Motherhood in the wake of tragedy
How your compassionate support gave Nie-Ann the tools she needed to provide a stable, loving home to her three children as they learn how to live life without their father.
When Nie-Ann’s husband passed away three years ago, his sudden and unexpected death left her and her three young children, two sons and an infant daughter, reeling.
“My son, who was 6 years old at the time, said he didn’t want to go to school anymore. Didn’t want to read,” Nie-Ann explains.
After some intensive counseling with the school counselor at Hastings School, where the two boys attended, the school counselor referred Nie-Ann and her family to Mom2Mom so that she could apply for Mom2Mom funding to be able to enroll her boys in extra curricular activities.
“The school counselor told me it would be good to keep them busy,” Nie-Ann says. “When I involved them in sports, the anger and sadness lessened. Twice a week they do soccer and TaeKwonDo. On Saturdays, they have soccer games.”
As a single-mother with limited income, Nie-Ann feels grateful to be a part of the Mom2Mom community. An unexpected benefit to her has been her relationship with volunteer mentor and fellow mother Kathy. Nie-Ann was paired with Kathy almost two years ago.
“Kathy is very supportive and helpful,” she says.
A retired reporter for The Province, Kathy began covering the experience of poverty among Vancouver families in the late 60’s. “They had never had poverty reporting before,” Kathy explains. “I saw there was a serious problem and it was just being ignored.”
Once a month Kathy meets Nie-Ann at Costco for a grocery shop. “The $150 gift card from Mom2Mom helps her to provide for her children and herself, groceries and other things like toilet paper,” she says. “All the stuff you need in a home.”
Kathy has also seen the impact that donors have on mothers like Nie-Ann. “The help that Nie-Ann gets through Mom2Mom is so important,” she says. “Her children can have a better life than they would have otherwise.”
Today, Nie-Ann couldn’t be more proud of her growing children. Her eldest is graduating from grade 7 and her other son is in grade 4. Both are in French Immersion. Her daughter is set to begin pre-school in September.
“I am so lucky,” she says. “My sons are multilingual - they speak English and French, and at home they speak our Filipino dialect.”
Nie-Ann also shares that her eldest son got into Vancouver School Board’s STEM, a one-of-a-kind project-based science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education program for high school students. “Only 28 students for all of Vancouver can participate,” Nie-Anne says proudly.
The Mom2Mom Relationship Model
At Mom2Mom, we believe that the best way to improve the lives of children living in poverty is to support their moms. Nothing replaces the love, attention and positive role-modelling of a primary care giver.
Time and time again, we’ve seen that the best way to support a mother in a time of need is to connect her to another caring and compassionate mother in her community.
That’s why we facilitate friendships like Nie-Ann and Kathy’s.
Our Relationship Volunteers are women from different backgrounds, often who have raised families themselves and want to use their knowledge to support other moms. They are stable, non-judgmental allies who offer active listening, emotional and practical support.
For many participant moms, this may be their first relationship that is predicated on support where there is no agenda to judge her suitability as a parent, or threaten to remove her children. These relationships help our participant moms thrive as mothers and leaders of their families.