Motherhood can be challenging under any circumstance. The struggles faced by low-income mothers raising children in an expensive city like Vancouver make it really tough.
50% of lone-parent families in BC live in poverty. 82% of these families are female led.
In 2012, Mom2Mom Child Poverty Initiative Society was founded to help low-income moms build resiliency and keep their families intact, by connecting them with a community of women who can offer support, experience and a listening ear.
A casual coffee with another mom can lift the spirit and bolster confidence. Along with these life-affirming friendships, our dedicated volunteers, donors, and community partners reach out in practical ways to alleviate poverty-related stress. A little help with groceries, medical expenses or school fees can go a long way for a mom juggling work, school and parenting. Super Mamas events can help reduce the isolation that many feel. “You are not alone” is the message we hope to deliver.
This year, you helped moms thrive. As you read these stories, you will see the ways your vital support and encouragement reached low-income moms and their children all across Metro Vancouver. When moms thrive, children thrive.
We couldn’t do this without you.
Stephanie Connolly + Judy Gale
Executive Director + Chair of the Board
Scroll down to dig into the report.
If you prefer, you can access the PDF version here.
The Mom2Mom Support System
In 2018/2019, Mom2Mom facilitated 97 relationship volunteers to provide caring, compassionate support to 60 isolated moms.
These 60 moms care for 113 kids while navigating poverty-related stress and isolation. Today these kids are growing up with the best possible launchpad for success: the love, attention and positive role-modeling of their own mom.
Gave their time, skills and love to our community of moms
60 local moms
Were supported in navigating poverty-related stress and combatting isolation.
Were given the best possible launchpad for success: the love, attention and positive role-modeling of their own mom.
Together Participant Moms and their Relationship Volunteers build relationships through monthly meet-ups and communications via email and text. Our volunteers are stable, non-judgmental allies who offer active listening, emotional and practical support. When Participant Moms see emotional stability, reliability and consistency modelled to them through their Relationship Volunteer, they model those same traits to their children.
Thank you for being a part of the Mom2Mom support system. It’s because of generous, compassionate people like you that so many moms across Metro Vancouver are being supported.
What’s it like growing up in poverty?
Children living in poverty are more likely to have compromised cognitive development, poor mental and physical health, and poor educational outcomes. Without intervention, these outcomes can catch people up in what’s called “the cycle of poverty,” where children raised in poverty face exceptional barriers to achieving health and stability in adulthood.
This cycle of poverty is often rooted in a lack of appropriate and adequate supports for low-income mothers. Without the resources they need to provide a loving and stable environment for their children and themselves, apprehension of the child into the foster care system is an all too common reality.
Children who have healthy, determined, well-supported mothers can grow and thrive in spite of poverty-related stress.
Your impact in her life
Every year we ask our Participant Moms about the impact your support has on their daily lives and on the well-being of their children. 70% of our moms responded to our Program Evaluation Survey. Here are some of the things they had to say:
95% of participant moms
Report feeling less stressed and more confident as a mom because of the support they receive from their Mom2Mom relationship volunteer.
100% of participant moms
Feel the grocery stipend is important to them. Having enough food for their children each month remains a major concern, but 79% said they worry less about it since joining Mom2Mom.
Thank you for making such a big difference in so many moms’ lives!
Eva’s Story: How one mom learned to believe in herself
Before Mom2Mom, Eva didn’t have a lot of strong role models she could count on. “I lost my mom when I was 10, and then I lost my dad six years ago. So it’s been really really hard,” she says.
Eva had her son Aydin when she was only 18, and struggled to keep a stable job while caring for him. Eventually, she was connected to Mom2Mom through Aydin’s school.
“Mom2Mom heard what was going on and said, hey, this is too much, this mom needs support. She doesn’t have a mom, she just lost her dad; she doesn’t have any support at all,” she remembers.
Eva was paired with Pam, a Relationship Volunteer for Mom2Mom, and they’ve been meeting for about four years. In that time, Eva and Pam walked through a challenging time in Eva’s life when she broke her ankle. Bound to a wheelchair, Eva couldn’t work. Her income plummeted and her stability was shaken.
Pam was right by Eva’s side, taking her shopping, helping her recover lost income, and most of all, giving her a non-judgemental listening ear and a shoulder to cry on.
Having a good cry is something Eva and Pam do a lot of together. “We share the same birthday,” Eva explains. “And Pisces are the most emotional. We tear up easily. Sometimes when we’re talking about anything… I’m going to tear up right now. We love and care about each other a lot.”
“I listen and I give her positive feedback, whenever I can,” says Pam. “I tell her what a great job she’s doing no matter what the situation. I just try to champion her, and I think that’s what a mother does - they’re there to be somebody’s champion.”
