Vanessa Moos: Community, crew and a village calling

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Staff writer

Meet Vanessa Moos, rowing enthusiast, Marine Corps wife and accomplished nonprofit professional. She’s a busy mom of two toddler boys and wife of 10 years to Coeur d’Alene native Eric Moos.

When something is out of budget, she can generally make it – including a new chicken coop in the backyard she made recently out of old pieces of fence.


“I’m an old soul living as a millennial. I relate more with Gen X, but traits arise in myself that are more of a millennial. When my previous job wasn’t allowing me to be a mom, I pulled my ‘inner millennial’ and found a better job that I loved more and would allow more flexibility instead of conforming to what was asked of me.

“In contrast, my favorite part of my morning is reading our daily Coeur d’Alene Press, clearly pulling from the Gen X in me. I keep telling myself I’ll get up at 4:30 a.m. and await our news carrier so I can meet him or her, but my toddlers wake up too many times each night so 4:30 comes too soon. If you’re reading this and deliver my paper in the Sanders Beach neighborhood each morning – I appreciate you!”

Career and community involvement:

“I have spent 10 years working at the American Cancer Society throughout the country. While Eric and I moved frequently as part of his F/A-18 pilot training and deployments, I was able to hop in and out of my nonprofit career, ultimately landing us for seven years in San Diego while he instructed novice jet pilots how to refine their flying.

“I started with the Relay for Life grassroots events while we lived in Florida, and then grew into our distinguished events sector – producing massive golf tournaments and gala weekend fundraisers at the prestigious Grand Del Mar Resort and other venues. My most recent role before joining the Children’s Village was managing staff in all time zones while we onboarded volunteers for the American Cancer Society.

“My husband Eric recently completed his 11 years of service in the USMC, so we are humbled to be able to choose where to live (finally!) and bring our family back to where we should be and where we should have always been, Coeur d’Alene. Seeing my little boys go sledding with their dad on the same hill Eric used as a child - this makes me feel like we are finally home.

“As far as community involvement, I lovingly say ‘when I grow up’ I will be so involved! For now, keeping my kids, husband, dogs and chickens fed and alive puts me at my maximum time available.”

Parental status:

“I am an exhausted mother of two wild toddler boys – ages 4 and 2. They literally do not stop all day long. I love them something fierce, but this season of life is a tough one trying to keep up with them.”

1. What is your role at Children’s Village, and why did you choose this profession?

“I am the director of charitable giving at the Children’s Village, managing philanthropic giving and events, marketing and outreach, in addition to our social media. I remember in college working in the for-profit industry, it just isn’t the same. As a nonprofit industry professional, I can call the president of a company in the same day as I talk to someone donating their time as a volunteer and we all come to the organization for the same reason: To help and to make a difference. This is the reason that I choose to stay in this profession, because this is where you consistently find people who care, and those people are the ones I want to be around each day.”

2. Why should we care about the futures of other people’s kids?

“We are nothing without the youth in our community and we will go nowhere if we don’t set them up for success. Decades and decades ago, villages helped to raise children. When did we stop? I have never felt this so acutely as I have with young children. Who will keep them safe if I can’t? We owe these children a foundation for success, a loving childhood, a safe place to sleep. We owe our neighbors a community where the village is alive to help them with their children.”

3. What can people do to make our community better for the wee ones?

“Support their parents. Tell them they’re doing a good job, ask them if they need help. Ask questions. When you sense something is wrong, say something – be a mandated reporter, be the village to give a child a voice. There are so many incredible resources in this community; help parents to find the help they need to support their children.

“When a child is throwing a tantrum, don’t judge that mom or dad or caregiver; just give them a nod of support – we are all doing our best. If a young family has the courage to take their children out on a date night for dinner, give them a supportive wave as they model to their children healthy social and family behaviors.

“If you own a business or restaurant, promote that you are friendly to children and help all customers and patrons understand that you support children being present in your facility. Be the village to raise these kids and be the village for their parents and caregivers. We all need your help!”

4. What is something people would be surprised to learn about you?

“I sat seven-seat in an eight-man crew boat for three and a half years in college. This seat is the one behind the person who sets the cadence for the boat. Every oar has to hit the water at exactly the same time, so seven-seat is in charge of communicating the speed of the oar movement to the opposite side of the boat.

“The teamwork it takes to lock your body – physically and mentally – into the same movement is a feeling you can’t describe until you hear the silence of a 5 a.m. lake and the one plunk of eight oars hitting the water to send your boat further. Most people don’t know how deeply passionate I am for rowing; in a time of chaos in my life, rowing helped me find myself and taught me how to meditate through physical activity.”

5. Are you a cat person or a dog person? Why?

“DOG! Hands down. We recently lost our 12-year-old beagle, Huey. I still miss his mischievousness. We still have our 12-year-old lab mix, Dory; she’s a sweet little thing but she is a bit too protective of our little boys. We recently adopted an almost 2-year-old Dutch shepherd named Trig. I lovingly call him a gentle ogre because he is an absolutely massive dog who is the gentlest one I have ever met. I had cats growing up - I can’t help but feel like any cat is just plotting my demise. I don’t trust them!”

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