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Client Testimony at Solution of Hope Banquet – October 2015
Hello. My Name is Allison and I am a client at Mom’s House. I am a
proud mother of two beautiful boys, Carson, who is 8 and Levi, who
Levi is a Penguin in Mrs. Debbie’s room. I am a full time student at SUNY Broome and I am in the STEM program with dreams of becoming a research scientist someday. I find all of life fascinating especially the things we can’t see with the naked eye and this is why, next year, I will be furthering my education at Binghamton University to earn my bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry and/or Microbiology.
This was not always my dream…..
I think we each can remember, as children, imagining how our lives as
adults will be.
There was the fact that you would never be told when to go to bed again. Now we would do anything for a full night sleep. We could drive a car by ourselves! We had no idea that gas would no longer be $1.30 and that it would cost a lot of money to fix if it happens to break. We would have our own house. It would, of course, be stocked with all of the Little Debbie’s, ice cream, candy and chips that our hearts desired and no one could tell us we couldn’t eat all of those things for dinner. Now we know that homes are expensive and that if we ate like this, we would potentially outgrow those homes.
Yes, life was going to be perfect!
I was going to be Barbie when I grew up because she was pretty and
she had her hunky Ken. That dream house was pretty alluring as well.
I’m not sure if you have noticed but the blonde hair-blue eyed
package was not delivered. Not to mention, those unrealistic body
dimensions. THANK GOD! Along with this dream, I was going to be a
or a veterinarian or basically anything that was going to make me
My husband, and I, of course. I certainly did not imagine that I
be a single mother of two little boys, living with my gracious
and going to college.
Life happens. REAL life happens.
It isn’t always easy.
It’s not as glamorous as that little girls dream.
I am doing it though and I am winning! Not only am I winning, I am stronger than that little girl ever imagined she could be. I am stronger, more confident, more resilient, more braver, more intelligent, more kind, more REAL than that little girl could have ever imagined! Again, THANK GOD, because Barbie’s world is looking a little less than adequate for this REAL woman to thrive in.
Which brings me to Mom’s House.…
This is a place where many students and children come to THRIVE.
Through Moms House, I have made lifelong friends, not only with the other mothers, but with the staff as well. I cannot imagine life without some of these people. We are like a big family. We are a family that accepts one another. We are a family that helps one another. We are a family that will not judge you because we know just how hard it can be and none of us is perfect. We are a family that is motivating and encouraging. We are a family that genuinely cares about each and every member and we all want each other to succeed. We are a community of strong parents becoming stronger through the love, support, and education that we are able to receive because of Mom’s House.
And that brings me to you… the community….
They say that it takes a village to raise a child. It most certainly
I cannot praise the Mom’s House staff and volunteers enough. With you as our children’s care givers, we never have to worry. We are certain that they are provided with love, patience, kindness, concern, and heart every day. We know that you genuinely care for our babies and that they each will be treated like the special little people they are. They learn, they have fun, and they love you too! I am honored to know you and to have you essentially parenting my child with me while I am at school.
To our community of families and the friends close enough to be our family….
We need you! Sometimes we need you too much. None the less, we are
forever grateful to have you in our lives.
You all help us when times get tough. Be it financially, with babysitting, or even just an ear for us to rant into, you are there. Let me say that again, you are there.
You all know most of what we go through every day to keep our hectic lives moving forward. It is a struggle sometimes but you help us to keep going. I know I am personally amazed by my family’s patience and grace almost daily . No matter how many dishes I have in the sink or how many of the kids toys end up in the floor, my dad STILL lets us live there. Not only does he let us live there, he never says a word because he loves us and knows that I am doing my best as I try to balance being a full time mom and a full time student.
Most importantly, and this goes to all of the supporting families, thank you for allowing us to still be great mothers while we work to better our lives. Because of you, our lives are a little more stress free.
Last but certainly not least…..
Without the support and contributions from the community, Mom’s House
would not exist. You are a true blessing to Mom’s House.
Since becoming a client at Mom’s House I have learned the true meaning of community. Never in my life have I seen such a flood of generosity. It is such an empowering feeling knowing that not only do I have my friends and families support, but I have an entire community of people rooting for me! I think it is so encouraging and it really gives more incentive to succeed. Your generosity is allowing us to someday provide for our families and you are giving us the chance to have purpose in life . I cannot tell you how many times I was awarded with a gift and it would literally make me sob because someone that I have never personally met before, cares for my little family. That, my friends, is love.
I was asked to speak about my life and how I came to be a client at Mom’s House. Instead, I just wanted to take this time to thank each and every one of you for every second, every dollar, and every ear. No matter how big or small your contribution in this life, you are there and that is what is important. You are a big part in helping each parent and child become someone great. For that, you are all invaluable. You are our solution of hope! Thank you!
Below is Amanda’s speech given at our 2010 Solution of Hope Banquet.
Good afternoon, I would like to start of by thanking everyone for coming to join us in support of Mom’s House. My name is Amanda, and I am a recent graduate of Mom’s House. This spring I graduated Phi Theta Kappa from Broome Community College with a degree in Business Administration, Associates in Science. In addition to graduating I was also honored with the Spring 2010 Mom’s House Scholarship. I loved the experience so much I am back again and looking forward to pursuing my four year degree in Environmental Science. As for Mom’s House, well….We just couldn’t stay away.
When I began on my educational quest, I thought it would be easy but I quickly found out it was not. There was a slew of paperwork, guidelines, requirements, and the scariest of all, daycare for my most precious gifts, my children. I interviewed with daycare after daycare unsatisfied with the quality of the institutions and the erroneously high fees associated with them. But…the key factor for me missing from these places was the quality of care.
My first experience with Mom’s House came when a friend recommended them to me during my attempt to return to school. I thought what kind of a name is that for a daycare, who do they think they are? Well, I found out…they are me, they are you, they are friends and they are family. It feels like home, where you can wear slippers, and you can guarantee there is always laundry and dishes to do. While I was feeling around blindly in the dark, Mom’s House was my light at the end of the tunnel. Mom’s House has given me the gift of a lifetime, the opportunity to further my education.
Mom’s House has provided all of us with unquestionably fantastic care. Every morning we would arrive and you could not get more than two steps without a sunshine smile from someone. At night you would leave knowing that someone had complete faith in you.
The services provided to the parents and children are excellent. The first Wednesday of every month we participated in workshops that ranged from the importance of financial success to baking and working on our cars. We are extremely lucky to be involved with experiences like this, who else is going to take time out of their schedule to explain to us that we should NEVER take off the radiator cap? Or take time out of their day to explain to us the importance of being financially responsible? People like those sitting here tonight do and have. People who take the time to care about us and our kids and those who have come before us and those who will continue to come after us. That’s what Mom’s House is; it’s the people who care, not the building where our kids stay. It’s the parents who give their children all that they deserve, we all need a little help sometimes and here we have it. They don’t expect anything in return, in fact it is just the opposite, the staff and volunteers are always slipping me delicious family recipes or handing down purses and clothing, not just for my kids but for me too. They genuinely care about our happiness, they just want to see us succeed and to reach our goals.
I have two children, Kaelie, 5, who is also a recent Mom’s House graduate and now new to the kindergarten world, and Parker, who is a 3 year old in a 20 year old linebacker body, who is currently at Mom’s House. There is something about Kaelie and Parker and the changes I have seen in them since we started there. I have seen immense change. My baby boy is no longer a baby, but a little man, and my daughter has blossomed from a little girl into a young lady ready to face the world and school ahead. This is due greatly to the staff, teachers and volunteers that put their time, energy and love into caring for my children while I am pursuing my dreams.
