'If you light a lamp for someone else, it will also brighten your path.' Since visiting the ladies at Interim House I've had a renewed interest in learning things I can give to others, including myself." -Judy

The Mama Bears group began in 2012 when Lori Quintavalle, a member of a local support group for parents of children suffering from the disease of addiction asked the program director if they could share their love and support to residents by bringing each woman a gift bag for the holiday season. Lori stated that many of the mothers in her group did not know the whereabouts of their kids due to their active addiction. What was supposed to be a one-time even turned into bi-weekly visits to Interim House to share food, stories, and to give support to one another.

Check out Philadelphia Inquirer and Chestnut Hill Locals articles on Mama Bears 

Interim House provides a wonderful safe place for women to recover and find their inner strengths. So many of these women have never had a good connection with other women and haven't learned that we have a special power to share and give to each other. When I go to Interim House I see these women celebrating their strength often for the first time. As a feminist from way back, I forget how so many women never got the connection earlier in their lives. The moms group obviously had discovered the strength of women in helping them to cope with their addict children and sometimes, the addictions they themselves have. It is wonderful to see them sharing this knowledge, experience and strength with the women of Interim House. It is a win-win situation for us all.

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A year ago a group of Moms from our parent support group were feeling very sad anticipating the holidays without their children. Our children were either on the streets in active addiction, in rehabs, or not in contact with us. I noticed many moms sinking into depression and isolating themselves and thought what if we pay it forward. 

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