Read the full article as published in Daily Mail by Hope Sloop on October 2, 2023
A Missouri mom who said she knew first hand about the struggle of sending her kids off to college started a business that allows parent to help their children through school.
Mindy Horwitz is the founder of MindyKNOWS, which 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. ‘When you have a local mom or a team of local moms, it doesn’t.’
The mom said that her service – and other similar ones like it – are essential for parents ‘who are trying to help their kids from afar.
‘There’s no hard stop to parenting when our kids go to school,’ Horwitz said.
Similar services have opened around the country with volunteers offering services like ironing, decorating, and even making home-cooked meals for college kids.
Horwitz is a mom of three herself and said she came up with the idea for her business after her eldest son went off to school in their hometown.
In a Facebook page for parents whose kids were all attending the school, she said she found other moms and dads worrying about their kids from far away.
‘I was lucky enough to be in town. Every day, they’d ask where to get a birthday cake for their student or where to get chicken soup if their student was sick,’ she said.
The mom said she immediately knew there was work to be done and that she and others like her could be the ones to do it.
‘It occurred to me that as local parents here in St. Louis, we had an opportunity to help,’ the mom of three boys told the outlet.
She says that she likes to tell students who receive their services that it’s like they ‘have a really nice aunt… somebody who’s just there,’ and encourages them to reach out and ask for things if they need rather than feeling guilty.
The service originally began at her son’s school, Washington University in St. Louis, but has now expanded to three more campuses.
Parents at Northwestern, The University of Hartford, and Skidmore College are the most recent to be able to take advantage of the paid-program.
The monthly rate goes for about $49, but may cost more based on location. Parents can also pay for a subscription for a semester, a year, and four years.
Horwitz is adamant that her service is not meant to coddle college students, but rather, should help to give young adults extra assistance if needed.
‘We’re going to give them the best possible resources that we have here in town,’ she said. ‘We don’t replace moms. We just support their moms when they need the support.’
In addition to offering a myriad of services that give students physical – or nutritional – boosts, the ‘moms’ are always there to answer questions like where to get hair done or which doctors in town are the best.
Some of the best situations that Horwitz told Fox about involved a police officer retrieving medication for a student during a blizzard and giving three kids a place to stay after an apartment fire.
‘I do not like to say no,’ to any request, Horwitz said. ‘When a need comes in, I really am going to give it my best shot to help meet what the need is.’
In the interview, she also responded to critics who say her service doesn’t allow young college students to become adults by being independent.
Horwitz said she couldn’t disagree more strongly with this idea and that it just allows students to focus on their grades, extracurriculars, and growing up.
‘These students are becoming independent adults,’ she said.
‘Their needs in their first year are nothing like what they need in their last year, and we are not in any way stopping them from becoming adults. They’re able to focus on the things that are most important,’ the mother said.
The best part to her, however, is the real bonds that end up developing between the students and their ‘stand-in moms.’
‘It starts out as a relationship between us and the parents, and then little by little, our relationships with some of the students definitely grow,’ Horwitz said.
‘I watched them grow, and it’s really a gift,’ Horwitz said. ‘The parents are so grateful to have us, and I am so grateful that their parents put their trust in us.’