News Throughout Bergen County, NJ

Mentors needed for overwhelmed moms and their children; training starts Feb. 1

volunteers needed for Mentoring Moms programBERGEN COUNTY, N.J. - You can make a difference in a family's life. Mentoring Moms, a program of the Volunteer Center of Bergen County, needs volunteers to serve as  mentors to overwhelmed mothers in need of guidance in parenting and life skills.

When a parent is supported by a mentor, the entire family is helped, because mentors become important role models for the children as well.

The volunteer mentors spend time with mothers who have experienced difficulty in coping with parenting, managing households, and providing for their children. The mentors listen, share ideas, and offer encouragement, so that the mothers can improve their lives and those of their children.

"Mentors provide the needed support and resources that help strengthen a family", says Cindy Andrake, program director of Mentoring Moms. "Children do better when families do well."

There is an especially great need for bi-lingual Spanish speaking women to become mentors.

Volunteers are provided with a free six-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.

Mentors usually spend 2-3 hours per week with a mother simply being a friend, listening, sharing ideas, and offering encouragement. 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."

Winter training begins Monday, February 1, from 7:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. at the Volunteer Center of Bergen County, 64 Passaic Street, Hackensack, NJ. Call Susan Hogge at (201) 489-9454, ext. 124 to learn how to become a Mentoring Moms volunteer.