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Abbotsford postpartum mentorship organization hoping to raise $15K to help more moms

New moms in Abbotsford get powerful mentorship connections through Care for Women
The founders of Abbotsford non-profit organization Care For Women, left to right, are Amanda Adamson, Renae Regehr and Kenzi Dirks. (Submitted photo)

When Taynya Lynnk fled Ukraine for Canada with her daughter, she didn’t know she was pregnant.

They had left everything behind, including any solid support system. But she heard about Care for Women in Abbotsford, a fairly new and unique program that partners volunteer moms with new moms in a supportive way. She reached out to them and was matched up with another mom, and it made all the difference for the young family.

Lynnk is one of nearly 200 new moms who have reached out to Care for Women since it started in 2020. She recently checked in with the founders of the charitable organization to let them know she and her baby are doing well and to thank them for being there.

Care for Women is the first charitable organization of its kind in Canada and was developed by three mothers in Abbotsford: Amanda Adamson, Renae Regehr and Kenzi Dirks. They connect women who are about to give birth with women who are experienced moms and who have undergone training to be mentors. The partnerships last for about the first month of the baby’s life.

The founding trio are all clinical counsellors who know professionally and personally how critical it is for mom and baby to have a smooth beginning. It helps lay the groundwork for healthy families, and can help identify and even deal with issues like postpartum depression.

Regehr started thinking of creating an organization that would get families off to the best start possible in 2018, when she had her fourth child.

“I really felt called at the time to create something,” she said, having felt so supported by the help of her own mother. “I wondered, ‘How do people do this who don’t have a support system?’”

She reached out to the other two founders, who were immediately on board.

Last year, they helped 81 mothers, a number they have already surpassed this year.

For Mother’s Day this year, they are pushing for donations that will help them match volunteer moms with those who need it. The volunteers are trained and matched with mothers in their own neighbourhoods.

There are about 100 volunteer mentors already to date.

And there is no one type of mentor. Some have young children of their own; others are grandmothers. There are English-speaking volunteers, and also those who have Chinese, South Asian and Spanish backgrounds. They have been working on making matches with women who are near to each other, to make visits easy.

Some moms need a friendly ear; others may need some encouragement. Still others may just appreciate having someone else hold or feed the baby while they grab a nap, make dinner or take care of other, older children.

“Women were never meant to be raising kids in the context that currently exists,” Dirks said, of working and also being the primary caregiver. But it’s a necessity for most, and there is much less support in neighbourhoods, too.

“One hundred years ago we were more village-oriented,” Dirks said. “Your mom could be two doors down the road, and you knew your neighbours.”

There are as many different matches as there are mothers in the program, and the need for connection is stronger now than ever.

“We’re wired to be in relationships,” Regehr said. “To go through this transition of motherhood alone is not how it’s meant to be. Love is a verb, and the best way to show up for a mom is to get her the practical help she needs.”

They searched for similar styles of organizations across Canada, for an example from which to model themselves. They were unable to find anything, but kept pushing ahead.

Now, they are pushing for help from the wider community.

Making the connections between moms costs a little bit of time and money, and leading up to Mother’s Day they are campaigning to raise $15,000 to continue their work. To date, about half of their funding comes from grants and half from private donations.

The goal of $15,000 will help them partner 50 moms with mentors. As an example of where the funds are going, $10 helps buy a congratulations gift for a mom, $40 could help provide transportation, $60 could help buy a two-hour professional cleaning service, and $150 could provide four meals for moms.

Those who donate $100 will receive a gold-plated necklace from Fawn Jewelry.

There is more information about how to donate on their Instagram account, @CareforWomen_Fraservalley.

Compared to April 2022, they have already seen a 444 per cent increase in applications. They currently have 63 active mother files with 28 mothers who have completed the program since January 2023.

The women point to a quote from Bruce Perry, an American psychiatrist who has done extensive work on how abuse, neglect and trauma impact children across the lifespan.

“So, as simple as this seems, the first crucial step in creating a caring child, a future good citizen, is to care for his mother,” Perry has said. “Pregnant women need to be safe, nourished, and nurtured. They need to be surrounded by loving people who support them and ease their stress.”

To connect with Care for Women or to donate, visit them on their social media pages or email

READ MORE: Abbotsford’s Ashlyen Singh wins BCSS Women in Sports and Leadership Award


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Taynya Lynnk fled Ukraine and found out shortly after arriving in Canada that she was pregnant. She connected with the Care for Women program in Abbotsford and found the support she needed as a young mother. (Submitted)

Jessica Peters

About the Author: Jessica Peters

I began my career in 1999, covering communities across the Fraser Valley ever since.
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