The importance of family and of giving back have been central themes throughout Arthur Epstein’s life, so funding JF&CS Visiting Moms on the North Shore fit squarely in line with his priorities. It also appealed to the North Shore native’s sense of responsibility for an area to which he feels strongly connected.

While the Lauren & Mark Rubin Visiting Moms®program has been successfully pairing thousands of new parents with trained, experienced moms in Greater Boston for 28 years, it has only been available on the North Shore for the last five years. We have also brought the program to Central MA. Visiting Moms brings volunteer moms to the homes of pregnant women and parents of newborns who want support and companionship for an hour a week through the trying first months of infancy or up to the baby’s first birthday, providing an opportunity to talk confidentially, ask questions, and share concerns or feelings. To date, 59 new moms have been visited on the North Shore; Epstein’s donation makes it possible to expand and increase visibility on the North Shore.

Epstein – the father of Lauren Rubin and her husband, Mark, for whom the overall program is named – well understands the importance of the Visiting Moms program and the value of expanding it on the North Shore.

“I really think this makes a difference,” said Epstein, who has roots in Malden and Marblehead but now lives in Brookline and Florida. He believes that whatever you do, you should make a difference, whether it is giving money or time.

“My father would rather give to someone else than to himself,” said Lauren, who knows first-hand about the results of the Visiting Moms program, having watched the program from the start (she convinced her mother-in-law, Arlene Rubin, to be one of the first volunteer moms) and becoming a volunteer mom herself 14 years ago.

“When I became involved, I could see the results,” said Lauren, of Newton. “I really enjoy witnessing the transformation of a new mother who at the beginning has a lot of anxiety and insecurity and doesn’t trust her own judgment, and who turns into a sure-footed, more confident mother.”

Diane Gardner, coordinator for Visiting Moms on the North Shore, hopes additional exposure on the North Shore will allow more people to gain from the program. “On the North Shore, we are not that well known because we are still a new program there,” said Gardner, adding that JF&CS also operates a new parents’ support group at the Jewish Community Center of the North Shore in Marblehead. “We would like to serve as many parents as possible because Visiting Moms offers such a unique form of support.”

For more information about the Visiting Moms program on the North Shore, call Debbie Whitehill at 781-693-5625. Volunteers from across the North Shore are welcomed.

Originally posted on the JF&CS blog.

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