After 12-weeks of Home with a Heart mentoring, a mother of twins said the Kedesh-run program has made a huge difference in her life.
“Home with a Heart taught me how to live on a budget and organize my previously chaotic lifestyle and (provided me with) a daily routine not only for my children but myself as well, so I’m able to get all I need accomplished while being the mom my 16-month-old twins needs me to be,” said one young mother who will soon graduate from the course.
This Saturday, nine young, local, mostly single moms will graduate from the program at a Kedesh Christmas party, where all their children will receive gifts.
Kedesh is a local organization working towards starting a maternity home to provide safe, secure and supportive housing for young pregnant and parenting women aged 15 to 22.
“Our long-term goal is to open a maternity home.,” said Kedesh president Lindsay Nadeau. “We need a three-bedroom home.”
But in the meantime, the organization recently purchased rights to instruct the Home with a Heart program in Woodstock, designed by Elaine Bond, a single mom from St. Catharines.
The 12-week program, held Saturday mornings at the Church of the Epiphany, explores a number of subjects designed to help single mothers better manage their homes and offers a series of handbooks as guides.
To date, Kedesh has run the Home With A Heart program two times, with a total of 12 graduates.
Volunteer guest speakers included a representative from RBC, a dietician and Norwich resident and culinary expert Kirby Zylstra, whose website is In the Kitchen with Kirby.
“She spent the morning showing the girls how to make easy, nutritious snacks and meals,” said Kedesh instructor Carolyn Plitz.
Other subjects they were mentored on included parenting skills, taught by a public health nurse, and job finding skills, as well as how to cope with stress through meditation and journaling.
“They need to make themselves a priority in order to meet the needs of their children,” Plitz said.
Plitz said two students in the previous group who were previously unemployed have found work, and one is continuing to develop her skills in the culinary arts.
“Really these are three success stories,” she said.
The free course is set to run again in the spring, and previous students have been referred through the CAS and Ingamo Homes.
Potential participants can also self refer by contacting Kedesh at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nadeau said they are hoping the community will provide future support in the way of sponsorship or volunteer opportunities.
To donate or for more information visit www.kedesh.ca or donate by mail at P.O. Box 20042, Woodstock,Ontario, N4S 8X8.