A MOTHER’S HEART
By Ann Marie Scheidler
ILLUSTRATION BY TOM BACHTELL
By Ann Marie Scheidler
ILLUSTRATION BY TOM BACHTELL
“You see things differently when you become a mom, don’t you?” asks Lake Forest’s Amy Fields, the mother to 6-and-a-half-year-old daughter Sammy. “The idea of being a mom and not being able to give your child the basic things like formula, food, diapers, or clean clothing—it must be crushing. How is she supposed to go about her day wondering how she will provide those things for her child?”
Fields grew up on the North Shore doing philanthropy work for multiple organizations and has long had a soft spot for children’s charities—working with pediatric oncology patients and giving her time locally to Fill-A-Heart-4- Kids. So, when Fields’ husband Dan introduced her to Paula Turelli, the executive director of Mothers Trust Foundation, she immediately connected with their mission.
“I love how Mothers Trust Foundation makes sure that a mom can give her child what he or she needs to be successful,” Fields says. “Whether it’s a car seat that’s not expired, eye exams not covered by insurance, a jersey to play on a local team, or even a week at summer camp. The happiness this can bring to a child, a mom—it ripples through an entire family. I also applaud with how swiftly Mothers Trust acts on their requests. Some emergencies—like a family’s power being turned off—can be taken care of before a child even knows about it. That is priceless.”
At its core, Mothers Trust Foundation fills in the financial gaps for children from birth to age 21, in turn providing hope, building confidence, and making a positive difference in young people’s lives. “We are very good stewards of the money we receive,” says Turelli. “We take the trust people have in us very seriously.”
To this end, each Wednesday morning at 9:30, a group of Mothers Trust Foundation volunteers and staff gather on a Zoom call and in person in their office at Gorton Community Center to review grant requests and vote on whether or not a grant should be made. Grant requests are submitted to Mothers Trust Foundation by social workers and school counselors throughout Lake County on behalf of the children they’re representing.
“We would love for more people to join our meetings—it’s just one hour each week and Zoom has made it very easy for people to come in and out of those calls as they have time,” Turelli says. “We discuss each and every grant request we receive to make sure that what we’re doing is within our guidelines and sustainable going forward.”
When a grant is approved, the check is cut within 24-48 hours. Grant requests range from something as small as the fee to go on a school field trip to something as significant as money to cover rent and utilities. MTF also has special rules in their bylaws so that they can issue grants in emergency situations.
According to Mothers Trust Foundation’s reports, of the families served:
Since its inception, Mothers Trust Foundation has assisted more than 44,000 children with nearly $5 million in grants.
This year, at the Mothers Trust Foundation’s annual fundraiser—the Betty Bash on Saturday, October 14 at Fields MINI of Glencoe—they will mark its 25-year milestone of meeting the critical needs of low-income children and families in Lake County when no one else can.
“With it being Betty’s 25th Bash, this silver celebration will be extra sparkly,” says Christine Goshgarian, a devoted Mothers Trust volunteer for more than 20 years. “We have some fabulous vacation homes to bid on, a surprise raffle you won’t want to miss, a live auction that will include delicious dinner locations, and a paddle raise. It will be a night of amazing fun, laughter, and support for a mission to help those who truly need it. I would love to see more new faces join us and help us spread the word about Mothers Trust.”
Event co-chair and Mothers Trust Foundation Board Member Heidi Prom echoes Goshgarian’s sentiments. “I’m in awe that we can provide help for the basic needs we take for granted,” she says. “And we can do this with no red tape and get right to the source without any barrier. Our team is so dedicated to doing the right thing and filling the needs that make a difference in the lives of who we serve. We are most grateful to the Fields Family who feel called to be part of our mission to help the community.”
Fields Auto Group is the Silver Lining Title Sponsor for this year’s event. “We are thrilled that our family can be a part of this event this year,” Fields says. “Philanthropy is a huge priority for our family and every Fields Auto Group team member. I believe it’s our responsibility to help our fellow mothers. We have to continue to make resources like Mothers Trust Foundation available for moms who are working so hard to give their children a better life. We are honored to be partnering with a charity that has made such a significant impact for the past 25 years in our community and beyond.”
To learn more about Mothers Trust Foundation or to buy your ticket to The Betty Bash, visit motherstrustfoundation.org.