Monique’s ona Marathon Mission
Napier woman Monique Jeffares is a on a mission — a marathon mission.
Training for the renowned 42.2km distance run while working full time and being a mum and wife is a mission in itself, but on top of that, Monique is committed to raising awareness and funds for Family Works, a service of Presbyterian Support East Coast.
Family Works provides programmes and counselling for children and their families who are affected by child abuse, family violence and neglect. The entire mission culminates at the Auckland Marathon this Sunday, October 28.
Monique is the communications manager for Presbyterian Support East Coast and often witnesses the arduous work of the Family Works social workers and counsellors.
“I admire and appreciate their dedication and genuine concern for their clients, as well as their frustrations with lack of funds. Being a charitable organisation there is always a shortfall we must raise each year to meet the demand,” Monique says.
Last year alone, Family Works received 1426 new clients. Family Works Hawke’s Bay manager, Pam McCann, says unfortunately the service is working with an increasing number of children traumatised by their home environments.
“This trend is likely to continue as more families deal with drug addictions and poor mental health,” Pam says.
Monique has two sons, Hugo (6) and Archie (4) and she says the thought of them being hurt, abused or grieving and not knowing how to process their feelings made her feel “really sad”.
The 36 year old admits she’s always had the desire to run a marathon but always put it off with excuses. Her attitude changed after losing her mum to lymphoma cancer earlier this year.
“Mum suffered terribly but she was so brave at the same time — she never gave up hope. She passed away in May and after that I decided to sign up for the full Auckland Marathon. It sounds very cliche´ , but life really is short and no one knows what’s around the corner. I’m doing this run while I’m fit and healthy. In a way I’m running through my grief and trying to do a good deed by raising money for these children who are also struggling at the same time.”
For the past four months Monique has been hitting the streets whenever she got the opportunity — during lunch breaks, at 5am before the rest of her family woke, later at night and in the weekends. She is grateful for the support of her family, friends, work colleagues and especially her husband, Tim.
“The training has been challenging, especially after a rough night with the kids or when I’ve had injuries. To be honest I felt like giving up a few times. But running for a cause like Family Works
‘ In a way I’m running through my grief and trying to do a good deed by raising money for these children who are also ’ struggling at the same time. MONIQUE JEFFARES
and knowing the funds are going to children who are struggling so much more than me, kept me going.
“Mum was also very head-strong and determined. I believe I have a little bit of her in me, and I’m hoping that’ll get me across that marathon finish line on Sunday.”
■ Monique has committed to raising $5000 to enable 10 children to receive counselling or social work and would be grateful for any donations via her Give A Little Page Mon’s Marathon Mission for Family Works
Monique Jeffares is running the Auckland Marathon to raise money to provide counselling for children.