Name: Gloria S. Haws
Number of years in that town: 4
Family information: My husband is Khider Ahmim. Our 2-year-old daughter is Kahina Ahmim.
Education: I grew up in this area and graduated from Springbrook High School. I have a B.A. in History from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
Position: President of the MOMS Club of Potomac, MD, a non-profit organization supporting stay-at-home mothers and their children.
Why do you do this job? How did you get started?
When my daughter was 6 months old, I felt isolated and was desperate for adult interaction. I saw the listing about the MOMS Club in the Almanac and went to an event. I was grateful to find a group of supportive moms who knew what I was going through. From that moment on, I've been an active member of the Club. I am thankful to be able to give back to the Club that has given me so much.
Most satisfying part of job?
The most rewarding part of my position is the opportunity to meet and get to know our members. At any event, I find myself surrounded by interesting, dynamic women. It is a privilege for me to be among these incredible women. I admire them for being committed to being stay-at-home mothers, even if it meant walking away from successful careers.
Most frustrating part of job?
Not having enough time or resources to pursue all the community service projects we would like to.
Key ties to your community, community involvement:
The MOMS Club community services projects are varied. We organize food drives to help local food banks. We purchase holiday gifts for children in area shelters. Our annual Preschool Fair helps parents learn about many of their options in one morning. We visit the Sommerville Assisted Living Home to bring cheer to the residents. Our annual Holiday Boutique features home-based businesses (many of them owned by stay-at-home moms).
Personally, my husband and I own and operate Mediterranean Limousine, Inc., a Potomac-based transportation company. In the larger community, my sister and I raise funds for the American Diabetes Association annually, in the memory of our brother Garry Wayne Haws. Since Wayne's death four years ago, we have raised more than $10,000 to help find a cure for Diabetes. My family attends the area Islamic Centers.
One thing about your community that you enjoy that you don't think most people know about; or something important for a newcomer to know:
Potomac has a broad and diverse population. The diversity extends to cultures, religions, countries of origin and socio-economic backgrounds.
What are your favorite places in your community? My daughter and I spend a lot of time at the area playgrounds and parks. We are fortunate to have so many options.
Favorite activities? I love to travel, see new places and meet new people.
Who are your favorite people in the community?
I admire mothers and fathers everywhere who are doing their very best to raise our future leaders, especially the ones who have few options and resources. I also admire individuals who fight injustice, both big and small.
Heroes? At the top of my list of heroes is my husband. Khider immigrated to the U.S. 13 years ago with no money in his pocket and no knowledge of English. Within two years, he spoke English fluently and was well on his way to realizing the American dream. Today, he is a successful entrepreneur who speaks English much more than his other three languages. My other heroes include Benjamin Franklin for demonstrating that you can be successful in many arenas; Rosa Parks for standing against the injustice she suffered and thereby helping change the country (and the world); and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for believing we could be better and inspiring us to become better.
List your hobbies: Travel. Read. Explore new places (even ones around the corner). Cooking for my friends (there's nothing like a dinner party with my girlfriends).
Guilty pleasures: Chocolate. Sleeping late. Girl Scout cookies, especially Thin Mints.
Where was your last or favorite vacation? My favorite trips were my drive across country to San Diego, CA and the return trip nine months later. My friend Vicki and I visited as many National Parks as possible, even if it meant driving hundreds of miles out of the way. The U.S. is incredibly beautiful and diverse.
I am a mystery lover. I am a big fan of Patricia Cornwell’s books about Kay Scarpetta, the Richmond, VA medical examiner. I also enjoy James Patterson's books about Alex Cross, the Washington, D.C. detective and psychologist.
What are your hopes for the future — immediate and long-term?
Everyday, I pray for the strength to be the best mom/person I can be. I dream of a world of peace and acceptance, where we celebrate our overwhelming similarities instead of dwelling on our small differences.
What is your favorite part about being a mother?
I love watching my daughter discover the world. I have found nothing sweeter than my baby sleeping in my arms and the sound of her laughter.
<1b>— Joy Allen
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