A Missouri mother who said she knew firsthand how difficult it was to send her children to college started a company that helps parents help their children through college.
Mindy Horwitz is the founder of MindyWEETthat gives parents peace of mind by doing everything from delivering treats to helping assemble dorm furniture.
“When you’re far away, you feel helpless,” Horwitz told Fox News. “If you have a local mom or a team of local moms, that’s not the case.”
The mother said her services – and others like them – are essential for parents “trying to help their children remotely.”
“There is no hard stop on parenting when our kids go to school,” Horwitz said.
Similar services have opened across the country, with volunteers offering services such as ironing, decorating and even making home-cooked meals for students.
Mindy Horwitz is the founder of MindyKNOWS, which gives parents peace of mind by doing everything from delivering treats to helping assemble dorm furniture
One of the mother care packages MindyKNOWS delivered to a student
A mother of three herself, Horwitz said she came up with the idea for her business after her eldest son went to school in their hometown.
On a Facebook page for parents whose children all went to school, she said she saw other mothers and fathers worrying about their children from far away.
‘I was lucky to be in the city. Every day they asked where they could get a birthday cake for their student or where they could get chicken soup if their student was sick,” she said.
The mother said she knew immediately there was work to be done and that she and others like her could be the ones to do it.
“It struck me that as local parents here in St. Louis, we had an opportunity to help,” the mother of three boys told the outlet.
She says she likes to tell students who receive their services that it’s like having “a really nice aunt…someone who’s just there,” and encourages them to reach out and ask for things if they need it , instead of feeling guilty.
The service originally started at her son’s school, Washington University in St. Louis, but has now expanded to three more campuses.
Parents from Northwestern, The University of Hartford and Skidmore College are the latest to take advantage of the paid program.
The monthly rate is approximately $49, but may cost more based on location. Parents can also pay for a one-semester, one-year and four-year subscription.
Horwitz together with one of her own sons
Students hold gift baskets and boxes sent to them by MindyKNOWS
Horwitz is convinced that her service is not intended to coddle students, but rather to help provide young adults with extra help when needed.
“We’re going to give them the best resources we have here in town,” she said. ‘We do not replace mothers. We only support their mothers when they need the support.”
In addition to offering a host of services that give students a physical (or nutritional) boost, the “moms” are always ready to answer questions like where to get hair done or which doctors in town are the best.
Some of the best situations Horwitz told Fox about included a police officer picking up medication for a student during a snowstorm and sheltering three children after an apartment fire.
“I don’t like saying no” to any request, Horwitz said. “When a need comes in, I’m really going to do my best to help meet the need.”
Packages sent to students are prepared prior to delivery
‘We do not replace mothers. We only support their mothers when they need the support,” says Horwitz (photo right)
In the interview, she also responded to critics who say her service does not allow young students to mature through independence.
Horwitz said she couldn’t disagree more strongly with this idea and that it just gives students the opportunity to focus on their grades, extracurricular activities and growing up.
“These students become independent adults,” she said.
“Their needs in their freshman year are nothing like what they need in their senior year, and we are in no way holding them back from becoming adults. They can focus on the things that matter most,” the mother said.
The best thing about her, however, is the genuine bonds that ultimately form between the students and their “substitute mothers.”
“It starts as a relationship between us and the parents, and little by little our relationship with some of the students definitely grows,” Horwitz said.
“I’ve watched them grow, and it’s truly a gift,” Horwitz said. “The parents are so grateful that we’re here, and I’m so grateful that their parents put their trust in us.”