Stories from Tandem Family Resource Center

Every year during Advent, the Our Lady of Peace community participates in a charitable giving drive entitled "Fill the Crib." During this time wmembers of our community bring in items suitable form mothers and their infants and toddlers. The donations are brought to Tandem Family Resource Center for distribution to those in need. During the Advent and Christmas season, we will share stories from mothers who have been impacted by Tandem. Click here to learn more about Tandem Family Resource Center.


Meet Mama G


My name is Gabriela.  I am proud to be able to write this letter, sharing my story as mama of Tandem.  My journey started a few years ago, when I was just 28 years old.  I was pregnant with my second child and during the first trimester of that pregnancy, the father of my child left.  I was devastated.  I felt alone, confused and depressed. I had a million things racing through my mind.  I didn’t know how I was going to take care of two little girls, all by myself.  

While I had a job, it was only part time and it certainly did not bring in enough to cover all of our expenses like rent, food, daycare and transportation.  And what made everything harder was that I didn’t drive at the time so everything I had to do was done by riding the bus.  

The bus that took me to work each day, drives right by Tandem’s front door.  I remember seeing their sign and wondering if they might be able to help.  I found the courage to get off the bus and walk through their front door.  

From the first moment I entered their building I never felt judged or shamed for my circumstance.  I was treated with dignity, respect and warmth.  That is when I met Cynthia.  An amazing member of their staff who also happened to be Latina.  Being welcomed with open arms in my own native language was powerful.  I felt like I could breathe again.  Like maybe there was hope.  

Cynthia sat with me, she listened to me, she understood my struggle in a way that made me feel like maybe I wasn’t really alone after all.   She immediately went to work figuring out all of the ways she could help me.  Together we navigated the social service system, finding resources that were able help me with rent and essential supplies.   She also made sure I had every single baby supply I would need for my baby by the time she was born.  

Cynthia also made sure to connect me with Tandem’s therapist, Emily.  My time with Emily was amazing.  She was a big part of my journey of healing.  She is the one who changed my entire perspective of life and what was possible.  Each week, I began to find my inner strength, to set goals for my life and then she made sure I reached those goals!  With each victory I had, she reminded me that I WAS strong enough, that I WAS worthy enough to have the life I dreamt of for myself and my daughters.  

It had always been my dream to own my own business.  My passion for baking began at a very young age.  My mother worked hard to support my brothers and I, so at home we had to learn to cook and prepare meals for ourselves.  Through this, I developed a special love for cooking.  I was even able to attend culinary school in Mexico.  It was there that I discovered it was not cooking I loved most, but pastries.  By the time I was 18, while still living in Mexico, I began to create and sell my custom cakes and pastries to my family and friends.   Unfortunately, when I came to the US, I had to put that dream aside and focus on providing for myself and eventually my two daughters.  

Until Tandem.   

There is something magical about the women of Tandem.  They really believe that with the right people supporting you, anything is possible.  When Kimberly and Bethany learned of my passion and dreams…they both dove into figuring out how to help me make that dream a reality.  Before I knew it, Bethany was helping me create a full brand, with a website and gave me structure for my business.  

Today, I am the PROUD owner of Bakehouse Cakes and Pastries.  I can wholeheartedly say my time at Tandem has contributed to much of my success in my life and as a mom and as a business owner.  They gave me the skills along with the love and support that I didn’t even know I needed or wanted. They cheered me on; they picked me up when I was at my lowest point.  They are like part of my family.