Education is not just what you learn in school but it is also an appreciation for the time that goes into raising and teaching children from birth to our precious kindergarten years. I have found comfort from the other parents at Mom’s House and support from them in my home life and on the occasional math test. I have come to call these people my equals and also my friends. It’s a happier world knowing that there are other people out there struggling and fighting the same fight.
It is not easy work being a parent and going to school, but with genuine love and support, a lot of determination and hard work, the intangible becomes tangible. This educational adventure has been trying to my stress level, my patience, and my waistline, but the unquestioning outreach from others is my driving force.
I want to send a million thanks to the volunteers, who we could not do without. You give that little extra without being asked and love unconditionally, and I know I could not pay for the kind of care you provide. The staff who continue to prove that their dedication to our children and our future is immeasurable and that patience is possible.
Unfortunately not all days are bright sunny rainbows and lollipops, there are days when you may sit and cry, because the financial squeeze of life has its hold on you, and you do not know how you are going to get those pair of winter boots for your child. That is where our local family steps in, our community, individuals and groups reaching out a hand to let us know they are there. I found that as I am writing this speech and think how do I tell my community, our silent saints, thank you? How do you tell hundreds, thousands of people thank you for having my back when I needed it most? You help to wipe away our worrisome tears, bring joy to our children’s faces, you help support us financially, you believe in our cause. YOU are the game changer, making it possible to ‘go confidently in the direction of our dreams and live the life we have imagined’. The donations and support that have been made to us go beyond words, so know that we will never forget you.
We have been shown that love is more than a noun – it is a verb; it is more than a feeling…it is caring, sharing, helping, and sacrificing. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the community, and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. Thank you to Mom’s House and everyone supporting our families. Thank you.
It was during the second semester of nursing school that I could see
my support system fading in
regards to the arrangement I had set up for childcare. It was around then that I had been told by a
fellow student about Mom’s House. She couldn’t say enough good things about the organization.
I didn’t have many details other than that they were the best and that their services were
available for moms pursuing their education. I reached out to Judy and set up an appointment to
visit the site. When I learned more about the services provided it all seemed too good to be true.
What they do for people like me and for others in the community is truly amazing.
I have to admit I was very anxious about putting my girls into a daycare, especially my baby I
was expecting that would only be 6 weeks old when she would begin. I remember telling Judy
that I wasn’t sure I would be able to put my baby into the program. She was very kind and
reassuring with me. I went on to fill out the paperwork even though I was still unsure if I could
follow through. It is so difficult to think of leaving your children in the care of others and I was
torn between the emotions associated with that and pursuing an education that would benefit my
family in the long run.
I was 39 weeks pregnant when I officially lost the childcare I had had for my children. In order
to return to and complete my second year of nursing school I was going to have to follow
through with Mom’s House and it was honestly the best possible thing that could have happened
for me and for my girls though I did not know it at the time.
I can remember my girls’ first day exactly. I was so scared and anxious I couldn’t sleep the night
before. I got up so early because I wanted to get to Mom’s House early to make sure my girls
had time to get comfortable in the morning. They did amazing, way better than me. I fought back
the tears because I didn’t want my oldest girl to see me cry and get upset herself. When it was
time for me to leave the tears fell the moment I stepped out of the door. I cried the whole way to
school and in class. I was a mess! I remember calling Mom’s House many times that day to
check on the girls. I was reassured over and over again that they were doing great. They even
sent pictures! The first couple weeks were very difficult for me but everyday became easier and
easier. This is because I saw firsthand the quality of care they received.
It’s been a long and difficult road since that day through my last day of nursing school. The
nursing program is extremely difficult and demanding but because I had Mom’s House I was
successful. They have the most amazing crew there, the staff and volunteers are all so wonderful.
I could not have found better people to care for my girls. I never had to worry if they were ok
because they were in the best possible hands. They loved my girls and cared for them dearly.
They looked forward to spending time with them, caring for them, and teaching them. Their
faces would light up when we entered the room in the morning and every time they would
describe how their days went to me when I picked them up. My girls were receiving love,
socialization, play time, education, and well balanced, nutritional meals. I had nothing to worry
about and knowing this allowed me to focus on my education.
What’s more unbelievable is that Mom’s House provides even more than all this for their clients!
They truly promote your successful completion in your educational pursuits. Judy and the
teachers always worked with me and accommodated my ever-changing nursing and clinical
schedules. They provide and encouraged the use of the Cortese room for study time which I used
often to prepare and study for exams, to work on assignments, and complete projects.
The last day at Mom’s House was as emotionally difficult for me as the first but not because I
had to leave my girls there but because it meant we would be leaving there for the last time. It
was very emotional for me as I gathered their belongings. I was managing though as I had
packed up my oldest daughters supplies myself. It wasn’t until I went into the Lamb Room and
saw Mrs. Nancy’s face as she packed up my baby’s belongings. I could see in her face how hard
it was for her. It was even more apparent as she held my baby and said goodbye. I started to tear
up before I even stepped out the door and was very emotional for the rest of the day. Even now
as I write about it I can’t help but cry. There is nothing like Mom’s House, nothing and no one
compares. I’ve had to search for childcare for the future when I begin my career as a Registered
Nurse. It’s impossible to find anyone who comes close to Mom’s House. I had said to Judy
during my first visit that I wasn’t sure I could follow through with this and leave my girls there.
On my last day I said that I can’t imagine my girls anywhere else and how I wish they could stay
My girls miss them and I miss them so much already. My oldest daughter asks everyday if we
will be going and tells me how much she misses it there and how much she misses her teachers
I am forever grateful to Mom’s House and I have so much love and appreciation for everyone
involved in this organization; the amazing teachers, volunteers, to all the staff. It is because of
them that I was able to pursue my education and complete my degree in nursing. It is because of
them that I was able to build a better life for me and my family. There will always be a place in
my heart for Mom’s House.
Anna ~ 2019 Mom’s House Graduate
After serving my country for 4 1/2 years in the United States Marine Corp., including 1 tour in Afghanistan and 2 in Iraq, I was faced with the most difficult task of all, being a supportive and active single father in my son’s life while still pursuing my academic goals. Mom’s House has been essential in this objective.
I first came to Mom’s House in the fall semester of 2008. At that time my son was not yet two. He is a shy boy and initially he had a difficult time communicating to other children in his class. But with the continuous help of his teacher Miss Lynne, my son Sean quickly fell into the groove and adapted to the class room atmosphere. Now when we are getting ready in the mornings, Sean will ask “where are we going, Miss Lynne’s house?” and I will answer with a “yes we are” and a large Sean smile quickly forms on his face. Once we arrive at Mom’s House, I am like old news as Sean quickly runs to his classroom to see what is new in the sensory table. Since we began at Mom’s House, Sean’s letter, number, and shape retention has greatly improved along with his knowledge of other subjects. In addition, his social skills have had a noticeable improvement. Now Sean is almost three and already asking when he gets to go back to “Miss Lynne’s house.” I have tried to inform him, with no response, that he will not be going back to Miss Lynne’s class but will be moving on to Miss Kelly’s class. But I have no concern over his transition to the next class, because I know that the loving and caring environment of Mom’s House is encompassed within the entire facility.
I take great comfort in Mom’s House knowing that my son is in a safe and educational environment while I am pursuing my academic goals. I received an Associate’s Degree from BCC this 2009 spring with a 4.0 in Business Administration, and I have been accepted to Binghamton University to pursue my Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting, with a future goal in obtaining my master’s and CPA certification. I strongly feel that my academic goals are within reach and that my son and I will both be prepared for the future, thanks in large part to the teachers and staff at Mom’s House for their support and kindness that they have shown my son and I.
