On Saturday, May 16th, 80 remarkable women celebrated and recognized the tremendous impact that the Volunteer Center’s Mentoring Moms program has made on the Bergen County community at the 20th Anniversary Moms and Mentors Brunch. The event was held at the Volunteer Center in Hackensack in honor of Mother’s Day, with Bergen County Freeholder Tracy Zur as a special guest. Sterling Affair Caterers generously donated their services to provide a delicious, beautifully presented brunch for all of the attendees, and Perry’s Florist of Glen Rock donated flowering plants that served as centrepieces and were given to each mother and mentor at the end of the event.
Raising children today is a challenge for any parent, but it can be especially difficult for mothers who are living on the edge of stability due to poverty, a history of trauma or abuse, and/or mental illness. Mentoring Moms trains volunteer mentors to work with mothers who are overwhelmed by the responsibilities of children and life and who are also faced with immense personal challenges. When a struggling mother is supported by a mentor, the entire family benefits from that support. 95% of the mothers being mentored through Mentoring Moms are living in poverty and many are dealing with challenges such as language barriers, mental illness and/or children with emotional, behavioral or emotional challenges. Since 1995, Mentoring Moms has linked more than 500 mothers with mentors, helping each mother to work toward providing a safe, stable environment for her family.
Several women spoke at the Mentors and Mentors Brunch, including Volunteer Center CEO Lynne Algrant, Mentoring Moms Director Cindy Andrake, Freeholder Tracy Zur and several mentors and mentees from the program. “When you are feeling lost and don’t know where else to turn, the people in Mentoring Moms are willing and ready to give of their time for you and go the extra mile to help you, stated a single mother who has been mentored through the program for the past nine years. “I am very grateful to have Mentoring Moms in my life.” Another single mother spoke passionately about how much her personal challenges had taken a toll on her, but her mentor “…saw a rose in me, and helped me to bloom.”
For more information about the Mentoring Moms program or to find out how to be a mentor, please visits www.bergenvolunteers.org or contact Cindy Andrake at firstname.lastname@example.org, 201-489-9454, ext. 123.