January brings in the New Year and National Mentoring Month! During National Mentoring Month we celebrate mentoring and the positive effect it can have on young lives. We also use time during this month to bring attention to mentoring and how we can all work together to assure positive outcomes for OUR young people in OUR communities. The theme for this year is “Mentoring Works!” Mentoring can make a positive impact in a young person’s life in a variety of ways. Mentoring can help kids stay in school and have a better attitude about education. It can also help improve self esteem, communication and relationship skills, and confidence. Mentors can also help in setting career goals and taking steps towards future plans. Young people with mentors are less likely to be involved with risky behaviors as well.
There will be several main dates to remember during National Mentoring Month. The first date is January 9, which is “I am a Mentor Day.” There will be nationwide social media activity for mentors to participate in. The second date is January 16, which is “Thank Your Mentor Day.” This day invites anyone who has had a mentor in their life, formally or informally, to thank them for the positive impact they had. There are a variety of ways you can thank your mentor. Call them and thank them, take them out to breakfast or lunch, write a thank you card to your mentor, donate to LAMP-Kinship in your mentor’s honor, or become a mentor yourself to pay it forward. The third date to remember is on January 20, which is Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. On this day, people are encouraged to volunteer in some way in order to honor Dr. King and his philosophy and life.
During National Mentor Month, LAMP-Kinship is using the month to recruit more mentors for our waiting youth. Our goal is to find mentors for each of our ten waiting youth! If you are interested in reading about our waiting youth, you can find descriptions of each of them on www.lampkinship.wordpress.com under “Youth Waiting.” Please call or email with any questions. There are also mentor applications available on-line on our website at www.lampkinship.org or you can call to 320-699-1616 and I can deliver or mail an application to you. Remember, individuals, couples, and families can be mentors in Kinship!
We only ask for 4 hours of your time per month to be someone who matters to someone who matters. It is not too much time…even for busy people. You don’t have to be a child development expert to be a mentor either. Mentors just need to be caring adults, who can be consistent and dependable in the life of a young person. Help us reach our goal! The wonderful kids in our program deserve support from their community. Help us show our youth that the community wants to see them ALL succeed!