To conclude I would just like to thank you all for making it possible for my son and I to learn and grow in such a warm and loving environment.
Moms House Speech – October 20, 2020
Imagine having your whole life planned out from the age of 15. Then you turn 21 and find out your unexpectedly pregnant with your first child. What do you do next? Do you throw all your hopes and dreams out the window to raise your little boy or do you find a way to do both? In an ideal world you try to do both but that could only happen if you had enough support. How many of us have it all at 21? Not many of us; which is where Moms House comes into play. Moms House makes it possible to raise a baby at a young age while trying to go to school and continue working towards your lifelong dreams. Moms House provided my son and I with an opportunity to be a part of a community. A community full of love, support and so many opportunities.
As a young mom I was extremely hesitant to leave my one year old with anyone other than my mother. However, if I wanted to attend college full time then I would have to find another option and I am beyond thankful that the very first babysitter I found for my son was Moms House. Of course, the first enticing part was that Moms House was free but with the word free came thoughts of poor care and run down facilities. That was not the case. My first impression when walking in their front doors was warmth, kindness, and love. Moms House went above and beyond to show that they truly cared for my son and me. They made sure we felt comfortable and answered my hundreds of questions with a smile on their face.
I enjoyed walking into Moms House every morning being greeted by friends and staff that were all just as happy to see us. It did not take long for my son to stop crying when I left for the day or for me to feel at home. When you are a client with Moms House you become a part of their community along with your child. All the parents are assigned jobs to help keep the place safe and clean for our children. There was no question about who was caring for the daycare when a visitor walked in the door. They could see the artwork on the walls, smell the delicious meals coming from the kitchen and see the sparkling floors. We took pride in our jobs because it benefited us and our children. The jobs taught us responsibility and ownership and how to work as a team. Each of us moms had a different story, but we were all connected by the fact that we were trying to get an education while giving our children a happy life.
In the walls of Moms House, I made lifelong friends as did my son. Today my son is 8 and we have been away from Moms House for three years now, but we have not lost connection with any of the staff or friends we made there. All of us have gone our separate ways but that has not stopped us from arranging play dates, dinner dates or babysitting for one another in a pinch. We want to see each other succeed and we will always be there to help make that possible. My son’s best friend today he met at Moms House in the bear room when they were one. My closest friend today is a mom I made a connection with while doing my service hours and studying in the Cortese room. We lean on each other when we are having a bad day, we look to one another for support when our children are going through something. I am thankful every day for having her and the other women in my life that I met at Moms House. Life is very fast paced and as we get older it is hard to slow down and make time to meet people our age and especially people that are in the same situation as you and can relate to. I have always heard the phrase “it takes a village to raise a child” and I never truly understood that until I was a part of Moms House for a few years. It is because of each volunteer, mom and staff member at Moms House that I have grown into the person I am today. I have confidence in myself and my ability to be a parent. I know that I have friends to lean on when parenting gets hard and people who have children that already went through that phase and can offer advice when I am unsure of what to do. At times you are so stressed out from parenting all day you just need someone to vent to and those friends are there to listen.
As moms we put our children first almost always and we can lose sight of ourselves which leads back to our children losing out in the end. Moms House made sure to look out for the moms as well as the children. They did not forget about how important our wellbeing was to our children’s wellbeing. They provided workshops for the moms to attend each month that focused on a different topic each time. They would bring in a member of the community to share with us some insightful information that we could use to better ourselves. One of the most memorable workshops we had was from a woman who came in to talk to us about healthy relationships. She was an amazing woman who found god after failing over and over in life and relationships and putting herself last. She shared her incredible journey with us and taught us how to look within ourselves for love before we accept love from others that may not be good for us. Most of us at the time came from broken relationships, either trying to make things work again with their child’s father or trying to date again after having a child. We were lost and confused on how healthy relationships worked and that workshop made each of us learn how to look within ourselves to see what we deserved. We asked for her to come back a second time because she made such an impact. Moms House made that possible. They care for our wellbeing as moms and want each of us to be successful in society in all aspects not just in education.
I am forever thankful to the people of Moms House for providing a much-needed service to our small town, but the true heroes are the thousands of community members that have put Moms House first. It was not until joining Moms House that I realized just how generous people could be. Every day I would come in to pick up my son and see brand new clothes, bathroom products, book bags, books, and shoes on display for anyone to take. My son had more gifts on Christmas morning than I could have ever dreamed of because a community member wanted to adopt us. On Thanksgiving, each of us were handed a bag of groceries so we could cook a meal for our family.
During my time at Moms House, I did not have to worry about how I could balance long work weeks and studying because many of my immediate needs were met through Moms House. Therefore, I feel a big sense of responsibility to pay it forward for all the generous donations by finishing school and graduating which I did. I earned my associate’s degree at BCC first then I went on to earn my bachelor’s degree in Biology at BU. I am extremely proud of my accomplishments and will continue to achieve my goals so that I can continue to be a good example for my son.
We spent four years at Moms House until my son finally had to graduate and head on to kindergarten. He was more than prepared to start kindergarten due to the preparation that was made in the preschool room at Moms House. Moms House was not just a daycare, they educated my son and taught him things I could not have while working and going to school fulltime. I am forever grateful to the kindness that Moms House showed my son and me. I look forward to seeing Moms House continue to grow and impact future generations lives like it has ours. It is my dream to see a Moms House in many more states across the country. Thank you to the community for always taking the time to participate in fundraisers and to donate goods to the clients of Moms House. It is because of the staff and community members that Moms House can keep growing their small community of moms who can count on one another during good and bad times.
June 2014 Mom’s House graduate speech:
Becoming a young mother at a young age was not what I had envisioned for myself. I was confused, scared, and most of all embarrassed. Although I had a rush of mixed emotions running throughout my body, I knew that keeping this baby and taking on the responsibility of raising this child was what I needed to do. On April 26, 2011 my son Cameron entered the world. Love at first sight gained a whole new meaning when I looked at my son for the very first time. I knew that Cameron deserved a bright future, so I decided it was time to get back into school.
Getting back into school was the easy part. I value my education and thoroughly enjoy learning; it was finding a daycare that would be the hardest part. I decided to check out the daycare at BCC, but after learning about the long waiting list, I knew that wasn’t an option. I then looked into other daycares around the area, but after seeing them, it was obvious that I, myself, could not afford such daycare. I became tired, and frustrated. The struggle of finding a daycare for Cameron really took a toll on me, until one day my mother came to me with the idea of “Mom’s House.” I had never before heard of this daycare but decided to look into it. I took it upon myself to give Mom’s House a call and see if bringing Cameron there was an option.
Finally, I had some luck. I was told to come in to get an application. When I arrived, I was greeted by a very friendly face. Ms. Judy introduced herself and immediately I felt comfortable. I can be very shy at first, but because of Ms. Judy’s warm personality, I was quickly able to open up to her.
Cameron started Mom’s House in the fall of 2012. I was worried how he would react to me leaving him alone with someone he didn’t know for the first time, but immediately he adjusted. He was having so much fun; he didn’t even see me sneak out. Mom’s House offers high quality care and guidance to our children and provides a warm, loving environment. It’s very easy to fall in love with Mom’s House.
To make up for the free daycare we mothers receive, we are asked to do 3 hours of service time each week, which hardly begins to make up for all that Mom’s House does for us. I’ll never forget the first time I worked in the kitchen. I was doing dishes when the spout unattached itself from the sink and began spraying water everywhere. I thought that sort of stuff only happened in the movies! I quickly shut off the water and tried drying myself off, but I was soaked. Ms. Judy and I had a good laugh about it!
