Volunteers Bonnie and Diana, and participant mom Bernice, share a special bond
When Bonnie’s children had grown up and left home, she started exploring the idea of volunteering with Mom2Mom as a way to contribute to her community. Ultimately, Bonnie was looking for something meaningful to do and thought that being a volunteer Mom2Mom mentor would be the perfect fit.
Bonnie, along with fellow volunteer Diana, was paired with single mom Bernice, who was facing some daunting challenges. Bernice was living in social housing with her 9-year-old son William who had previously been diagnosed with leukemia. On top of the emotional and financial stress this caused, the family faced another problem: William became isolated from his peer group, and struggled to make friends.
When they were introduced to the family, Bonnie and Diana’s first steps were to build trust. Over time, the three became close and Bernice began confiding in her mentors.
It was through this dialogue that they became aware of Bernice’s desire to cook traditional Indigenous food for her extended family. However, she did not have a freezer where she could store the game meat and was unable to afford one.
Bonnie and Diana were able to advocate for Bernice’s needs and helped her obtain a deep freezer through the generosity of Mom2Mom donors.
Within a year, Bonnie and Diana helped Bernice and William move to new housing and William is now thriving in school.
Bonnie and Diana are proud of the progress Bernice has achieved while they’ve walked side-by-side through this journey.
“Sometimes you can come into a situation that seems pretty serious, but together we find hope,” says Bonnie. “Every time we leave things on a good note.”
The group isn’t afraid to have a little fun, either. One of Bonnie’s favourite memories is a trip the three of them took to Bellingham, when Bernice had the rare opportunity to truly relax.
Bonnie, Diana and Bernice also bond over shared meals, and this has given them the chance to learn more about Bernice’s Indigenous culture. “We are very lucky, we really appreciate and respect one another,” said Bonnie.
Whatever hurdles life may put in Bernice’s path, the three are confident they can get through them together.
“Volunteering with Mom2mom has given me such growth,” Bonnie shares. “I feel like I have learned a lot and I can pass that on to Bernice.”
Mom2Mom is a Vancouver-based charity that pairs low-income moms with supportive female volunteers. More than 70 participants moms enrolled in our programs in 2018, and we plan to help even more this year. To make a meaningful impact on mothers and children living in poverty, learn more about volunteering with Mom2Mom.