Six years ago, Heather Malovic decided to do something different on Mother’s Day. “The idea to start Mother’s Day Bags for the Homeless was unlike any other,” Heather explains. As she sat in church with her three children, she felt an inward calling to make lunches for the homeless and distribute them downtown. She tried to push the budding idea to the back of her mind and continue with her day. “I know it sounds crazy,” Heather says, “Since I only had around $80 in my bank account, I’m a single mother and a self-employed hair dresser, often not knowing if the next week will be busy … and I wanted to go out to lunch with my kids, not do this on Mother’s Day. I thought I’d just do it on another time.”
The seemingly inexplicable urge would not cease though, so after church Heather took her children to purchase bottled water, bread, peanut butter, jelly, chips, applesauce, cups and spoons. She made the lunches in her home then took them to Finlay Park where Heather and her children distributed the 50 bagged lunches in less than 15 minutes. Silence filled the car on the ride home. She and her children were in awe of the appreciation, gratitude and love they had just experienced.
Heather avows that the experience continues to be a rewarding one, not only for the homeless who receive the packages, but also for those gathering the items and distributing them. Heather believes that she is simply being led, and that this act of love is from God. She hopes this year’s project is the biggest yet, as each year the event grows. When asked what makes this project such a gratifying one, Heather says, “The smiles, the hugs, the conversation, the prayers … every year something extraordinary happens that makes me say, ‘This is why we are here.’” Her children have benefitted from this project as much as she has, seeing how a little kindness can lift someone’s spirits. “This project is all about spreading joy,” says Heather, and that is exactly what she’s doing by helping the homeless on Mother’s Day.