Would you like to make a difference in a family’s life? Mentoring Moms, a program of the Volunteer Center of Bergen County, trains volunteers to work with mothers who are overwhelmed by the responsibilities of children and life. By being a mentor, you are not only supporting a mom, but helping the entire family by being an important role model for the children, as well as their mother.
Recognizing the need for this popular program, Cindy Andrake, Program Director for Mentoring Moms, said, “We need more volunteer women to join our Mentoring Moms program."
“Dozens of overwhelmed mothers are still waiting to be matched with volunteer mentors who can help them during what can be a chaotic and stressful time in their lives. Children do better when families do well,” she said.
Mentors are caring women who understand how hard it is to raise children and want to make life easier for other moms, who are often referred through community or child service agencies. The mentors listen, share ideas and offer support as mothers deal with daily challenges of raising children.
“Mentors provide the needed support and resources that help strengthen a family”, Andrake said. “We know that parents with a social network of emotionally supportive people in their lives find it easier to care for their children and themselves. Most parents need someone they can call on when they need a sympathetic listener, some advice or ongoing support—our mentors fill that role."
There is an especially great need for bi-lingual Spanish speaking women to become mentors.
Volunteers are provided with a free four-session, 15-hour training program and ongoing support from program staff. During this time, the volunteers take workshops on developing listening skills, communication and problem solving. Guest speakers such as current mentors, mothers who have participated in the program, and social services case workers share their experiences so that new mentors have the background and knowledge to help support moms who may be single parents, or struggling with a child’s illness, or who are simply overwhelmed. Through weekly contact, mentors offer emotional and practical support to the mothers.
While each situation is different, one mother aptly described her mentor as “Someone I can talk to besides family, who understands and cares. She makes me think about my life and encourages me.”
Registration is now open for Mentoring Moms Fall training which begins Monday, Sept. 30 from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Volunteer Center of Bergen County, 64 Passaic Street, Hackensack, NJ.
Call (201) 489-9454, ext. 124 to learn how to become a Mentoring Moms volunteer.