It’s hard to think about where I’d be if it weren’t for Mom’s House. I do know that I would not have been able to go back to school due to the expense of daycare. I cannot put into words how thankful and fortunate I was to have found Mom’s House. They have given me the chance to make a better life for my son. They have provided me a second chance at my education, because if it weren’t for Mom’s House, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I have finally received my degree in Health Sciences and I have Mom’s House to thank for that. I was very fortunate to find Mom’s House and I don’t know how I ever deserved to belong to such a good organization as this.
I feel very honored to have been a client of Mom’s House. All of the staff at Mom’s House are wonderful, warm, enthusiastic, and extremely caring. I’d like to thank Cameron’s teacher this year, Ms. Lynne, for helping him grow as a young boy. It feels good, as a mother, to know that your child is getting a proper education. Ms. Lynne has been an excellent role model for Cameron and really helped to expand his vocabulary and was very encouraging when he wanted to give up.
I have formed quite a few close friendships here at Mom’s House. I have been able to connect with, and confide in, the friends that I have made here. Not only has Mom’s House provided me with daycare, they given me forever friendships. Cameron, too, has made some wonderful friendships. He made a best friend here; his name is also Cameron. He is just one day older than my Cameron, and they were born at the same hospital. Although my Cameron is called “Cam” when at daycare as not to confuse the two, they are both each other’s “Cam buddy.” I am grateful that my son was able to find a friend and develop such a strong bond with another child his age.
I am currently waiting to see if I have made it into the nursing program at BCC for the fall semester. If I don’t get accepted, I will be very sad to leave Mom’s House. I can’t imagine my life without Mom’s House; it has become a second family to me in many ways. Words cannot express my gratitude for how generous and welcoming Mom’s House has been to us for the past two years. I am blessed to have been part of the Mom’s House family. I would like to thank my family, friends, and the staff at Mom’s House for providing me with the support needed in order to continually push myself to succeed. Without their love and support, I wouldn’t be here today. Thank you for always telling me that I could do anything, and for helping me when I thought I couldn’t. Thank you for all of the support you have offered me over these past years. I would not be graduating, or even have gone back to BCC, had it not been for all you have done for me. I love you all so much. I am not going to say “goodbye” to Mom’s House, I am going to say “see you later.”
Hello, my name is Clare, and my almost three year old daughter is Brenna.
We spent two years at Mom’s House, until this past December when I graduated from Binghamton University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. I am presently a zookeeper at Ross Park Zoo, and I am planning on beginning a Master’s program in wildlife biology next fall.
I want to take this opportunity to thank Mom’s House for helping Brenna and me in so many ways during this time. I also want to thank three people, who I know I have not said thank you to enough, and those would be my parents and Brenna’s father, Erik. I was attending University of Scranton when I became pregnant. I finished my second year there, and Brenna was born after that on August 10, 1998. Since that time, my parents have provided a roof over our heads, as well as unconditional love, for which I cannot thank them enough. And Erik has been with us every step of the way, as I trust he will be in the future.
But now, back to Mom’s House. My father mentioned Mom’s House to me, and at the time I knew I wanted to finish school, but I wasn’t really sure how. Mom’s House sounded like a great opportunity, and since there was, at the time, a Mom’s House right down the street from me, I thought it would be convenient too. But then I found out that they did not have any openings there, but the Endicott house did.
During my visit to Endicott, one of the first things I noticed was how everything was so clean. When Judy took me on a tour, I also immediately felt the warm and friendly atmosphere. Everyone seemed so calm and loving, although I guess it did help a little that it was naptime. I also understood from that first day, that this was not just going to be a free ride.
Parents were expected to do well in school, but also contribute to Mom’s House through service and fundraising time. And I have to say, some of my fondest memories are from doing my service time. I got to know all staff, volunteers, parents, and children while I was cleaning, or helping the teachers in a room, or helping Diane with the newsletter. And I got to practice my cooking skills those semesters when I helped cooked the meals, so that was another benefit.
I really liked that sense of involvement in Brenna’s care, and the fact that although I was not directly paying for daycare, my involvement was still essential.
I need to thank God now for the blessing that Brenna has been since the first moments of her life. And I thank everyone at Mom’s House for all the love and care that they gave her while she was at Mom’s House. She grew from the sometimes trying baby to a sweet, happy and active little girl. And I came to Mom’s House a new, kind of scared mother, not sure at all of what the future might hold. And now I’m a college graduate, a little more certain of the future, and possessing skills that will help make that future successful. I thank you for all the support that you give to the parents.
If we fulfill our end of the bargain, it seems that there is nothing you won’t do for us: from all the food and clothing donations to the parent workshops, where we acquired some valuable information and had a little fun, like when we made stamp art, Christmas decorations, or we learned the art of massage.
While I was writing this, I was thinking that if this speech had to have a title, an appropriate one might be “Love makes a house a home.” We are all joined by our love of life and children, and kept together by the love and support the clients and children receive from all those connected with Mom’s House. Mom’s House really was like a second home to us, and not just because of the amount of time we spent here. We both enjoyed being at Mom’s House, and felt comfortable and loved, as we would in our own home. I knew I had found a good thing when Brenna used to ask when we were going to Mom’s House. Even before she could talk well, she would smile anytime I asked her if she wanted to go to Mom’s House.
One last thank you. I think I can, on behalf of all the graduates, thank everyone for coming to celebrate with us tonight. Your support is appreciated so much.
And I say congratulations to all the other graduating parents, and wish all of you luck in the future. I know we won’t all follow the same paths, but we will always have the lasting bond in that we achieved the missions of this wonderful place, Mom’s House.
In early 2011, I started the search for childcare for my soon-to-be-born son. I knew that he would only be 6 weeks old when I returned to school in the fall for my senior year of nursing school at Arnot Ogden Medical Center, and since he would be so young, I had my reservations about returning to school so soon.
I even contemplated taking the year off until he was a little older. Being a single mother of three now and having recently gone part-time at work so I could focus on my final year of college, I knew this was not the best decision for my family.
After visiting multiple daycare facilities and again feeling uneasy about leaving a newborn in the care of others, I visited Mom’s House on the advice of a past Mom’s House graduate.
Immediately, I felt the sense of family from the staff. I was greeted with smiles and reassured that the care my son would receive was second to none. I was comforted by the fact that the center had many volunteers “working” with the staff to provide extraordinary care for the children. The volunteers are there because they love spending time with the children. It is something that no other center can offer.
Since day one, there has not been a moment that I have second guessed my childcare decision. The care and love my child received from the staff and volunteers of Mom’s House was exceptional, and the amazing support they provided me throughout the past year allowed me to maintain my GPA. I will be graduating June 7th with High Honors.
This year, I was also awarded the Theresa Gulati Surgical Nursing Scholarship because of my continued scholastic performance, yet another achievement that would not have been possible without Mom’s House’s commitment to my education. In June of this year, I will start a new chapter of my life as an Emergency Dept. Graduate Nurse Fellow at Wilson Hospital, a highly competitive and coveted position sought by many registered graduate nurses. As an emergency room nurse, I hope to be able to contribute back to the community that enabled me to finish my education by their support of Mom’s House.
