It takes a village in this city to educate and support unemployed fathers

It takes a village in this city to educate and support unemployed fathers: A committed leader, their employees and virtual volunteers do it!

There are as many opportunities to volunteer in Trenton as there are interests and needs. Take parenthood, or more specifically fatherhood, for example. fathers, like all us, also need support and help.

When my mother died of cancer when I was seven, my maternal aunts and My father raised my older sister, my younger brother and me. My father, still in his Thirties and one of the very few young widowers at my choral concerts, held out the whole time Government job, worked overtime and also took a part-time job to pay Mortgages and other bills, and to pay our relatives to take care of us during the time week, pick us up at the weekend. Needless to say, years later he died too young too. An almost impossible task back then, before time and society made it a reality Single Fatherhood – “The Courtship of Eddie’s Father”, “Family Matters” and “My Three Sons” notwithstanding – a welcome, familiar part of series television.

I thought of that a few years ago when I picked up a Dress 2 Impress flyer from a UIH display table at a community fair sponsored by a university in Downtown Trenton. As a volunteer manager, I was there to recruit more Volunteers to my program. Such was UIH Family Partners. Formerly known as the Union Industrial Home for Children, the oldest children’s home in New Jersey (and now renamed The Father Center of NJ) was Accepting “gently used” suits and business attire for job seekers in their training program. Donating ready-made clothing is one excellent introduction to volunteering. Years earlier I had initiated several businesses Clothing campaigns for organizations serving unemployed women.

I recently had the privilege of interviewing Mrs. Karen Andrade-Mims, Executive Director of the NJ Fathers Center, our state’s longest serving nonprofit. A distinguished recipient of the YWCA’s Tribute to Women Awards in 2015 with a master’s degree in public administration from Rutgers University and a Active Volunteers through Alpha Kappa Alpha Fraternity, Ms. Andrade-Mims, a Member of the Board of UIH Family Partners, promoted from Interim Executive Director 2008 as Managing Director of the organization.

With its mission to “empower the men, fathers and families of New Jersey to achieve self-sufficiency,” said Ms. Andrade-Mims that the Father Center of NJ “(meets the contestants) where they are. With a track record of 80% 35-40% of the participants can get jobs for at least five dollars Minimum wage. Many earn job references in handling food, Microsoft Office and OSHA certification. (Others) got jobs at Businesses in the area like 1911 Smokehouse, and larger businesses like Amazon and with companies that do not refuse those with a criminal Story.”

Dress to Impress staff conduct job interviews and take a professional portrait photo of each job seeker to post on their LinkedIn profile and online job search sites. Free computer lessons are also available.

The support of the participants is the key. The Bridge to Success component provides Small group support for fathers. Some participants may also need references to other drug treatment programs. Each June, the Platinum Dads celebration and fundraiser honors “men who demonstrate exemplary fatherhood through their commitment to their families and communities.”

on Saturday, June 19, 2021 at 10:00 a.m., The organization is holding its 16thth Yearly platinum dads award ceremony, where men are honored, in the presence of family and friends, like platinum dadsand a man will inheritance of paternity prizewinner.

“Even during the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic, if Personal volunteering paused, NJ Father Center could to turn by moving its training online. Some volunteers worked remotely with HR, marketing and other administrative support,” said Ms. Andrade-Mims.

Karen Andrade-Mims, an innovative, proactive leader, considers the possibility virtual expansion to other counties throughout New Jersey (TFP currently serves Mercer and Burlington counties) or OSHA national certification for Jobs outside of New Jersey.

“It’s important to me to serve others no matter what they’re going through,” she says.

Why should she choose the Human Services profession and service? share with other Trentonians and inspire others to serve as well? I thought and looked via my notes next to my cell phone.

“It’s gratifying,” she said with a smile in her voice.

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