Updated: Oct 25
As our 20th anniversary celebration continues throughout 2023, we recently reached out to our very first mentor, Anne Mura. Anne shared how she came to be involved at Faith Community Homes, now known as FamilyForward, and provided some advice for current and future mentors in our two-year program for families.
FamilyForward is thankful for Anne Mura. As our very first mentor, back in 2003, she helped families and contributed to the development of the mentor program at Faith Community Homes/FamilyForward (FCH/FF). But our organization is not the only one she has impacted. Anne has made a difference across the Arlington Heights community. Her dedicated service to others has spanned decades, enabling her to touch countless lives in a positive way.
In addition to her contributions to FCH/FF, a brief summary of Anne’s work includes volunteering for the PADS program at three churches; serving Summer Suppers at St. Edna Catholic Church; and helping in a variety of ways at the Arlington Heights Senior Center, including teaching computer classes, providing Medicare counseling twice a week during the enrollment period, and assisting seniors with the Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP). In 2022, Anne was presented with a senior Heart of Gold award from the Village of Arlington Heights.
Serving as first mentor at Faith Community Homes
As a member of St. Edna Catholic Church in Arlington Heights, Anne first learned about FCH from her friend, Carrie Miller, SLW. It was Sister Carrie, one of the founders of FCH, who asked Anne to become a mentor. For the first step, Anne and others from FCH visited Bridge Communities (based in Glen Ellyn, Ill.) to learn about their mentor training and family guidelines, Anne reports. Soon thereafter, Anne was up and running as a mentor.
With a partner, Anne was connected with one of the first families accepted into the FCH family program. She recalls the family included a single mom with a young daughter, who lived in Arlington Heights. Anne says she found the overall experience rewarding and offers the following advice to someone who is considering serving as a mentor: “Be ready to be flexible. Understand that it takes time to see results. And finally, know what your strengths are.”
We are grateful to Anne for stepping up to become our very first mentor. The lessons learned by working with that first family helped shape the FCH program moving forward. FCH/FF was fortunate to have been one of the many local organizations to benefit from Anne’s service and dedication to helping others. Thank you, Anne!