Fifty years ago, a group of moms in the Lochwood neighborhood of East Dallas got together and formed a club of sorts. It was called Save Our Sanity, and it became a network of people willing to support one another in the realm of child rearing.

“You really need all the help you can get,” says Renee Nikolai, an officer in the organization now known as the Lochwood Parents Group. The group throws several neighborhood parties each year, including its main event, the August back-to-school party. And it gives parents a chance to swap stories and get to know each other.

But their connection is much more than social. Their email group allows anyone to send out S.O.S. messages: “Is anyone heading toward the park tomorrow? My daughter needs a ride home from soccer practice.” Andrea McAnally used the email group last year when her infant ran a high fever. Her husband was out of town for work, and her three older children were sleeping. Her doctor’s office told her to give the baby children’s ibuprofen, but she didn’t have any in the house.

“I sent out an email at about 11:30 at night, and I had three responses in 10 minutes,” she said. “And one of my neighbors just brought Motrin to my door.” The group also takes hot meals to new parents or members who are ill. A few years ago, the parents group came together to help Maria Blois. Her house was robbed a few days before Christmas, and her four children’s gifts were stolen. So the group took a collection to buy gift cards for the family, and they took turns babysitting and cooking while Blois shopped for new presents.

“It’s just one of those things you can’t believe,” Nikolai says. “But it all worked out.”

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