CHESTER, N.Y. -- Lisa Santiago just wanted to meet other stay-at-home-moms when she launched Orange County Moms in August 2013.
What began with a few friends -- who then told other friends -- now has more than 14,000 members and provides a host of support -- and discounts -- to area parents.
According to Santiago, there is a page set up exclusively for members where local businesses offer a deal and those businesses get advertised on the mom's Facebook Page pinned post as well as its website.
The group also runs a variety of fundraising events for local non-profit organizations and gets group discounts to events, resorts, amusement parks and cruises so members can make memories with their families at an affordable price.
Because of the group's success, the Chester mom has now branched out to form an extension called Orange County NY Moms Give Back .
"Over the years, we’ve seen a high-need for our moms and their families," said Santiago.
"Everything from someone losing their house due to fire or another mom’s child suffering from cancer and in need of financial support."
The group -- she couldn't run it without the administration team of Sara Magner, Rebecca Bonhomme, Laurel Haswell and Kathleen Hoffman -- just filled out paperwork to become a nonprofit. The ultimate goal, she told Daily Voice, is to have an office space where moms can walk in during office hours and get nonperishable foods, pick out used donated clothing and apply for financial support.
The women also want to build a large park in Orange County to meet the needs of children of all ages.
"We also hope to have a splash pad area for kids to play in during the hot summer months since Orange County is lacking in town pools compared to other counties," she said.
As for the key to success? Santiago said it's all about community.
"I think our group has grown so fast and so big because many women, just like myself, want someone to talk to and ask advice."
They also, she said, love the discounts.
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