A Mother’s Day Tribute to Fort Bend Moms

COMMUNITY CULTURE | By Zeenat Kassam Mitha –

Mother’s Day is an extraordinary day for so many reasons. The love that mothers have the capacity to provide their children is infinite and priceless. Mothers have the ability to nurture their children, build security and teach compassion. Mothers can also guide their loved ones to develop a passion for something beyond themselves. Mother’s Day is a tribute to all mothers who work hard for their children and give their time selflessly to their community. Thank you to all mothers who give back, especially when the work is done silently and consistently, often without glitz and glamour.

This month, we feature seven Fort Bend County mothers who speak of their love for charities while balancing motherhood and in some cases professional lives. These mothers have volunteered their time, shared their knowledge, offered their support and given in the most meaningful ways. There are countless others like them, and our community is blessed by so many of them, as their work makes a difference!


“Motherhood has been one of the most cherished journeys of my life. It is a combination of emotions, challenges, experiences, hopes and aspirations. The two biggest lessons I have strived to teach my children, Mahima, 25, and Gaurav, 22, are the roles of education as a passport to shaping one’s future and the importance of giving back. I am currently the vice president for the Houston chapter of  Pratham USA, the largest non-governmental organization in India focused on education. Pratham educates a child for only $25 a year and has impacted over 45 million children. I am deeply honored to be a part of it!”

~ Asha Pai Dhume

Photo by Laurie Perez.

“My two boys, Parker, 32, and Chris, 30, are my greatest gifts. I raised them first and foremost to be kind to people and treat everyone the same and innately pass that down. They are adults now, and I love the place we are in. Before my father passed, he created the Wayne Duddlesten Foundation. Its mission is helping smaller non-profits that might be overlooked and assisting people with serious needs and limited resources. Since education is a key to society’s ills, we also fund education programs that work.  It fills my heart to assist in running the Duddlesten Foundation.”

~ Jerri Duddlesten Moore


“I love watching my daughters, MaryAnna, 10, and Ava, 8, grow and getting little glimpses of the women they will become. I am raising strong women. It is important to me that they appreciate the value of service, being kind and respecting themselves and others. Childless and widowed at 29, I wasn’t sure my dreams of motherhood would ever come true. Now at 46 years young, I can say that my family was divinely created in part through the miracle of adoption. God gives second chances. Today, my husband James and I are committed to the Amschwand Sarcoma Cancer Foundation (ASCF), an organization I co-founded with my late husband Tom. ASCF serves as a sanctuary for cancer families providing love, hope and tangible support to patients and their loved ones.”

~ Melissa Phipps Bellinger


“As a Cambodian American, I fled the killing fields in 1975. I am the mother of Sami, 27, Tarek, 25, Aisha, 22, and Malek, 17. What I value most about motherhood is the opportunity God has given me to love, nurture and shape my children with values. I am proud that three of four of my children have returned to Cambodia to care for the poor through the project I founded, Malaki World Missions. Our goals in Cambodia are to rescue orphans who are at risk of slavery, assist children of extreme poverty and provide hope through education.”

~ Leng Kuon Abbassi


“My boys, Tyler, 17, Ethan, 14, and Ashton, 11, are my greatest treasures. I encourage them to discover and use their passion to serve others. Tyler is an avid reader and leads two after-school reading programs.  Ethan loves home building and plans to work with Habitat Humanity. Ashton, president of National Elementary Honor Society at The Honor Roll School, conducts his own annual socks drive for the homeless. I am the founder of Mandy Kao Foundation, and in 2014, my sons started the ‘Awesome Fund.’ Both of our charities assist people and organizations in need.”

~ Mandy Kao


“Motherhood is such a blessing. Being involved in the lives of my children, Colin, 18, Margaret, 17, and Catherine, 14, gives me the opportunity to impact other children. My volunteering began when my children began school. Since 2003, I have served as Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) president at elementary and middle schools, vice president, coordinator for Youth Expanding Services, in high school at Clements, coordinated the Shared Dreams project, Junior Achievement and several other projects. I assist Fort Bend ISD with the Fort Bend Education Gala and Golf Tournament. In 2014, I received a Hero for Children statewide award for volunteers in education.”

~ Carol Malton Scott

“I love children. I was blessed with two boys, Karim, 45, and Nick, 39. I was tasked with making sure they grew into responsible, respectful, reliable, kind and hardworking members of society. Our mealtimes were spent together as a family; they were our most precious responsibility and obligation. As a retired mental health nurse, I am deeply touched when a child can be assisted. Currently, I volunteer with the Aga Khan Youth and Sports Board, Child Advocates of Fort Bend and Hope For Three. Each organization represents assisting children and youth into developing their best self.”

~ Marie Vellani