Moms of the Year: Charity Furness

Mom to Timmy, age 7 and Julie, age 4

Warrenton, VA

Nominated by Megan O.:

Charity is the executive director of the Fauquier FISH food pantry in Warrenton, VA, and founded the Weekend Power Pack (WPP) program in March of 2014. WPP distributes backpacks of food over the weekends to children in Fauquier County Public Schools at risk of hunger when access to school breakfast and lunch is unavailable. Charity volunteers 40-plus hours every week with the program, ensuring 150 children and their families are fed weekly. She coordinates with school counselors, picks up and hauls bulk orders of groceries each week, delivers bags of food and leads a dedicated team of volunteers. She provides a wonderful example of selflessness to her own children, as well as to those who are fortunate enough to volunteer alongside her.

Q&A with Charity:

What’s the best parenting advice you’ve ever received?

I was told to trust my own instinct by our family pediatrician. It seems like simple advice, but everywhere you turn someone is telling you how to react or respond to your own child. I’ve learned to accept the advice, learn from it and go with what I know is best for my children and our family.

What advice would you give to new or expectant mothers?

Find a village. Moms groups and playdates are great ways to build a village.

How has motherhood changed your outlook on life?

Motherhood has made me responsible; not just for my children but for the world they are growing up in. I think a lot more about the future and how my actions will change it.

Describe a favorite mom moment.

We were traveling and got caught in a snow storm so we took advantage of a local sledding hill. I didn’t know the other parents so I was standing at the top of the hill alone taking it all in. I noticed most of the parents were doing the same, standing around watching their children have fun. There was one dad having a great time sledding with his kids. I decided I would rather have fun and make memories with my children than stand on the sidelines watching. We all had a blast and my son still talks about how much fun he had going over the ramp with me.

How do you think your children would describe you?

My 4-year-old daughter thinks my favorite things to do are laundry and cleaning the kitchen.

Who is your role model?

I have so many role models but I often look to my grandparents. They have a lifetime of experiences to learn from and have lived amazing lives. They cherish God, family and friendships.

What goals do you have for your children?

My children are still young so my goals for them are not to be a doctor or a lawyer. My goals for them are to learn from their mistakes, to be a good friend and to understand and communicate their feelings.

Click here to read about the other Moms of the Year!


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