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Coog Moms brings parents of UH students together

In 2017 Coog Moms had 42 members. This year they have over 680. | Photo courtesy of Coog Moms

In 2017 Coog Moms had 42 members. This year they have over 680. | Photo courtesy of Coog Moms

When a parent sends their child off to college, it can be an emotional and confusing time. 

To make sure that no family feels like they’re going through this transition alone, Coog Moms brings moms and guardians of UH students together through social events, fundraisers and student scholarships and programs.

“We’ve created our own family (by) living through as moms and helping each other out,” said Julie DeNofa, member of Coog Moms. “Just knowing that there’s some moms that are close to campus that are willing (to help) if anybody ever needs anything I think is so nice.”

DeNofa is the mother of a sophomore at the University and said she joined Coog Moms last year because it seemed like a great way to stay informed about what’s going on at the University without “prying it out” of her son.

Coog Moms officially started in September 2017 with 42 members. By 2018, they had 320, and this year they’re up to 680 members.

Even UH moms and guardians that don’t live in the Houston area can be a part of Coog Moms.

DeNofa said some members drive in for events, and that other members in Dallas and Austin meet up at the same time as a Houston event is taking place.

“Now when I see other Coog moms coming in with their freshmen, I know exactly where they are,” DeNofa said. “I can empathize with them and perhaps offer them some of the things that were offered so freely to me when I was brand new with the University of Houston.”

The group does a live broadcast on Facebook during every general meeting, which DeNofa said helps include all Coog Moms no matter where they are. 

Members will ask each other any questions they have about campus life or for small favors. DeNofa said Coog Moms help each other as much as possible, from picking up each other’s kids from the airport to even bringing fresh chicken noodle soup and Tylenol to a sick student on campus.

“I think the camaraderie really is what speaks most to me,” DeNofa said.

Coog Moms hosts a variety of social and sporting events to promote fellowship, Coog Moms president Patty Godfrey said. The group throws tailgating parties, a painting party where they paint Shasta, cookie exchanges, a party at Frontier Fiesta and more.

Godfrey said one of her favorite events was their “Valentine’s Day Goodie Bag Party” where they put together goodie bags for their students to give to their friends.

“I love them all, as they all promote UH and bring us parents together for fun and friendship,” said Godfrey about the different Coog Moms outings. 

This past year, Coog Moms collected food for the on-campus food pantry and would like to do more philanthropic work in the future. DeNofa said Coog Moms is in the process of developing scholarships for the students of Coog Moms beginning in 2020.

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