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					NEWS
VOLUNTEER CENTER OF BERGEN COUNTY, INC.
64 Passaic Street Hackensack, NJ 07601    Phone: 201-489-9454 Fax: 201-489-1995
www.bergenvolunteers.org


For immediate release                     Contact: Maureen McCormick
June 7, 2007                                       201-489-9454 Ext. 26

A Night of Beauty for Women in Mentoring Program

       Hackensack--Imagine you are a busy woman who has had a hectic day, and you
are looking forward to a little pampering—a facial, a manicure—to make you feel human
again. Refreshed, you can face life’s little ups and downs.
       Imagine, though, that you are a single mother, isolated and overwhelmed. You
may not know how you will provide the next meal for your kids, and have little or no
support in raising your family. Carving out time for yourself is a luxury you can’t afford.
       For 15 mothers in the Mentoring Moms Program of the Volunteer Center of
Bergen County, this recently was not the case.
       Mr. Harry Comp, director of the Parisian Beauty Academy in Hackensack,
provided a “Night of Beauty” for these moms and their children on June 4th.
       He and his students offered manicures, pedicures, facials and hair styling for the
adults, and haircuts, make-up, braiding and temporary tattoos for the children.
       The mothers in the Mentoring Moms program are women who have experienced
difficulty in coping with parenting, managing households and providing for their
children. Unfortunate circumstances in their lives have left them anxious and worried.
“How can I find a job? Who will take care of my kids? Where will we live? How can I
afford a doctor?”
       The volunteer mentors in the Mentoring Moms program are caring women who
provide guidance in parenting and life skills. They listen, share ideas and offer
encouragement so the moms can improve their lives and the lives of their children.
       Cindy Andrake, Program Director of Mentoring Moms, tells how the ‘Night of
Beauty’ came about. “Our mentors spend a lot of time with their mentee moms, and it
was the mentors who came up with the idea that it would be great to treat these women to
a little pampering, to help them feel good about themselves. The thought is if you take
care of yourself, you can take care of others more effectively.”
        The first person that Ms. Andrake called was Harry Comp. The request was a
simple one—can you and your students provide manicures? Mr. Comp was extremely
enthusiastic and supportive. “Why just manicures?” he asked. “How about a choice of
services, and how about including the children in the fun?”
        Mr. Comp, a past president of the Greater Hackensack Chamber of Commerce,
has been involved with community service for many years. He explains, “I love helping
people. I was raised in Hackensack and feel it is so important to give back to the
community. The Parisian Academy is a Paul Mitchell partner school, which means we
are very active in all their philanthropic endeavors. We participate in many “Fun”-raising
events to help people suffering from memory loss and mental illness, as well as support
Habitat for Humanity, and other well-deserving organizations. Our mission statement is
‘Put other people first; your success will follow.’ Working with the Volunteer Center’s
Mentoring Moms program, and seeing the happy faces of the moms and kids, really
brings that message home.”
        The Volunteer Center is always looking for mentors for both of its programs:
Mentoring Moms and Volunteers in Protective Services (VIPS), in which caring men
and women provide guidance, friendship and support to abused and neglected children
ages 2 to 18. Mentors participate in many social activities like “The Night of Beauty”, or
trips to the zoo with their mentees, and are uplifted by the experience. “Making a
difference in someone’s life, whether it is a child or another adult, is both humbling and
empowering,” says one mentor. “Sometimes, I think I get more out of it than my mentee.
It feels great.”
        Prospective mentors are provided a six-week, comprehensive training program
that includes such topics as developing listening skills, communication and problem
solving. Guest speakers such as current mentors, clients who have participated in the
program, and social services case workers share their experiences so that new mentors
have the background and knowledge to help support the people they will be mentoring.
In Mentoring Moms, this can include moms who may be single parents, or struggling
with a child’s illness, or who are simply overwhelmed. Mentors usually spend 2-3 hours
per week with a mother simply being a friend, listening, sharing ideas, and offering
encouragement. While each situation is different, one mother aptly described her mentor
as “Someone I can talk to besides family, who understands and cares. She makes me
think about my life and encourages me.”
       Trainings for the two mentoring programs are conducted three times a year. The
next sessions will begin in the Fall. Call the Volunteer Center at (201) 489-9454, to learn
about becoming a volunteer mentor.
       Established in 1966, the Volunteer Center of Bergen County strengthens the
community by connecting people with opportunities to serve, operating model volunteer
programs, building capacity for effective volunteering, and participating in strategic
partnerships that meet community needs.
                                                ###




Recently, mothers and children enrolled in the Volunteer Center of Bergen County's
Mentoring Moms program were treated to a "Night of Beauty", with manicures, facials
and hair styling donated by a local beauty academy. Moms in this program are women
who have experienced difficulty in coping with parenting, managing households and
providing for their children, due to extenuating circumstances. Mentors are needed to
help provide guidance, friendship and support for the moms. Men and women are also
needed to mentor abused and neglected children. Call (201) 489-9454 Ext. 23 to help by
becoming a mentor or a donor to the programs.


Harry Comp, (top) director of Parisian Academy, with Georgia Brown and son Peter,
who participated in the “Night of Beauty” for the Volunteer Center of Bergen County’s
Mentoring Moms Program.

				
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