Over the past year, I have had numerous moments when I am totally detached from time. Something that occurred a few days ago feels like weeks ago, or vice-versa! The pandemic has changed so much in our world, but at times many of us feel like we are stuck living the same day over and over again.
However, the truth is there is growth and transformation all around us. All year long, we have witnessed young moms we partner with taking powerful, first steps towards stability and thriving futures for their families! It is because of your support, and others like you, that New Moms has been a catalyst to growth for our families in this challenging year.
When rumblings of what would be the COVID-19 pandemic began last March, all of us can recall the pervasive feeling of unease. Some of the young families we now partner with were left scrambling to find shelter and support before the country shut down. Moms like Jessica and Shutia:
Jessica was struggling to find a stable place to live as whispers of the pandemic began circulating. “After leaving my mother-in-law’s, I was living in a one-bedroom basement,” said Jessica, who is 25 years old. “There [were] no windows. I didn’t have my own kitchen or bathroom, so it was really hard.”
In March 2020, Jessica and her two kids were one of the first families to move into Clare Place, New Moms’ permanent supportive housing in Oak Park. Looking back, Jessica can’t imagine how difficult it would have been if her family had not found housing stability before lockdown was implemented.“Having a place for my children and myself to be able to come home to and call somewhere home is more than I could have asked for.”
Shutia lost her job at Marshalls at the beginning of the pandemic. “Getting laid off was hard,” said Shutia, the proud mom of three young boys. “I didn’t have as much money, so I couldn’t take care of my boys like I wanted. If I didn’t need it, I didn’t buy it.” As a single parent, she felt double the pressure to provide for her family.
Realizing other retail jobs would be hard to find during a pandemic, Shutia enrolled in New Moms’ paid, transitional Job Training program to broaden her skill set. “I’m gaining all the tools I need to be successful. They teach us things we can take with us through life.” Shutia was recently promoted to team lead at Bright Endeavors — New Moms’ social enterprise candle company — a proud accomplishment!
Many moms, like Jessica and Shutia, have experienced new beginnings with New Moms, even in the midst of the pandemic. We find hope in their courage and fortitude as they take important first steps towards economic mobility and family well-being.
We have adapted our programs to fit this new reality — virtual home visits, monthly care package drop-offs, and smaller Job Training cohorts, to name a few changes — while remaining committed to meeting the needs of the young families we serve.
YOU are a critical part of the New Moms community. Your support ensures that New Moms remains a steady resource for young moms and their children as they face many uncertainties.
As we approach the end of our fiscal year on June 30, 2021, you can help us reach our goal to raise $75,000. I ask you to make a gift to New Moms as an investment in the lives of young families, who are building a strong foundation for their future while navigating significant challenges that are amplified due to the pandemic. We are deeply grateful for your support.
Laura Zumdahl, Ph.D.
President & CEO
P.S. Make your next donation by June 30, 2021 and invest in the lives of young moms who are strengthening their families.