Hollister’s Jenny Cullumber, who was named the 2023 California Mother of the Year by a statewide nonprofit organization, is planning to launch a service therapy campaign to help other moms improve and maintain their mental health, according to American Mothers Inc.
Cullumber was recognized as Mother of the Year in April at the 88th National Convention of Mothers in Omaha, Neb. AMI announced earlier this year that Cullumber was selected as this year’s top mother from California.
“I am honored and humbled to join the ranks of the incredible women who have gone before,” Cullumber said.
Cullumber—who has seven children—plans this year to launch “Look Out,” a campaign that aims to encourage other mothers to look outward to find joy, empowerment and satisfaction in serving others, says a press release from AMI.
The Hollister mother loves to learn and has served her community in various ways. Cullumber is Vice President of Communications for California Mothers Inc., and serves on the national board of American Mothers Inc. She also volunteers for her church, her children’s schools and in the community.
She is Young Women’s President for the Hollister congregation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and has served as a service missionary with the BYU Pathways Worldwide, a program that helps marginalized people of any faith earn a college degree, says the press release. She was a team leader for five years for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.
Cullumber has also served in the PTA and helped with her children’s music, sports, dance, gymnastics, theater, student leadership, youth groups and summer camp programs. She is also an advocate for girls’ mental health.
“I love to volunteer, especially in ways that will support women and children,” Cullumber said.
And even while volunteering and being a parent, Cullumber has earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Public Health and is currently working toward a Master’s Degree in Health Communications.
Cullumber and her husband, Roger, have seven children—five biological and two adopted. The couple have also welcomed foster kids, exchange students, young adult missionaries, college interns and others to live with them. “I love collecting children,” Cullumber said in the press release.
The couple’s children are naturally impressed with Cullumber’s recognition as California Mother of the Year.
Daughter Madelynn, 11, said, “I think it’s really cool that my mom is Mother of the Year because that means other people will get to know her and love her as much as we do.”
Annie, 14, added, “I’m really excited for my mom. It’s a good opportunity to share the importance of motherhood and recognize her for all that she’s done.”
The family moved to Hollister just over seven years ago, Cullumber told this newspaper. Her husband has family roots in San Benito County.
Since moving here, Cullumber and her family have become closely tied to the community in many ways.
“We have found a wonderful religious ‘family’ and close-knit neighborhood community and we have had kids in every age group of schools both privately (preschool), at home (during Covid), and in the public schools of the Hollister and San Benito districts,” Cullumber said.
One of their children will soon be the fourth sibling to graduate from Hollister High School, Cullumber added.
“We love the small town feel here, where everyone turns out for sporting events or to attend the high school musical as well as events like the Lights on Parade,” she said.
Cullumber advised young mothers raising their kids in San Benito County to “get involved” and take advantage of the many volunteer opportunities, youth programs and “the beautiful opportunities we have to be outside.” She added that local school teachers and administrators are “top notch,” making it easy for parents to be involved in their children’s education and growth.
“Make friends with other moms and check out the Hollister Hills Recreation Area, take a hike up to Fremont Peak, or enjoy the growing amount of city and country parks we have,” Cullumber said. “Hollister, California truly is a hidden gem and a wonderful place for families to live.”
AMI is a nonprofit organization that annually searches for and selects the National Mother of the Year from honorees from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The organization was founded in 1931 as the Mothers Day Committee of the Golden Rule Foundation, and named its first Mother of the Year in 1935.
“The recognition of an ‘admirable’ mother was made to provide an inspiration to the nation who would represent a mother’s unconditional love, inner strength and courage,” says AMI’s website, americanmothers.org.