I first heard of Mom’s House, I was in a difficult situation as I
only recently learned that I was pregnant with my daughter, Nubia. I
a rising junior with a promising career in the Accounting field and
a clue on how to continue with a child. With the proper support from
advisors and Mom’s House, I was able to not only have my daughter
but, also continue in school. From my first day here at Mom’s House
until my last day, Mom’s House have helped me dramatically. Amidst
all the obstacles placed in my way, Mom’s House provided a safe area
me and my daughter to feel comfortable at while we thrived in our
Every day that I brought my daughter, we were welcomed with open arms. Other parents that had been here for years welcomed me into the organization as if I had been here for years. I would never trade the experiences I gained here as I learned a lot of things from new mothering techniques to the type of mother I aspire to be for my daughter. Moreover, I know I will always have support from the wonderful employees and volunteers of Mom’s House. Now that I am graduating, I plan to savior these memories and ensure Nubia never forgets this magical place.
2021 Night of Hope Speech
Good evening everyone and thank you for all being here tonight. Thank you Char for the introduction. So like Char said, my name is Jennifer Ryan. My son, Thomas, was in the Penguin Room with Miss Debbie back in 2018/2019 when I went back to school to Binghamton University to get my MBA. I decided to go back to school after taking a few years off to work after getting my Associates Degree at Broome Community College and then my Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting at the University of Albany.
First, let me go back a few years before that decision was made. I was working in Albany, living with my husband at the time. It seemed like we had it all together – built a house on a corner lot and literally had the picket fence (although it wasn’t white!) Two months before Thomas’s first birthday, he told me he didn’t want to be married anymore. I won’t go into details of course but the divorce was hard and left me with a lot of time to think and spend time with my little man as I always used to call him.
I always knew I wanted to get my Master’s and I actually purchased a huge book to study for the GMAT right before I got pregnant with Thomas but then the timing didn’t work out. As he got older, it was always something in the back of my mind that I held onto – and in 2018, it was the ideal time to go back. Thomas was starting Pre-K at Chenango Valley and he was old enough to understand that mama was going back to school too. Pre-K was only a half day program in the afternoon though and I had classes in the morning too. I didn’t know where to turn and I’m sure many of you know that as a parent, it’s hard to trust just any daycare or anyone else with your child – do they have too many kids, is he going to get along with everyone, will he be okay? Then I came to Mom’s House and that worry instantly melted away. From the second I walked in the door, I felt a weight lift off my shoulders and it was an overwhelming feeling of welcome. After I met Miss Judy and Miss Debbie and all of the other teachers and staff, I knew this was one of the good places that Thomas would love and I could trust, which also meant I could concentrate on school while I was there, knowing he was in a loving and educational environment that would give him the skills he needed to be ready for Kindergarten. We went shopping to get our school supplies ready and were able to pack our backpacks together in the mornings and talk about our days in the afternoon.
As the school year was progressing for both of us, I looked forward to graduating. I had an idea in my mind of what I wanted graduation to be. I thought, if Thomas is old enough to realize I’m going back to school now, maybe at graduation, a memory we could both remember forever would be him walking across the stage with me. I thought it would always just be a good idea but I happened to meet someone at a race in April (I’ve been an avid runner for years!) and told her my vision and she made it happen – Thomas walked across the stage with me at my graduation. All of this is to say, I wouldn’t have been able to do any of this without Mom’s House love and support to get us to that day, along with the support and unconditional love of my parents and boyfriend, Ryan.
The people I have met at Mom’s House are some of the nicest, warmest people I have ever known and there will always be a place in our hearts for them all. We were welcomed with open arms, kind words, support, and encouragement from day one and every day we were there thereafter. They took such good care of Thomas – teaching him new things, learning in fun ways, providing healthy food, and letting him grow into the fun, loving, very energetic boy that he is today. When I got out of class and came back to Mom’s House, I was able to get work done in the Cortese Room which was another factor that led to success in school. When it was time to leave for the day, Thomas never wanted to go – he wanted to stay with Miss Debbie and his friends and play longer or show me the project they worked on that day, the book they had read, or the tower they built with blocks. I really can’t say enough good things or thank everyone enough for what they have done for us.
After going to school for about a month, since Binghamton University prides itself on making sure students have jobs out of college, we had to attend the career fair. Again, I was able to do that because of Mom’s House and knowing Thomas would be in good hands. I got my resume ready and mapped out potential employers. One stop was BAE – I met someone that was working there that I had actually gone to high school with and after hearing about his experiences, I gave him my resume. A few weeks later, I received a call and set up a phone interview. After that, I was invited to a dinner and an interview the next day. I remember having the conversation with Miss Judy that it seemed like a lot and I wasn’t sure I was up for all of that. She told me to go, and my parents and Ryan shared the same sentiment. I went, and had a job set up for May. I know God has a plan for everything and I have placed my faith in him more so over the past few years than I had prior in my life. This was all part of His plan – going back to school, Mom’s House, and my job.
I graduated on a Friday and started at BAE on a Monday as a senior financial analyst. Like Char mentioned earlier, I was promoted about a year ago at this point. I love the company and people I work with and for. Ryan and I were able to able to buy a house together in April 2020 and made it a home. My happily ever after didn’t turn out quite as I expected it when I got married but now I realize, it’s better and stronger.
I see Char at church on Sunday’s and follow the Facebook page to see what events are next and how I am able to give back. I just participated in the walk a thon Saturday and am able to donate to Mom’s House monthly because of the position I am in at work and because I believe so strongly in their cause.
I can’t thank Mom’s House enough for the love and support they gave Thomas and myself throughout that year. The dedication and love for each child and parent that walks through their doors is extraordinary and each person truly becomes part of the Mom’s House family.
Mom’s House graduate speech presented at the
2013 Solution of Hope Banquet
Good evening. I am grateful for the opportunity to be here tonight to share my story with the generous benefactors of Mom’s House.
My name is Joan Peterson, and I graduated from Mom’s House 20 years ago, in 1993. I’d like to tell you first about what brought me to Mom’s House, about how Mom’s House supported and cared for me and my daughter, and finally, a little of what I have accomplished in the past 20 years.
When I became pregnant in 1990 when I was just 15, I had no idea what to do. I was a high school honor student, and had future plans and dreams. I considered every possible option. None of them seemed particularly good.
After some soul-searching, I came to the realization that I was quite capable of raising a child – but I had no idea how I would manage to finish my education or how I could support a child. It was clear by that point that I would be doing this alone. Many people thought I had ruined my life, and several suggested that I should have made different choices. My father gloomily predicted that I would never graduate from high school.
With my mother’s support, I developed a different plan. I took the SAT’s and entrance exams at Broome Community College. I had no desire to return to high school. They didn’t have coffee, and I was fairly sure they weren’t going to let me go nurse the baby between classes.
I’m not sure where my mother heard about Mom’s House, but when she told me, it was like a gift from God.
Actually, at first I was a little suspicious. Free daycare? For single parents? And all I had to do was volunteer a few hours a week? I was sure that I was going to get lectured, preached at, or made to go to church.
Alethea was born two weeks early, in June 1991. As it turns out, this was pretty fortuitous, because she was just old enough to start at Mom’s House, so that I was able to start attending Broome Community College that fall. As a 16 year old, I thought I knew everything, and that I could do it all. It is only in looking back that I realize just how little I knew and how unprepared I was. The volunteers and staff at Mom’s House always provided guidance and support in a gentle and respectful way. Never, not once, was I lectured or preached at. Instead, they lived their faith in little ways every day.
As summer turned to fall, it began to get cold. One day, the baby room teacher asked if I could put shoes on Alethea as her socks fell off when they were on walks. Alethea didn’t have shoes. She was just three months old, and it had never occurred to me that a baby needed shoes. My family was struggling at that time, and my parents were giving me $20 per week which barely covered gas and diapers. The next day, Diane reached in the closet and pulled out a pair of tiny, soft white leather baby shoes, just the right size. Over the years that we attended Mom’s House, many unmet needs were met out of that closet, but the one thing I have never forgotten was those tiny shoes.
