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News Throughout Bergen County, NJ

Women needed to mentor mothers and families

Volunteer Center of Bergen County
Mentoring Moms needed
BERGEN COUNTY, N.J. - Make a difference in a family’s life! Mentoring Moms, a program of the Volunteer Center of Bergen County, trains volunteers to serve as  mentors to overwhelmed mothers in need of guidance in parenting and life skills, particularly those who have been in child service programs.

When a parent is supported by a mentor, the entire family is helped, because mentors become important role models for the children as well. There is an especially great need for bilingual Spanish speaking women to become mentors.

Cindy Andrake, Mentoring Moms program director, recognizes the growing need for this program. "We need more volunteer women to join our Mentoring Moms program," she says. "Overwhelmed mothers are waiting for someone who can help them during what can be a chaotic and stressful time in their lives. Children do better when families do well."

Mentors focus on parenting, child development, and utilization of community resources to help mothers become more responsible parents and achieve self sufficiency.

"My mentor helped me become a better parent by being there for me when I needed someone to talk to. She has made my family stronger and has taught me what a healthy relationship is," says Mary, a mother who has benefited from a relationship with a volunteer mentor from Mentoring Moms.

Comprehensive training will be provided, beginning October 5th, in a six session, 15-hour training program. 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.

Volunteers are asked to make a one-year commitment to spend 2-3 hours a week with a mother simply talking, sharing activities and offering support.

Training begins Monday, October 5, 2009 from 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm at the Volunteer Center of Bergen County, 64 Passaic Street, Hackensack. Mentoring Moms training is free of charge to adult women age 18 and over. Please call Susan Hogge at (201) 489-9454, ext. 124 for more information or visit www.bergenvolunteers.org and click on mentoring programs.