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Chester County Press

Capacity audience attends YoungMoms fifth anniversary event

03/15/2016 12:58PM ● By Richard Gaw

By Richard L. Gaw
Staff Writer

The Garage Community & Youth Center in Kennett Square was the site of achievement and celebration this past Saturday morning, as more than 150 friends, supporters and advocates of YoungMoms came to celebrate the fifth year of the organization at its annual fundraising brunch.
Entitled “Imagine the Possibilities,” the event featured a silent auction of items donated by 35 local businesses; a full brunch prepared and donated by the Hilton Garden Inn in Kennett Square; a video that profiled a few of the more than 125 young mothers whose lives have been nurtured through their association with YoungMoms; and interviews with two young mothers, each of whom shared their personal stories with the audience.
“YoungMoms first grew out of the need that developed at the Garage Community & Youth Center, and it’s always done phenomenal work in helping young mothers meet their goals and empower them to believe in themselves,” said Linda Mercner, YoungMoms director. “We have short-term and long-term goals, academic and employment, parenting and relationship goals, and in annual surveys we’ve had, 100 percent of the girls who responded said they learned how to set goals. A big part of that is building up confidence and self-esteem and breaking that sense of isolation that you can sometimes feel as a young mother.”
In addition to helping 125 young mothers, Mercner said the organization continues to streamline its procedures.
YoungDads – an offshoot of the YoungMoms concept established last year – is already starting to take root in the community.
The event served not only a fundraiser, but as a celebration of the organization’s five years of existence, with not only financial support but the  formation of a sizable volunteer corps from individuals, places of worship, businesses and foundations.  The organization works one-on-one with young mothers through mentoring, providing child care and meals to the mother and her family, providing car rides to meetings and appointments – as well as giving encouragement.
“One mother told me that she used to be afraid of everything, and now she believes that everything is possible,” Mercner said. “I think the fact that we’re small allows us to invest in each individual and really cater the program to each woman.”
To learn more about the YoungMoms program, visit www.youngmomscommunity.org. YoungMoms is a 501c-3 nonprofit organization, and all contributions are tax deductible.
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, e-mail rgaw@chestercounty.com.

   




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