Twenty years have gone by since I graduated from Mom’s House and from Broome Community College. I went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Social Work, and subsequently, a Master of Public Administration degree at Marywood University. My father was right about one thing though. –
I never did graduate from high school.
Fortunately, when you have a master’s degree, no one holds that against you.
I have worked in the social service field for many years and have always tried to treat my clients with the kindness, consideration, and respect that I received as a Mom’s House mom. I have tried to ‘pay it forward’ whenever I could. One day a few years ago, a child came to a program where I worked in shoes held together with duct tape. The next day, as I brought him a new pair of shoes, I thought about Mom’s House and Alethea’s first pair of shoes. I felt incredibly grateful and blessed to be in a place where I can give back to others.
Because of Mom’s House, I was able to get a good education. Because of my education, I have always been able to get a job, to support my children, to own my own home, and just as importantly, to help others.
Mom’s House not only helped me to get a good start and go on to have a successful life, but also my daughter, who graduated from college this May. Just as poverty can become generational, so too can education and success.
Mom’s House is much more than free daycare for single parents – it is a lifeline, a step up, a support system. To everyone who supports Mom’s House, volunteers, staff, and donors, thank you. Mom’s House made a lasting difference in our lives, and continues to make a difference in the lives of young parents every day.
Dear Friends of Moms House,
Habari zenu (hello everyone), my name is Juliet, a Kenyan girl who worked so hard in college and fortunately got awarded a full scholarship to pursue a PhD in chemistry at Binghamton University. I was super excited and couldn’t wait to arrive at the “land of opportunities” and unlock my bright future. In the year 2018, I was blessed with a charming baby, Jayden. Being a PhD candidate, the pressure, workload and responsibilities were overwhelming. I knew I couldn’t even get a maternity leave to nurture and care for my son as I wished for. Additionally, my family couldn’t help as they were all thousands and thousands of miles away. At this point I knew I had to look for a way to raise my son as I continued with my education. My friends recommended different daycare centers, but the price was impossible for me, two hundred and ten dollars for a single week. One day as I was researching on the way forward God sent me an angel, Ms. Mary, a Broome county nurse practitioner who constantly checked on me to ensure the baby was doing fine. She asked me, “what are your plans for going back to school”? I didn’t have any. She mentioned about Mom’s House, a day care center that offered free childcare to single parents enrolled in school. I was surprised anything like that even existed, it was my dream come true.
I immediately called the office and Ms. Judy scheduled an appointment. I remember I couldn’t wait to meet her. I woke up so early, dressed my son and upon arriving, the calm environment was enough gesture of a perfect haven for my son. As we were conversing about Mom’s House mission, she shared very powerful words which I hold dearly until today, that it isn’t all about money but the small gestures we show to others that make the world a better place.
Moms House to me is my second family. Seeing how my son has grown and developed holistically is just fulfilling. My son sometimes cries when being picked up in the evening because the fun is just too much. Even more surprising is that he is always the first one to wake up just to go and meet his friends and his awesome teachers. Everyone at Moms House is so welcoming, accommodative and supportive. With their sacrifices, they enable parents to concentrate and focus better in school. Did I mention that not only does Moms House help in raising our kids but also offer mentorship programs, guidance and counseling, and gifts which are awesome. I count myself tremendously lucky for being part of an amazing organization, Mom’s House.
I am sincerely grateful to you our sponsors for the support, may it be through donations, prayers or even volunteering as these makes it possible for Mom’s House to provide excellent services to the community. Every donation and service are significant, and we are forever grateful. You give us hope, strength and courage to strive on, brighten our days and future. We promise to continue the good work you have shown to us and make other people’s life better in our own little way.
Juliet, Mom’s House Graduate 2020
The first time I laid eyes on Matthew I knew he was a gift from God and that I would do everything in my power to be the best mom possible. At 21 years of age with only a high school diploma I knew this meant furthering my education, however, I was unsure of how to make it a reality. In 1987 Mom’s House opened its doors. I went to visit and then applied to become part of the program. It was the best thing that ever happened for Matthew and me. Because I knew Matthew was being so well cared for, I was able to earn an Associates Degree from Broome Community College and then go on for my Bachelor’s in English Education at Elmira College.
Mom’s House welcomed Matthew and me right from the very beginning and was not only an excellent day care center, but a family as well. They not only supported us as valuable human beings, but also strengthened my belief that everything happens for a reason. I learned that the true meaning of family goes well beyond biology and more importantly involves the heart. Since graduating from Mom’s House I have completed my Master’s in Education and am currently working as a program coordinator with Broome-Tioga BOCES. Fall of 2001 I will complete an administrative internship and hope to obtain a position as an assistant principal.
Without the continued support and love Matthew and I received while at Mom’s House, I truly believe I wouldn’t be where I am today. This is something that Matthew and I will treasure forever. Please know that whatever you do as a supporter of Mom’s House will be felt for generations to come. Because of your generosity, I have been able to give back to my own family and community. You are truly God’s gift and I thank you for all that you have done and continue to do.
With Love and Gratitude, Laura
This thank you comes from a different perspective. It’s not from my mom this time, it’s from me. I was one of the children of Mom’s House. It’s been 10 years now since I’ve been there and I can’t say that I remember a lot of specific things, but I can say that I know the positive impact it had and continues to have on me, my mom, and the rest of my family. Sure mom pulls out the pictures now and again, and she encourages me to watch the Mom’s House video with her occasionally, but what I really remember is the friends I made there and the way that I always felt safe. I’m old enough now to realize that that is priceless.
This past year I was fortunate enough to be a part of the Mom’s House Annual Golf Tournament with my dad. What a great way to have the opportunity to give back to the organization, which has had such a big role in helping my and my mom become who we are today. I am now able to look up to a mother who has worked hard to become who she is because a special place like Mom’s House cared enough for both of us. For that reason Mom’s House will always have a special place in my heart and I thank everyone who has touched the lives of those parents and children in need.
Dear Friends of Mom’s House,
In order to explicate the impact Mom’s House has made on my life, I must first reveal a bit about my educational endeavors prior to my introduction to the Mom’s House family. After high school, I joined many of my peers at BCC and completed two semesters with moderate success. That success did not continue during the following semester, and I spent a year out of school. I returned to BCC with the intent to focus and succeed, but barely scraped by with sub-par grades and a foul attitude. I decided, once again, to put my education on hold. It was during this hiatus that my daughter, Charlotte, was born. I enjoyed spending every day at home with my little girl and shrugged off my family’s suggestions that I return to school. Of course I knew going to school was the path I needed to take in order to ensure the future success of myself and my daughter, but I hadn’t the foggiest idea of what to study – I felt I had no calling in a particular field, and thought going to school without a chosen career would be a waste of time. I spend another six months at home before a friend convinced me to take just one class. My eyes were opened, and school no longer felt like a chore – I actually enjoyed it. After successfully completing the class, I knew I wanted to return to school full-time.
The thought of putting my daughter in daycare caused me great anxiety. I spent hours researching childcare centers, vowing to find the best for the child with whom I had spent nearly every day of the preceeding two years. I was discouraged by the unaffordable tuitions and lengthy waiting lists, along with stories in the media about the many horrors of childcare-gone-wrong. An interview and tour of Mom’s House left me with a good impression, but it almost felt too good to be true. On the first day of school, my reservations were quickly put to rest when Charlotte and I were first greeted by the kind smile of Diane – the office manager. When I took Charlotte to her classroom, I anticipated a tearful goodbye, but she felt right at home with Ms. Lynne, and barely acknowledged my departure. I was the only one to cry on my daughter’s first day away from myself and her immediate family. At the end of the day, Charlotte was full of stories to tell about her new friends at “school”.
