It takes a whole village to raise a child -Igobo and Yoruba (Nigeria) Proverb
No matter what her circumstances, even with the most abundant resources surrounding her, when a woman becomes a new mother her hormones surge, her sleep is deprived, and her life as she knows it is completely rocked. When stressors like post-partum depression, lack of family proximity or support, single parenting, health problems, or financial concerns are added to the universally-experienced demands and fears of new-parenthood, the weight is simply too much to bear alone.
One local organization is bringing “the village” that much closer to mothers in need of a helping hand and listening ear. Families First RI is a non-profit organization that matches pregnant women and new mothers with compassionate, experienced mothers trained as volunteer mentors in the innovative “Moms for Moms” program. In this unique relationship, the lives of the mentor, mother, baby and entire family are positively impacted. Executive Director Beth Hurt, whose involvement with Families First RI began as a mentor, posed, “How often in your life can you help someone so directly, supporting a person in the most vulnerable time in her life?”
How to Get Involved
Be Matched with a Mentor
If you are in the late stages of pregnancy or the mother of a new baby and feel you could benefit from a weekly visit in your home to ask questions, share concerns, and receive guidance from an experienced mother mentor, all you need to do is reach out. The program is free of charge. A Families First RI clinician will do an initial visit to learn more about you for your match and help guide you toward additional resources if needed.
Become a Mentor
Perhaps you’ve made it to “the other side” of your own early parenting struggles and want to be there for a new mother in a way you wished someone had been there for you. After participating in a 4-week training with Families First RI clinicians, you will be asked to commit weekly 1-hour visits for a 1-year minimum with a mother to offer confidential, non-judgmental support, mom-to-mom.
Monthly Community Gatherings
Families First RI offers monthly Community Gatherings which feature guest speakers and an opportunity for parents to connect and nurture themselves while babies and older children play together. Community Gatherings are open to all families with an infant – you don’t have to be involved in the Moms for Moms program. These drop-in events are held the first Saturday of the month from 10:30-12:00 at the First Unitarian Church of Providence at 1 Benevolent St., Providence. The next Community Gathering is May 7, 2016, then they will take a break during the summer. Check back at the website for fall gatherings.
Annual BBQ Fundraiser at Mulligan’s Island
Support the mission of Families First RI while having a blast at this family event featuring BBQ fare, live music, a silent auction/raffle in addition to the usual fun Mulligan’s Island activities: miniature golf, pitch & putt, driving range, batting cages. There will also be a golf tournament on Mulligan’s 9-hole, Par 3 course. This year’s event honors the Kristen Kardos, MA Ed., and Kathy McGuigan, LCSW of Rhode Island New Moms Connection for their impact on the RI community of pregnant and new mothers.
When: Saturday, May 21, 2016 from 3:00 – 6:00 PM
Where: Mulligan’s Island Golf & Entertainment Center, 1000 New London Ave., Cranston, RI
Tickets: $30 for regular admission, $15 for children aged 3-11, $50 for golf tournament (includes regular admission, space is limited)
Purchase tickets HERE
For more information on Families First RI – Moms for Moms
To be matched with a mentor or learn about volunteering as a mentor, contact Tania at (401) 383-9933 or email Tania@familiesfirstri.org
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