Giving Back

Single Moms Find Help and Friendship in Facebook Group

2949daa8e76cb823d714_99fa222527c81b996f11_april_2.jpg
Christine Kamienski and April Stec moderate the Westfield Area Single Moms Facebook group. Credits: April Stec
2949daa8e76cb823d714_99fa222527c81b996f11_april_2.jpg

WESTFIELD, NJ — It’s a week before her two elementary school-age girls are supposed start school and Hannah, a newly single Westfield mom, could be facing eviction.

Her friend Melanie Schreiber knew where to ask for help. She created a GoFundMe site and posted the link in the Westfield Area Single Moms Facebook group. Soon other single mothers were donating and sharing advice, support and necessities like food, clothes and school supplies, which are being collected for the family at the Presbyterian Church in Westfield. More than $800 has been raised so far.

It’s just the latest example of this online community’s efforts to support each other. Moms in the group, now at more than 55 members, live in a variety of circumstances. Some are newly single, looking for divorce lawyers. Some never married. The overwhelming sentiments among them are joy and relief connecting with other single moms in what feels like a suburban sea of couples.

Sign Up for E-News

“This group is so important to me,” founder Christine Kamienski said. “I felt so alone as a single mom in Westfield and was excluded from so much. I wasn't even sure there’d be one member other than me. We have become an amazing group of friends who can ask anything, talk about anything and support each other like no other friends I have. I don't feel alone at all anymore.”

Since its creation in April, many of the Facebook group’s members have met in real life. On the page, they plan nights out together, post inspirational and funny memes and share helpful articles. They write about their struggles and post encouraging comments.

“The support is positive and unwavering,” April Stec, one of the group’s moderators, said. “The ladies offer advice, laugher and prayers. The wonderful things I can say about Christine Kamienski and this group of fabulous women are endless. What I love most of all is the friendships we've made that have continued outside of the Facebook world.” 

Brenda Acanfora, who was born and raised in Westfield, said the group has been empowering, supportive and non-judgmental.

“You can say we are a family because we give unconditional love and support to one another,” Acanfora said. “We are there for one another twenty-four/seven with advice and an ear to listen, no matter what time it is. Being a mom is hard enough with life's demands. Being a single mom adds a bit more to the plate. This group is one of the best things I have gotten out of Facebook.”

Some use the group to pay it forward.

“When I moved here, it was not easy being a single mom in an area where everyone seemed to have a significant other,” member Bridget Cassidy said. “Now that the kids are grown, I feel that I can lend support and understanding for all that we go through as single moms. This group has helped me overcome the empty nest syndrome and made me feel as though they are my ‘sisters.’ We support each other through thick and thin.”

Member Anne Thomas said the group gave her support when she was new to town.

“I recently moved to Westfield from Arkansas and the biggest blessing was finding out about this group,” Thomas said. “I remember filling out the emergency contact forms when enrolling my daughter in school and aftercare and having that awkward moment of having to leave it blank. Thanks to this group, I no longer have that to worry about. When people ask me what it's like to live in New Jersey, I'm so proud to tell them about the downtown area, schools and this group as the highlights of Westfield.”

To request membership in the group, click here.
 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Clark

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_6b2035ca1ad32eb7e374_parent_tea

Tue, May 22, 7:00 PM

IMC in Arthur L. Johnson High School, Clark

Tea With the Superintendent of Schools.

Bee Day at Hanson Park!!

May 19, 2018

Please join the Hanson Park Conservancy on Saturday, June 23rd for Bee Day at Hanson Park!  At 2:00 PM Grant Stiles from Stiles Honey will be sharing his knowledge of bees with his presentation, “Fundamentals of Beekeeping and the Importance of Honey Bees in Our Society.”  Bring your blankets and chairs and enjoy the beautiful surroundings as Mr. Stiles answers all of your ...

Sex Toys, Gay Jokes, Nepotism, Frat-Boy Pranks; Mountainside P.D. Out of Control Says Lawsuit

May 17, 2018

MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ – In a 46-page complaint packed with allegations of harassment involving sex toys, official misconduct, nepotism, hazing, double-dipping and other egregious behavior, five Mountainside police officers and a female employee are suing the borough in state Superior Court.
The complaint, filed by officers Jeffrey Stinner, Christopher Feighner, Richard Latargia, Thomas ...

Mayor Charles Lombardo about Petro/Casale Cleanup

May 18, 2018

To my fellow Garwood residents:

While a resident has recently raised concerns about air quality at the Petro/Casale cleanup site, I assure you the developer has complied with all state and federal regulations and there are no air quality issues.  I understand the concerns about this matter, however, they need to be addressed by licensed professionals who are qualified to answer them, not ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 15

On this week’s AtlantiCast, learn some important tips for controlling and avoiding diabetes from an Atlantic Health System expert, see how Atlantic Health is advancing cutting-edge research, hear what’s being done to keep health care environmentally friendly and much more!

 

Obituaries

Jun 29, 1927 - Apr 23, 2018
Margaret (Peggy) Kirk Leonard passed away Monday, April 23rd, surrounded by her loved ones. Peggy ...
Read more

NJ American Water Working to Replace Water Mains in Clark

May 16, 2018

VOORHEES, NJ – New Jersey American Water plans to replace roughly 1,200 feet of water main lines in Clark according to a notice released on May 16.

The document indicates the company is replacing main along Georgian Drive, from Ross Street to Sherwood Circle that was originally installed in the 1930s.  Two hydrants and 29 utility-owned service lines along the pipeline route will ...