“Mom Away From Mom” for Kids Away From Home

Like any good mom, when one of her kids calls, Tammy Kumin comes running — no matter the time of day or night.

The biological parent of three and grandmother of six from Boston does it all, even in her seventies — emergency grocery shopping, cooking, and laundry. She’s even jumped on a plane in the wee hours to bail one of her youngsters out of a Miami jail, and has rushed to bedsides in New York emergency rooms.

However, Kumin isn’t the actual mother of the kids who she caters to in 911 binds.

She’s simply their rent-a-mom.

The momtrepreneur launched the converge service in 1993, wanting to offer a helping hand to both US and international students throughout the Northeast. The service comes with a price tag of $10,000 per academic year.

New York Post Article About Boston CSS
Kumin founded the Concierge Service for Students in the early 90s in effort to support students attending schools outside of their home states or countries.

FAMILY: Concierge Service for Students founder Tammy Kumin (center) and fellow rent-a-moms Alicia Stedman (L-r) Kate Morreale, Sarah Janes and Mandy Zabel help homesick students with everything from laundry bill money to meals.

“I’m a mom away from mom — a total support system for students. We get kids in pre-boarding schools, boarding schools or college and we take care of their practical needs, medical needs, mental health needs and beyond.”

Kumin, the founder of Concierge Service for Students (CSS)

Kumin offers students food services, academic assistance, beauty and personal services, as well as medical and legal support.

MADE WITH LOVE: Tammy Kumin’s home cooking (above) is a big comfort to students like Salman Al Kabbani (below), who came to the US from Saudi Arabia as a 16-year-old. The pair remain so close, Kabbani called her before his actual mom when he needed surgery.

For their money, parents can depend on their away-from-home offspring receiving regular food deliveries, academic assistance, beauty and spa appointment bookings, aid in making dinner reservations and signing up for gym memberships, apartment hunting, furniture building, party planning, doctor referrals, summer storage, as well as banking and bill payment support – just to name a few.

From the CCS offices in Massachusetts, Kumin and her team of four “moms,” who all evenly share the responsibilities of their clients, are on-call to their students 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at the ready to act as substitute parent when the kid’s actual mother and father are states, or in some cases oceans, away.

And for homesick scholars studying outside of the Boston-area — a student at NYC’s Parsons School of Design and at least one NYU undergrad are current CSS customers — the hired moms dispatch their vetted staff of local “errand runners” to fulfill basic requests like grocery- and laundry services.

But for the big stuff, like health issues or legal tangles, Kumin’s feet are on the concrete.

“There are all kinds of things that come up for kids who are studying away from home,” said Kumin. “We’re there for them and they know it. They’re totally comfortable to let us know what they need — all five of us — we all know exactly what’s going on with each kid, how they live, their families, everything.”

However, her job isn’t to replace a young adult’s mom. Instead, she says she’s merely an extension of their mother’s love.

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Salman has kept in touch with Tammy and the moms over the past 20 years.

Kumin is accessible to her clients from the first day of pre-boarding school through college graduation and beyond.

Kumin is accessible to her clients from the first day of pre-boarding school through college graduation and beyond.

And since the dawn of CSS, which has taken on clients strictly via word-of-mouth, rather than formal marketing for the past three decades, the not-their-real-moms have accommodated the big and small needs of 30 kids per year — and have maintained contact with most of them well after they’ve transitioned into adulthood.

Salman, 36, who now lives in midtown Manhattan and asked that his last name be withheld for privacy reasons, told The Post that Kumin and the moms offered him an emotional safe space when first relocated to America from Saudi Arabia in 2003 at the tender age of 16.

“I came to US to attend Tilton boarding school in New Hampshire, and Tammy and the moms did a really great job at making me feel like family,” said Salman, who patronized CSS for 10 years as he matriculated through high school, college and post-grad work.

He footed the hefty bill for the service himself, using scholarship monies.

“Myself and a few other students would go to [the mom’s] houses and have home-cooked meals sometimes,” he recalled. “And if I needed transportation, got into any trouble or just someone to talk to, they were always there.”

In fact, Salman said Kumin was one of his first calls after he suffered a medical emergency in 2010.

“I had to have a very serious surgery,” he remembered. “And I talked to Tammy about it prior to talking to my mom because I felt like I was free to confide in her.”

Alexander Hochberg, 18, and his mother Jacqui, from the Upper East Side, agreed that the moral support offered by the group of for-lease moms made learning away from home a breeze.

“If I was homesick or needed a haircut or a point of comfort, and my parents were four hours away in New York, Tammy was there in 15 minutes,” said the high school senior. “On Jewish holidays, if I couldn’t make it home, she’d invite me over to be with her family.”

He and his older brother, Harrison, now 20, first became CSS clients as pre-teens when they left the Big Apple for pre-boarding school in New England in 2017.

And while the family no longer uses the service due to the boys’ abilities to care for themselves, Kumin still shows up for them — as any doting member of the family would.

“Even after my kids [were out of the program], Tammy would drive up to their boarding school and visit or attend their basketball games,” Jacqui, a sports marketing executive, told The Post. “She really cares and that’s such a comfort.”

And to naysayers who worry an all-in-one, on-duty mommy might hinder a tween or teen’s ability to mature into a self-sufficient, contributing member of society, Kumin tells The Post that haters need not fear.

“We’re not here to limit our students or spy on them for their parents,” she said. “We’re here as lifelong friends who give kids and families peace of mind.”