It was clear within our first couple weeks at Mom’s House that Charlotte and I had become part of something extraordinary. Everyone we met – staff, volunteers, and clients, embraced us and made us feel like part of the family. While I previously lacked the companionship of fellow moms, Mom’s House brought me together with a slew of other mothers with whom I could consort and commiserate. Mom’s House quickly felt like home. I was excited to get to know the other children, and happy to help out wherever and whenever I could. My anxieties about childcare were long forgotten – I knew for certain that the love and care my daughter received from Mom’s House was unparalleled.
The assurance that my daughter was being cared for by the most loving and capable people outside my biological family allowed me to focus fully on school. For the first time, I felt completely engaged in class, and handed in my work with the satisfaction that I had completed it to the best of my ability. Meanwhile, I received constant encouragement from my Mom’s House family. In the middle of the semester, I had an epiphany – I knew what I wanted to do with my life. For the first time, I felt my educational endeavors were not fruitless, and I am confident I will reach every goal I set. My hard work paid off when I received excellent grades, and I am happy to be able to answer the question – “what are you going to school for?” I am going to graduate from BCC in the spring with my associate’s degree in Liberal Arts, and I will move on to BU, where I will major in English – rhetoric and composition. I will then work to earn my Doctorate in order to teach English at the college level.
I am not exaggerating when I say I would not have felt this success if it weren’t for Mom’s House. I have been truly blessed to become a member of the Mom’s House family. The volunteers and staff go above and beyond to love and encourage the children and parents. Not only have I found pride in my own success, but also in the success of my peers – my fellow parents. It warms my heart to see a bright future for my daughter – a future which would be difficult, if not impossible without the support of Mom’s House.
I am immensely grateful for the many donations that make it possible for Mom’s House to provide their wonderful services to single parents and their children. Every donation is significant, whether it is time, money, or materials. The benefactors of Mom’s House are not only ensuring the longevity of the program, they are giving hope to those in need, and brightening the futures of countless families. Because of Mom’s House, I will succeed.
There are no words to explain what an amazing organization Mom’s House is and what it means to me. It has been such a fundamental part of mine and my son’s lives over the past year. It’s not just a daycare facility; it’s a close-knitted community all working toward common goals. Success of the mothers and children is the main motivation here and that became evident to me in the beginning of my involvement with Mom’s House.
My son and I were welcomed into the program with open arms and smiling faces. One of the things that makes this organization such an extraordinary one is the fact that complete strangers are willing to invest in you and your child. There is the physical aspect of the program, of course, which is the fact that volunteers and everyday caregivers are working with your child each day while you’re at school. But there is also the psychological aspect of this program, which is the idea that complete strangers are willing to cheer you on and help you get through whatever it is you need to get through to reach success. Each mother here has a different story, but we are all treated as equals and we all receive the encouragement needed to push through rough patches and hard times. No questions and no judgement, just warm-hearted people that want to help you and your child reach success. Everybody here is kind and loving and would give the shirt off their back if they thought it would help someone else.
Since being taken into the Mom’s House family, unbreakable bonds have been formed and so much progress has been made in our lives. My son has turned a year old and will be walking sooner than I’m ready to believe. I attribute that success to everyone that walked up and down the hallway with him and the singing walker. (Oh, what a joy musical toys can be!) I am about to graduate from high school and I will start at BCC next fall. Thankfully, I’ll be staying with the Mom’s House family! I don’t think I’d like to go without seeing all of the smiling faces of everyone that works with and supports Mom’s House! Every person that donates to Mom’s House, whether it be time or monetary donations, is truly a blessing and I’m so glad I’ve had the chance to be a part of something so wonderful! ~ Lindsey
While growing up in the Binghamton area, I had heard of Mom’s House from time to time but never really knew who, specifically, was privileged enough to use it. After deciding to enter graduate school as a single mother three years ago, I sifted through the local daycare resources for my two year old daughter. None of the options seemed to meet my requirements. After all, wasn’t I supposed to be the one staying at home to raise my children? I called Mom’s House on a whim expecting them to say, “Sorry, Mom’s House is not intended for you.” What I heard on the other end of the phone was the first of many blessings that followed shortly thereafter.
“Mom’s House is for any qualifying single parent who is enrolled in school full-time” was what the kind woman informed me. I could not believe it. I was asked to come in for an interview and upon receiving a tour of the beautiful facility I knew in my heart this was where my daughter belonged. The teachers, volunteers and administration all keep the mission of Mom’s House at the forefront in everything they do. They follow New York State daycare regulations and guidelines while feeding the children nutritious homemade meals.
However, it is what you cannot see in one visit to Mom’s House that truly makes it unlike any other center caring for children. It is the love, nurturing, time and attention to each individual infant, toddler and child that allows parents to leave their children daily in order to sit for a lecture, attend clinical, study for an exam or write a paper. It is the camaraderie, bonding and support that the parents supply for one another semester after semester. It is the encouragement, cheerleading and role modeling that awards one to achieve their hopes, dreams, and aspirations.
By the grace of God and Mom’s House, myself and my daughter soared through 3 years of graduate school with great success. My daughter’s light shines bright as she prepares to enter kindergarten in the fall, and it is with overwhelming excitement that I can finally say, I have accepted an offer for my dream job. Mom’s House will forever be in my heart and on my mind as we move onward in our journey.
Hi everyone. My name is Mikel and I have had the privilege of being a part of Mom’s House for two years.
I look back on what brought me here and feel very grateful for the help I have received from this program. Right after high school, I wanted to get married, buy a house, have a child and live happily ever after; you can tell I was naive. None of this went as planned.
Very soon after marrying, I divorced, was laid off from my job of eight years, and struggling as a single parent trying to raise my son and daughter. I had been thinking about going to college for a few years but wasn’t sure how I could make it all work.
It was then that my own mom reminded me of Mom’s House. I made an appointment and learned about the program and what was required of the parents who enrolled. I took a tour of the facility and was amazed at what I saw. I thought it was the best place and was so excited for my daughter to go there. My son was of school age by this time. I was also thrilled to learn that part of the program included a required three hours of service time at Mom’s House per week. In a sense, I was able to volunteer for a non-profit organization, something I had always wanted to do.
I have been attending Broome Community College since 2009 and Baleigh has been at Mom’s House during this time. Mom’s House has been wonderful for my daughter Baleigh and me in so many ways. The teachers are great, adjusting to and handling each child’s individual personalities while encouraging them to be who they are, and for Baleigh, that would be persistent and independent. She has learned probably two of the life’s biggest lessons at Mom’s House: friendship and empathy. She has learned that bugs are cool, that you can paint with more things than just a brush…I could go on and on
When I talk about Mom’s House to other people, my mantra is “She leaves me, I don’t leave her”. To find a daycare your child is excited to go to everyday, to ask about it during the summer or winter breaks, even weekends, to not want to leave even after they have been there from 7:30 in the morning to 4:00 in the afternoon, is incredible! For me, Mom’s House has been a blessing because the teachers, administrative staff, and volunteers are just as supportive, understanding, encouraging, and good at listening to the parents as they are the children. Many times, there has been someone that would help me with a concern I had, whether it was about my daughter, myself, or my son, and they offered advice, wisdom, or compassion; usually all three.
