Overview

Foundation of Mom2Mom

The work of Mom2Mom is based on research in child development and neuroscience that has shown that enriching children’s environments, lowering levels of family stress and connecting mothers to their child’s school and to community social supports leads to positive changes in children’s learning and development. When these things are in place, children are happier, better adjusted and more likely to succeed in school. Mothers are better able to nurture and attach to children when they aren’t struggling every day to meet basic needs.

Philosophy
Results
How It Works
Mom2Mom Structure

 

Mission and Goals

Mission

Mom2Mom improves the lives of families isolated by poverty through strength-based relationships and by creating opportunities.

Goals

  1. To reduce poverty-related stress on Mom2Mom families and ensure basic needs are met; 

  2. To build trusting relationships and a caring community; and 

  3. To provide opportunities and connection to resources.

 

History

Background

Background

Barb-VanSun-Pic

    [Above Photo: Dr. Barbara Fitzgerald speaks with a child outside Seymour School.]

Mom2Mom arose from the vision of a developmental pediatrician Dr. Barbara Fitzgerald who worked in Vancouver’s inner city schools for over 15 years, helping children with learning and behavioural challenges. Dr. Fitzgerald observed that poverty, combined with isolation and often histories of past trauma put barriers in the way of mothers moving forward, and in turn, contributed to children not succeeding in school. Mom2Mom was founded as an attempt to help women to step away from the cycle of poverty they are in. Many women in the inner city have not had the advantage of growing up in healthy families that modeled the kind of parenting that they want for their children. Many don’t have healthy mothers, sisters or neighbours whom they can go to for help and guidance. Often the services that are available come with strings attached and the fear of having children removed into foster care is always present. Many women had survived huge challenges and wanted help for their families that was compassionate, non-threatening, patient and practical. There was an increasing awareness in Vancouver of the disparities between rich and poor; people were realizing that in a province as rich as British Columbia, it wasn’t right that children living minutes away weren’t having their basic needs met. Stories of children going to bed hungry and then waking and going to school hungry didn’t fit with the kind of Canada they envision. They wanted to make a difference. Mom2Mom was born out of the pairing of all these incredible women: the women who just need a hand up to raise their children in the healthiest way possible, and compassionate women who want to make a difference in a respectful way, knowing that they may end up receiving more than they give!

The long term goal of “Mom2Mom” is to provide a hand up for struggling families so that they can have the strength and support to move forward with their lives instead of being mired in the relentless stress of poverty.

What We Do

 

Board of Directors

We have a committed and talented board of directors who bring a wide range of skills and experience to Mom2Mom.

Jacqueline Dagg Chair
Jackie has spent much of her life being involved with kids and helping where she can from an early age.  Her experience ranges from teaching phys-ed at a Children’s Psychiatric Hospital while in high school, to volunteering with Special Olympics BC as a program coordinator and coach as an adult. Jackie obtained an Honours degree from the University of Guelph with a Bachelor of Applied Science, specializing in Child Studies then ventured abroad to teach English in South Korea. Jackie feels a great importance in being closely connected to her community and is currently a Board Member of the Hastings East Community Programs Society, coaches her kids in soccer, and spends her work days at the Vancity Community Foundation where she manages their communications and donor advised fund program. She lives in East Van with her partner, 2 kids, dog and cat.

C. Douglas Morison, CPA, CA Treasurer
Doug is a Chartered Accountant and Treasurer for Mom2Mom who has worked in a variety of corporate and not-for-profit endeavours over the years. Enjoyable experiences and challenges as a father, multi-sport coach, Big Brother, and Chair of Sentinel Secondary Parent Advisory Council have given him exposure to a number of parent/child issues, and will provide a basis for supporting the Board of Mom2Mom during his mandate. In addition, Doug has been involved on the side-lines with Mom2Mom through supporting his wife Sara, who has been a Mentor in the Program since 2012.

Nicola Ingram Director
Nicola has been working with children and their families living in poverty in Vancouver for almost 20 years. She has witnessed over and over the power of relationship to change lives. Currently, Nicola is a counsellor with the Vancouver School Board at an inner city elementary school and has a private counselling practice. She received her Bachelor of Education from Queen’s University and her Masters in Counselling from LIOS (Leadership Institute of Seattle). She is the mother of a wonderful and lively boy.

