Julie’s Family Learning program– a non-profit organization in South Boston that provides comprehensive and holistic services for low-income, at-risk mothers and their children – will host a fundraising event at Dorchester’s Florian Hall in May for long-term donors, supporters, and sponsors.
“We decided to celebrate it as a Mother’s Day event,” explained Bob Monahan, the program’s executive director. “Alums and current enrollees are very excited to come to an event in their own community. Our parents are heads of the household, they’re on duty all the time, and they’re looking forward to a good afternoon. We’ll have a good meal, good raffles, and they’re excited to be honored and celebrated.”
Originated in 1974 by the Sisters of Notre Dame, Julie’s has held an annual event for more than 30 years, typically in December. Last year’s was held in Symphony Hall. Then a decision was made to hold an additional, more affordable spring event to widen the celebration in the home community. Sponsors hope to raise $100,000 and they are about halfway there.
“There is not another program that works with these families like we do,” said Monahan. “We offer all kinds of support, early intervention, onsite for children, and onsite counselors to support mothers in their recovery journey.
“We do very important work – being a parent is the toughest job on earth – and we know that whether we have children or grew up in a household with parents who faced their own challenges – the populations that we serve are determined to be the best parents they can be. They’re fully determined to confront those challenges and provide a life for their children that they did not have.”
Julie’s also has a licensed toddler and preschool program. While adult learners – parents in the program – spend 20 hours a week working on education, life skills, and counseling, kids are being taught at the same time. This access to childcare is provided to eliminate one of the biggest barriers these mothers face, ultimately changing the trajectory of the family.
“I really value and appreciate the program that was founded by The Sisters of Notre Dame. Their mission is to live and work with the poor, period. They saw a need and they created Julie’s,” said Monahan. “I see the determination from the parents to create a new path for them and their children. I reflect and celebrate that and it keeps me so engaged and passionate about the work.”
Julie’s Spring Event will be held at Florian Hall, 55 Hallet St., Dorchester, on Sat., May 11 from 1-4 p.m. Tickets are $100. All donations are welcome. If interested in offering a raffle item or becoming a sponsor, please reach out to 617-269-6663 or visit juliesfamily.org.