START SOMETHING BY KAREN CHAPMAN
Every day we hear stories reported on things happening in our town, province or country about people getting in trouble with the law, people with addiction problems who are struggling, we hear about poverty, bullying, education issues and mental health issues. It can sometimes be overwhelming to hear so much, and sometimes it feels that things are getting worse.
What if there was a way to start to turn that around? What if you could actually do something about these issues? Mentoring is a way to start. We have written about the children in our program and the need they have for mentors. Their parent or guardian has thought long and hard about it and have decided that they don't have to do everything alone. These parents are people who have enough trust to let mentors into their homes to take their child out and do something positive. How great is that. They decide that the more positive people in their child's life, the better.
Our Mentors cannot solve all problems of course, but what they can do is help build a child up and try to make them feel special. What more can you ask for?
By doing this, maybe they can help a child feel confident enough to stay away from drugs, stay in school and get an education, and have someone to talk to and guide them through bullying situations.
As I was writing this article, our national office posted some information on Twitter: ‚Äú10 Ways Why Mentoring Works.‚ÄĚ Mentors help kids stay in school, improve a young person‚Äôs self esteem, and help kids set career goals. Mentors can help teach young people how to communicate and can engage teens in safe activities. These are just to name a few.
Our volunteers don't have magic wands, but they have something powerful: a genuine concern and affection for a child that they want to help. Every child has the right to feel good. Our volunteers are the people some of the Little Brothers and Sisters turn to when things are not going well. They are the people who give them opportunities they might not have. The next time you are discouraged about something negative you read about things happening, take a minute and think there may be something you can do to help and that there are many other people out there making a difference right now.
Our annual Bowl for Kids is coming up on April 12. We are excited this year and hoping it is a great campaign. Our theme is "Be a Kid again," which fits perfectly for us, as that is sometimes how our volunteers feel when they are out having fun with the children they are matched with. If you don't feel that you have the time to volunteer as a mentor but you still want to help, a great way to do that is to get a team together for our Bowl for Kids, it‚Äôs easy, call the office and we will get a package ready for you. Once you get a team together you simply book and time to bowl and join us. We will be happy to see you there and hope to put on an event that gets you feeling like a kid again!
Big Brothers Big Sisters Pictou County is a regular contributor The News. Karen Chapman talks about the benefits of the Big Brothers Big Sisters program as well as keeping county resident up to date on their recent activities. The column runs every second week. www.bbbsofpc.com