Brittany Bingham, MPH Director
Brittany Bingham is a member of the Sechelt Nation on the Sunshine Coast, BC. Brittany completed her B.A. (honours) in Psychology and Master’s in Public Health from Simon Fraser University. She is currently a PhD Candidate in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University. Her PhD work will focus on trauma and mental health among homeless Aboriginal peoples in Canada. Brittany has been working in various areas of health research with Aboriginal communities for over 10 years and has a passion for community driven participatory research. Brittany is currently working with Vancouver Coastal Health Aboriginal Health to develop cultural safety initiatives and also with the Gender and Sexual Health Initiative at the BC Centre of Excellence for HIV/AIDS conducting research on the health of Aboriginal women in sex work in Vancouver. Brittany is wife to Mark and Mom to two beautiful children, Natalie (6 years) and Sean (21 months) and also has a passion for golf and photography.

Lisa Tries Nelley Director
Lisa has over 17 years of experience and visionary leadership as a not-for-profit executive in health and human service evaluation and delivery.  She brings experience in a broad range of service areas including: community engagement, stakeholder collaboration, program development, identifying strategic opportunities, fiscal management, grant and fund development, staff development, public relations, and communications. In her last role as Associate Director of Community Impact at the United Way of Greater Milwaukee, she led community engagement and multi-stakeholder collaboration on a variety of projects, and managed multimillion dollar grants. She has a strong passion for the study and reduction of teen pregnancy. She holds a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology as well as a certificate in Occupational Therapy. Lisa moved to Vancouver in 2007 and has been a full time mother of her two kids since. She is an avid runner, camper, and conversationalist.

Sarah Gustin Director
Sarah finished a Bachelor of Medical Sciences and English at the University of Western Ontario. After postponing medical school, she spent two years travelling and working in Latin America where she became passionate about global health and social justice issues. Sarah moved to Vancouver in 2009 to start her Master’s in Public Health at SFU. She has worked in various areas of health promotion and disease prevention (e.g., cancer, dengue, West Nile Virus) for government, research, and non-profit organizations across Canada and internationally. She is currently the Knowledge Translation & Communications Manager for the Population & Public Health Program at the Provincial Health Services Authority. Her team works to improve the conditions for health where people live, learn, work and play in BC and Sarah’s role is to increase the use of evidence in health policy and practice. Sarah has been a Kidstart mentor since 2013 and volunteers with a variety of community organizations and events including LOVE BC, Positive Living BC, DOXA, among others.

 

Staff

Meet our small but mighty team of four!


Jessica Chant Executive Director
Jess has an extensive background in working with communities and organizations across BC to increase physical activity, working with those facing cancer and their families to provide and improve access to support structures, and to connect with communities in owning and validating their knowledge. Jess was most recently with Kiwassa Neighbourhood House and the Canadian Cancer Society and hopes to bring her experience of creating and sustaining vibrant and healthy organizations, communities and people to Mom2Mom. She is eager to work in female community to recognize women’s knowledge and ways of being in the world. When not at work, Jess can be found on her bike, out with her family and dog at low tide at the beach.

Kirsten Sikora Program Coordinator
Working with Mom2Mom since October 2016, Kirsten brings a diverse history in social justice organizing, arts and most recently childcare environments. She has experience in community organizing, activism, and various artistic disciplines. Beginning with iHuman Youth Society in Edmonton, a group that works with high-risk youth using creative expression as a means to give youth a voice, Kirsten has always gravitated to supportive communities that bring new ideas to complex issues, which is why she is so passionate to be working with Mom2Mom and contributing the skills and talents she has honed over her years in organizing and program development, and also the opportunity be a part of something that makes real tangible change in the lives of families. As a mom herself, Kirsten has experienced social isolation and how it made the stress of parenting feel at times unbearable. She also was privileged enough to be able to access support and know how that improved her own capacity to handle the struggles and insecurities that came with early parenthood. Kirsten feels strongly that being connected to a supportive community is key for families to thrive, having seen the power of these connections and the strength that is nurtured.

Victoria Beckhurst Program Coordinator
Victoria has an extensive background working in health care, nonprofit and private sectors in community engagement, communications and program coordination. She received a BSc in Health, Exercise & Physical Activity from Exeter University and it was there during a practicum with Mini-Mend, an early childhood lifestyle and obesity initiative, that she developed a strong understanding of how poverty and isolation impacts families. Victoria is an active volunteer with Dress for Success, The Vancouver Women’s Health Collective and a Board Director for Everywoman’s Health Centre, and it’s through these experiences that her commitment to women and children’s advocacy continues to grow. Originally from the UK, Victoria moved to Vancouver four years ago and truly values the importance of social connection and community support. Her work ethos is simple: if you surround yourself with others who share the same vision as you then you can create positive change. In Victoria’s spare time she is a Mom2Mom community connector, enjoys long mountain hikes, seawall bike rides and live music at local gigs.

Stephanie Connolly Manager of Fund Development