids from all backgrounds.  Sidney, in the sense that she is learning to share and play with children her own age, and myself, that I am making new friends and meeting plenty of moms to connect with on so many different levels.  My faith has definitely grown by being around other moms who put their faith in Christ when raising their children.
What is one thing that no one is likely to know about you?
My grandfather in the Netherlands was a pastor in a very strict church.  I was never allowed to wear a pair of pants to church or when my grandparents came over to visit (which was weekly)!  Foothills Alliance is definitely a different church from what I grew up in.  My favorite part is the singing!!!  And my voice is terrible!
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