Kathy Hlavaty of River Vale, is a volunteer with the Mentoring Moms program of the Volunteer Center of Bergen County, which matches women with mothers who are facing extreme challenges in raising children and navigating their lives.
Kathy spends time with Jackie M., her mentee, and Jackie’s
five children. They shop, run errands
and often have coffee at Jackie’s house—a 100+ year old Victorian that is much
in need of repairs. The kitchen in
particular, has cabinets that over the course of several years, have become
unusable—the drawers don’t work, the countertop is so uneven that dishes have
slid off of it, and Jackie was forced to use an old baseball bat to prop up the
center to keep the entire piece from collapsing altogether. As a single mom who has been laid off,
Jackie’s first priority is to clothe and feed her children, so she had to wait
to take care of the cabinets.
Kathy told her cousin Angelo Del Russo, who owns Del-Sano
Construction company in Union County,
about this situation, and he in turn reached out to his associate John Earl,
owner of Merit Kitchen Cabinets and the two men arranged to have Jackie’s old,
damaged cabinets replaced.
Jackie was so grateful for the wonderful gift. “It will be great not to worry about dishes
or glasses falling on the floor and shattering around my children, and to have
a place to store our kitchen items safely.”
This is just one example of how the volunteers in the
Mentoring Moms program support mothers who are overwhelmed with the
difficulties that life has presented them.
Raising children is one of the toughest and most important job parents
face. Mothers in the Mentoring Moms
program have financial worries and few family members to depend upon
nearby. They, or a member of their
family, may be facing emotional, behavioral or physical challenges.
Since 1995, Mentoring Moms volunteers have supported these
mothers, by helping them to find resources, becoming friends and confidants and
sharing coping strategies that allow the mothers to parent effectively, even
For more information about becoming a mentor in the
Mentoring Moms program, call 201-489-9454 or visit www.bergenvolunters.org. There is an especially great need for
bi-lingual Spanish speaking women to become mentors.