For example, when Eva got a customer service job at Purdy’s after a string of short-term positions, her manager quickly saw her potential. But Eva wasn’t so sure she was up for the promotion. “[Eva] said, ‘I don’t think I could do that, but you know, you believe in me, and the manager at Purdy’s believes in me, so I guess I better believe in myself,’” Pam recalls. “And I thought that was just amazing: just a little bit of encouragement. She is such a smart and capable person.”
“It’s nice to get that nurturing presence in my life that I don’t get anywhere else. She supports me emotionally, just coaching me in life,” Eva says.
For Pam, it’s just a matter of showing love to Eva and Aydin without conditions - just like a mother.
There’s nothing more empowering than when resilient women stand together and support one another through life’s challenges.
Join us to improve the lives of children in poverty by supporting their moms.
We are on the cusp of significant growth here at Mom2Mom. The number of Participant Moms we can pair with Relationship Volunteer moms depends on both the number of trained volunteers we have and the funds available for grocery stipends, emergency funding, staffing and events.
As we work diligently to reduce our waiting list in the coming year, we remain ever grateful for the steadfast commitment of our family of donors, corporate partners, and community and family foundations who are walking this journey with low-income moms and their children. With your support, you are alleviating poverty right in your own backyard and helping to change lives.
Harnessing the power of volunteerism
At Mom2Mom our core program is delivered by volunteers! This means that our programs are less expensive to run, and as a result, our administrative expenses may appear higher as a percentage of total costs than what you may be used to seeing.
When you give to Mom2Mom, your donation is always used to serve moms who are struggling - whether through direct financial support for her family or the administrative support needed to keep Mom2Mom programs available to her.
Mom2Mom’s Talented Team
All of our programs and services are led by qualified, caring and compassionate staff who believe in the strength and resilience of our Participant Moms and their children. These team members ensure that our volunteers are trained and our programs are accessible and relevant for all of the families that Mom2Mom serves.
Training + Support for Volunteers
Relationship Volunteers are oriented and trained upon joining Mom2Mom and attend a monthly support meeting facilitated by Mom2Mom staff and volunteer clinical counsellors.
Food insecurity is one of the most significant barriers to a family’s ability to thrive. Grocery support is a vital way to relieve stress on low-income moms and improve outcomes for their children. Mom2Mom provides a monthly grocery stipend based on the number of children our Participant Moms have living with them.
Super Mama’s Events
Mom2Mom hosts regular events that provide the opportunity for moms to get together, relax, and learn something new. Super Mamas events always include childcare and a healthy meal for the whole family.
Compassion Fund grants provide funding to relieve short-term stress, invest in long-term wellbeing, and remove barriers by covering particular expenses. Grants may include occasional extra food support, professional development related fees, appliance repair, medical expenses not covered by MSP, and reimbursements to Relationship Volunteers for special activities with Participant Moms, such as celebrating a birthday or mileage reimbursement for driving to a hike.
There are 60 moms currently enrolled and supported in our program, but the number who would like to join us – referred to Mom2Mom by school, community and social workers - is growing.
In the 2019-20 school year, we hope to bring in 20 more low-income moms… That’s a potential one-third increase in participants. We don’t currently have enough volunteers to help us meet this tremendous need.
You can help alleviate poverty right in your own backyard with a gift to Mom2Mom. The challenges of raising children on a limited income are endless - a little help with groceries, medical expenses or school fees goes a long way for a low-income mom juggling work, school and parenting.
Your gift keeps food on the table, facilitates connections that support basic needs, and provides opportunities for moms and their children, including removing barriers to extra-curricular activities and education.
THANK YOU TO OUR FAMILY OF DONORS.
YOUR SUPPORT MEANS THE WORLD TO US.
Anne Walker Beaulieu
Bryan E Bell
Bryony Jayne Mander
Cause We Care Foundation
Christina Wilma Bouwman
Colin Balfour Glassco
Dave And Marnie Naphtali
Diane Betty Minichiello Ms
Earlston Investment Corp
Frances Clarise Grunberg
Gail Lark Gustin
Heather Elaine Marshall
James K Gray
Jean L Badun
Jillian S Korstrom
Joan Lorraine Beaty
Joanne Blanche Marie Roussy
John Robert Stout
Ken Ning Fung
Linda Anne Warren
M Jill Mingay
Margaret Anne Maclaren
Mary Anne Maier
Myles K Blank
Nadine Iris Urquhart
Nicholas Luke Bermudez
Pamela Joy Mitchell
Paulette A Fishman
Pei Chin Jean Yu
Philip And Iris Family Foundation
Polynova Industries Inc
Quennie Ian Wilson
Rotary Women’s Association
Sara Elizabeth Yuen
Schmelke Family Charitable Fnd
Sharon Margaret Straathof
Shauna A Kovach
Shawn Milo Kangro
Shirlee E Law
Stan And Jean Lubin
Stephanie A Campbell
Terry L Dechief Mrs.
United Way Toronto
Vancity Community Fnd
Veronica Clare Ross
Yu Ling Tsui
Zhao Kun Arthur Zhang