I want to thank everyone at Mom’s House for all of the support and encouragement you gave to not just Baleigh and me but to all of the parents and children who come through your doors. Your dedication and hard work is appreciated more than words can say. Thank you! ~Mikel
Graduate Testimony at Solution of Hope Banquet – October 2022
Hi, my name is Whitney and I am a 2020 graduate of Mom’s House and I am excited to share my story and journey with you all. I first heard of Mom’s House back in 2015 when my nephew’s mom was going back to school for a certificate in health care. My mom had read an article in the local newspaper about Mom’s House and called to inquire about the program. We didn’t know much about Mom’s House at the time but we knew it helped give single moms with children the opportunity to attend school while providing them with free child care. The next day my nephew and his mom went to Mom’s House, filled out an application, and had an interview, and were enrolled.
A couple years later in November 2017 I found out I was expecting my first child! I had recently applied to Binghamton University’s highly selective and competitive BAT program for nursing earlier that month. In January of 2018 I received my acceptance letter to start that May, three months before my due date. It was a 12 month accelerated intense program that would allow me to earn my bachelors degree in just one year beginning in May 2018 and ending in May 2019. Upon the recommendation of BU and after much debate and consideration, I deferred my enrollment one year with the agreement that my seat would be saved in the nursing program for the following year in 2019.
On a beautiful Tuesday evening in August of 2018 we welcomed a healthy 6lb 14oz baby boy named Ryder! That first Sunday after Ryder’s birth, Ryder had some health complications and we spent his second week of life at Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital recovering. In that moment I was thankful for making the decision to defer the nursing program so I could solely focus on my precious newborn and getting him healthy again!
That following year in May of 2019 I was finally able to start my journey in the nursing program at BU. It was always my dream to earn my RN degree and work as an RN but I knew I couldn’t do it alone, especially while caring for a now 9 month old baby! After many concerns and moments of panic of trying to figure out how I could be successful in this program, reach my goal and still be a good mom, Mom’s House came to mind! I immediately reached out to them in the spring before school started. I had a meeting to apply and see if Mom’s House would be a fit for my son Ryder and I. We were then enrolled for the fall semester, starting in September.
Ryder started off in the lamb room with Miss Nancy, who he grew very fond of early on as well as his little buddy Jayden! Ryder and Jayden were always side by side and playing together! One of the most reassuring things about leaving Ryder at Mom’s House while I attended school was knowing that he was happy and loved going there. As the other mom’s arrived to drop of their kids they also would acknowledge and interact with the other kids in the classroom and it was so reassuring as a mom to know that Ryder was well taken care of and cared for not only by Mom’s House staff but by the other mom’s enrolled too! Our experience in the lamb room was that they provided him with meals which included breakfast and lunch and even a snack to end the day. I wasn’t just a meal to Ryder or myself, it was much more. They worked with all the kids to use utensils and develop proper eating habits, working towards feeding themselves. They provided key fundamentals and crucial skills, important to development and growth. They also evaluated and individually worked in all areas of each child to strengthen their overall growth.
Additionally, they provided diapers, clothes and even formula if needed, gave out gas cards and grocery cards, sent us home with extra food left over on Fridays, books to take home and read, donuts and loaves of bread, winter jackets and snow suits, and so much more! They truly took amazing care of the mom’s and our kids! I felt as if they loved Ryder and I as their own! In fact, most days he didn’t want to leave when I came to pick him up! It was amazing to watch how accustomed to the other children, moms and staff Ryder had felt!
One of my favorite memories of Mom’s House was Ryder’s daily hugs and warm welcome from Mrs. Kristine each morning! Ryder formed a special bond with her and would always greet her with a warm gentle hug that would make you melt! When people talk of Mom’s House some may think of it as a daycare but it was and is so much more than that! I love sharing our stories and experiences of Mom’s House with others! The once uncertainty of leaving my baby boy behind so I could attend classes and clinicals quickly turned to ease and helped give me comfort knowing I was doing the right thing for Ryder and gave me the determination to keep pushing through school to reach my end goal!
Another great memory of Mom’s House was the monthly workshops. They provided several key workshops throughout the year that focused on different aspects of life. For example healthy foods and healthy eating habits; time management and financial stability, something crucial to all of our futures and something as simple as starting a savings plan; resources that are available out in the community such as Life Choices and Mothers and Babies Perinatal Network, that could help any of us moms apply for discounted diapers, other essential needs; establishing health insurance and find providers; setting up interviews and writing a resume. Many of these resources I didn’t know ever existed but now in turn use them today in my career for my patients, helping educate and provide them with several resources that are available in our community!
2020 was an extremely challenging year as we know with the start of Covid 19 pandemic. There were several trials and tribulations that came with the shutdown in March including Mom’s House closing and school becoming completely remote. Suddenly child care became a challenge with my already intense school schedule. Adjustment was an understatement and a whole new lifestyle but with the help of Mom’s House I quickly realized the importance of discipline and routine. While they couldn’t offer child care due to Covid they still offered their unconditional support and checked in to offer words or encouragement and support and in whatever ways Covid would allow and that meant a lot! It was a constant reminder I needed to keep my head down and keep pushing through to finish school strong. I wasn’t going to let the Covid pandemic ruin my dream!
Three months later in May of 2020 I proudly graduated from BU’s accelerated nursing program after completing one very intense year! One of my biggest accomplishments during the school year bedsides graduating was also winning a nursing award. I was honored to have been chosen as the 2020 graduate recipient of the Martha Harnick Bress ’69 Nursing Award for clinical excellence in the Baccalaureate program!!! An accomplishment that has meant more to me than you know! I have never worked so hard in my life to reach a goal as great as this one! I am now working in Lourdes Hospital labor and deliver and I have finally fulfilled my dream of becoming a nurse and share my passion for the health field. Raising a family and going to school full-time is hard work!!! All of my major accomplishments would not have been possible without the unconditional love and support from my friends, family and Mom’s House, so a sincere thank you for supporting me along the way and always providing words of encouragement and resources during school! I cannot tell you how much that meant to me and truly contributed to my success! Ryder and I are so blessed to have been a part of this amazing organization! One year may seem like a short time to some but just in that one short year I learned and grew so much it made a tremendous difference and huge impact on my life forever.
A big contribution to my success in school was the use of the Cortese study room at Mom’s House. We had access to a quiet space that had computers and printers available for use. I was able to prepare for exams, study and write papers all while Ryder was enjoying his time playing with his little friends in the Lamb room! This allowed for me to stay focused during high stress moments and assignments for nursing school while studying for exams. I always had the support of Mom’s House for exams as they somehow always managed to calm my nerves and ease my test anxiety. A bittersweet moment of them sharing excitement and celebrating with me for that great exam grade!
Although our time at Mom’s House was cut shorter than we’d like due to Covid, this organization will forever have a lasting impression on my family and I. I wish we had more time at Mom’s House but for the time we did have we are forever grateful and truly blessed! I know I keep repeating how much Mom’s House meant to me and their impact, but I love sharing with others the importance of organizations like Mom’s House to help better serve our community and society by providing a better lifestyle and stability to others and knowing that there are resources and help available! No dream is ever too small and it’s never too late to start!
Mom’s House exceeded my expectations more than I could have ever imagined and I’m excited for other moms and dads to have this amazing opportunity to open their eyes to the wonderful ways Mom’s House truly supported me and my family and gave me hope for our future! The staff is nothing short of incredible. They have gone above and beyond with their support and encouragement. I will forever hold Mom’s House with a special place in my heart and continue to give back every year as I can just as they gave to me. They forever touched our lives. You made a difference and impact on Ryder and my life. We are truly blessed. It is with great pleasure that I can say I was once a mom that walked into Mom’s House with a dream and walked out an RN with so much thankfulness and gratitude!!!