Thursday, 23 May 2013 00:00
When I became a new dad many years ago, I asked a friend whom I admired how to be a good father. Without missing a beat, he responded simply, “Love their mother.”
As husband to a mom of four and son to a mom of five, I live (you can already guess) in a mom-centric zone, and over time that lesson has become abundantly clear to me. So I thought I’d take a break this week from the usual legislative topics and instead reflect upon the powerful love we celebrate in the middle of May each year.
One need only look around to see that family life is changing fast but even so, I’d say moms are the rock upon which stable families are built, often at great personal sacrifice. And family life is microcosm of how we treat one another in general.
My friend was right then and he’s right now, so in the aftermath of Mother’s Day, we might consider some ways to help moms wherever and whenever we can throughout the year, every day.
In that light, I wanted to bring your attention to two special Long Island programs you might not know about: Momma’s House, with several locations around the island, and Catholic Charities’ Regina Residence in Merrick. These two homegrown residential programs are dedicated to meeting the needs of young, unwed mothers and mothers-to be who unfortunately do not have the support systems necessary to raise their children. This is especially stressful on Long Island with its notoriously high cost of living, where rent or child-care eats up entire paychecks.
Going it alone is simply not an option for these young families. That’s why these programs, supported by people like you, step in to see to the physical, social and emotional well being of both the moms and their babies. They provide structured living environments with scheduled meal times, shared chores, and even study times. They also provide counseling and childcare so the women can finish their educations and find meaningful work. There are even mentoring programs that match the young ladies with successful working women in their communities who become personally involved in their development. It’s in homes like these that the skills for successful family life are learned and over the years, these combined programs have literally sent thousands of young women into the world as confident, independent and loving mothers.
The creativity and dedication shown by Long Islanders in programs like these are perfect examples of the type of citizenship that makes Long Island thrive. That the young women there remain motivated to keep growing and learning in the face of adversity is a testament to the unique power of motherhood.
So maybe this year, now that the flowers have faded and the chocolate’s gone (you probably ate it anyway), you might consider celebrating your own mother or grandmother by volunteering at or supporting the work of these two special Long Island Institutions. You can visit Momma’s House online at www.mommashouse.org or Regina Residence at www.catholiccharities.cc to learn more.
Thank God that “mother” is also a verb, not just a noun. To all the moms reading this column, thank you for the love that is uniquely yours to give and may you know that love and respect for all you do extends well beyond your own children.
Wednesday, 26 November 2014 00:00
Thanksgiving is a holiday, a festival, celebration and food fest. Tradition says the first Thanksgiving feast was celebrated by pilgrims and Native Americans back in 1621 to give thanks for their harvest after a harsh winter. Over a century later, George Washington, the nation’s first president, issued a Thanksgiving proclamation in 1789.
Fast forward to 21st century—the modern day Thanksgiving has come a long way since then. What has not changed however is the shared elaborate meal consumed with family and friends in the same spirit of celebration and giving thanks for the blessings.
Saturday, 22 November 2014 00:00
Winthrop University Hospital employee Jeffrey Brenner, a hyperbaric technician with the Life Support Technologies group in Mineola, recently received the American Heart Association’s prestigious Louis J. Acampora Heart Saver Award at a dinner at the Crest Hollow Country Club. The award is named for a Long Island teenager who succumbed to a sporting injury that is understood to have been preventable if a cardiac medical device had been immediately on-scene and applied.
“I hope that I have made a real difference in my town and the world around me to help prevent death and improve the quality of people’s lives” said Brenner.
Thursday, 20 November 2014 00:00
After consecutive seasons of finishing runner-up in the men’s golf Player of the Year for the Skyline Conference, Christian Bleck of St. Joseph’s took home first place in a rather unlikely turn of events.
After a herniated disc caused the Chaminade High School alum to miss every event after the first week of the season until the conference tournament, Bleck returned—without even having the luxury of practicing a full 18 holes—and competed with the best players the conference has to offer.
Thursday, 06 November 2014 00:00
The Mineola Mustang boys cross-country team won the division 4A championship recently at Bethpage State Park. This is the first championship for the program since 1974, ending a 40-year championship drought.
Mineola defeated Seaford, who also entered the undefeated in division competition, 38-20. Overcoming rain and high winds throughout the race, many Mustangs ran personal records for the 5K in route to the victory.