About the Godmothers
In 1995 Kathleen McNeil, currently the Godmothers’ School Liaison, happened onto Timothy Murphy School (TMS) property while out for a walk. As she was being shown around the campus by the principal, her background as a nurse and as an advocate for disabled children helped her to see into the needs at TMS. She quickly signed on as an assistant teacher at the school. Kathy soon realized that the boys at TMS without parental support were missing things that other children have – birthday parties, field trips, social guidance. She arranged her first birthday party in one of the classrooms and enlisted her friends to help. Word of mouth drew dozens of others.
By 1998, the “Mothers’ Club” officially became The Godmothers of Timothy Murphy School. The Godmothers first fundraiser was a Bingo Luncheon for the original members and their friends. Today, they hold the same bingo luncheon in May for approximately 350 attendees, and have added the Annual Pumpkin Patch and the Marin Valentine Ball to their list of fund raising events.
Through their fundraising and donations over the years, the Godmothers have provided such things as:
- Designing, furnishing and staffing a Library with wall-to-wall books, a display quilt the boys made, and stuffed animals to hold while they read;
- Renovating an unused storage room to create a new state-of-the-art Computer Lab where the teachers can hold a class or the boys can use to work on their computer skills;
- Transforming an abandoned classroom into a Life Skills Center where Godmother volunteers teach the boys five basic life skills of Business, Health, Social Skills, General Knowledge, and Independent Living that would normally be learned in a family environment;
- Supporting the Merit Program which rewards good behavior with watches, sports equipment and trips to the movies, plus much, much more;
- Transforming a vacant room into the Merit Store where boys can purchase items ranging from art supplies to MP-3 players with points earned through good behavior;
- Purchasing school uniforms ( 3 pairs of pants, 5 polo shirts, 2 sweatshirts and a belt.) for all the boys instilling a sense of community at the school;
- Purchasing and maintaining two vans for transporting the boys to school events and extracurricular activities;
- Long list of extras to enrich the boys school life such as occasional trips to the Marin Symphony, dinners out, a $30 gift certificate to each boy to buy books, a sail on the bay, an ice cream social and an annual “goody bag” of toys and personal supplies.
Some Godmothers have also become surrogate parents, attending each boy’s annual consultation with the Marin County Office of Education. Other Godmothers help with classroom parties and art projects – making pillows, bookmarks, and calendars.
The Godmothers have been the benefactor of:
- Marin Valentine’s Ball, 2001-2011
- Center for Volunteer & Nonprofit Leadership in Marin, Heart Tug Award, 2004
- Nominee for Hearts of Marin Award for Achievement in Nonprofit Excellence, 2004-2010