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Brenda DenOuden's Fundraiser:

IRIS Mommy & Me - A Campaign for A Better Educated Refugee Mother & Child

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Brenda DenOuden

THE STORY:

I am reaching out for your support in helping fund IRIS's Mommy & Me program for refugee woman with pre-school age children. This program allows refugee women the opportunity to gain the language skills they need for long-term integration while giving their children the head start they need to eventually enter kindergarten . Without the aid of this program these Mothers may not get the language education they will need to be well adjusted, productive, happy members of society. These are women and children that IRIS has welcomed to Connecticut in the past few years. In 2016 alone, IRIS welcomed a record 530 refugees from Syria, Afghanistan, Congo, Iraq and beyond. These are people who have fled their home countries because of persecution and conflict. This record number of refugees means there are mom's and children who are in need of our program but due to funding constraints and lack of an adequately sized permanent space are relegated to a long waiting list that could take years to make their way through. 


My introduction to IRIS's Mommy & Me program started 7 months ago when I decided to volunteer a couple hours a week. That couple of hours quickly turned into nearly 20 hours a week as I got to know the mom's and their children in the program and saw the huge impact it made upon the lives of these families. Mom's who were finally able to venture out of their homes and neighborhoods, learn the bus system, meet other women outside of their families or small communities because of the language skills they were finally able to acquire and the opportunity to, for a short time, not be the sole caregiver for young children. These are moms that might otherwise not get out to language classes due to lack of access to daycare services or because of cultural expectations that do not allow them to attend classes with men outside of their family. This program allows them the freedom to learn amongst other women in similar situations and to learn to trust others with the care of their children while allowing their kids to gain social and language skills needed for further education and integration into American society. This program has become my passion. There is not a day that I leave "my kids" not feeling overjoyed, optimistic for their futures, excited for the next day (and happily exhausted!). 


While this program is exceptional it also survives with very little funding. Our summer Mommy & Me program moved between three different small donated spaces and subsisted on a mere budget of only $500.00. For the children especially, the constant moving and lack of stability makes it difficult to maintain an environment of trust and safety while providing the stability that children need to grow and learn. The cost of learning materials for the mom's and food and learning supplies as well as toys that may not have already been donated is a large expense and one that the staff and volunteers often personally contribute to due to lack of funding. That does not take into account the urgent need for a permanent space. This is an endeavor that can not be taken on without philanthropy from generous companies and private donors from outside IRIS.

DONATE

To This Fundraiser

$2,825

MONEY RAISED
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  • Anonymous

    $100

  • Tawnya Thorman

    $50

  • Anonymous

    $500

  • Jackson Mayes

    $50

  • Anonymous

    $25

  • Aria Shirani

    $50

  • Jill Black

    $100

  • Jaime Woltjen

    $50

  • Jim Pinto

    $50

  • The Raeburns

    $500

  • Burdman Family

    $100

  • The McGovern Family

    $100

  • Rahul Saraf

    $250

  • Nicole den Ouden

    $200

  • D & S Butt

     

  • Chaz Perera

    $100

  • Shannon Whitt

    $100

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28% Raised of$10,000 Goal

Fundraise for this Campaign

The Team: $2,825 TOTAL RAISED SO FAR

JOIN THE TEAM
Fundraiser Title

Brenda DenOuden

Amount Raised

$2,575

 

26% Raised of$10,000 Goal

Fundraiser Title

Rahul Saraf

Amount Raised

$250

Donor Comments

Shannon Whitt

Shannon Whitt

DONATION: $100

1 year ago

Chaz Perera

Chaz Perera

DONATION: $100

1 year ago

D & S Butt

D & S Butt

1 year ago

Nicole den Ouden

Nicole den Ouden

DONATION: $200

Go Auntie Brenda! We are so proud of the difference you are making! 1 year ago

Rahul Saraf

Rahul Saraf

DONATION: $250

Thank you for information Brenda 1 year ago

The McGovern Family

The McGovern Family

DONATION: $100

1 year ago

Burdman Family

Burdman Family

DONATION: $100

1 year ago

The Raeburns

The Raeburns

DONATION: $500

1 year ago

Jim Pinto

Jim Pinto

DONATION: $50

Very proud to help someone who cares so much about this cause. Hopefully many others will follow to support. 1 year ago

Jaime Woltjen

Jaime Woltjen

DONATION: $50

1 year ago