Mentoring: A Gameplan for Poverty

In January, after being in Allendale for a year, I wrote down some goals and a vision of what I wanted to see happen in Allendale over the next few years. One of the biggest things that God put on my heart was the concept of mentoring. I could not get it off my mind. With so many kids coming from fatherless homes, I knew that positive role models were needed.

A friend bought me a copy of Fatherless Generation, and I began to read it. I began to connect some dots, and wrote about Angry Boys and Girls without Fairy Tales. I started talking to people in Allendale — parents, teachers, administrators, and community members — about what it would look like to have mentors in the schools.

Some people agreed wholeheartedly, that mentoring is a good idea, and were eager to move forward. Others expressed doubt that that was the best solution. And others said things to this effect: “We used to have a program like that, but then it went away.”

That’s what I hear a lot — we used to have that. There is a culture and a feeling of hopelessness, and a backwards-looking pining for better days. But we need a sense of urgency to meet the needs of our community.

We Are Learning and Being Blessed

I’ve only been involved with poverty and education for about 18 months. And even if I lived here for 18 years, I still wouldn’t understand it all. I’m learning every day.

But I’m thankful for Matt and Jenny Reeves, who went “all-in” 6 years ago, when they launched the Frazee Center. They have been huge supporters for our ministry in Allendale, including:

  • Giving us words of encouragement starting the day after I accepted a job with the Boys & Girls Club in Allendale, and continuing every time I see them.
  • Letting me pick the brain of their in-house trained Kory Kraft.
  • Visiting me one afternoon in Allendale when I was only two months into my job.
  • Giving us resources, training, and tips during a meeting before we had our first summer-long camp.
  • Sending two high school students to live and serve in Allendale during the summer.

Mentoring: A Game Plan for Poverty

I cannot express the need for mentors any better than Matt and Jenny do in these videos. Take a few minutes to watch them.

You Can Be a Part of the Team

Whether you are in Greenville, Allendale, or anywhere, you do have time to be a mentor for a child who is at-risk. You can make a difference in the life of a child, by just passing on what you know. “Passing on [what you know] to your own children makes you a good person. Passing on [what you know] to children who are not your own makes you great.”

We can’t help every child, but (in the words of The Mentoring Project) we can shorten the list of children who need mentors.

Need more convincing? Read Why Your Church Should Raise Up Mentors.

Will you be a part of the solution that a culture of poverty needs? Will you be a great person?

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6 responses to “Mentoring: A Gameplan for Poverty”

  1. www.kidtrekasp.wordpress.com says :

    Love your vision to mentor the kids – however, be sure you are critically thinking through what the kids really need. I’ve served kids of poverty for many many years. If you aren’t intentional and individualistic you are apt to waste a lot of time and money. Here are some posts on a few of the things I learned.

    http://kidtrekasp.wordpress.com/2011/03/13/after-school-programs-what-do-at-risk-kids-need/

    http://kidtrekasp.wordpress.com/2011/03/20/after-school-programs-church-based-at-risk-kids-need-secondary-nurturers/

    http://kidtrekasp.wordpress.com/2011/03/28/after-school-programs-church-based-what-at-risk-kids-receive-from-secondary-nurturers/

  2. www.kidtrekasp.wordpress.com says :

    Please forgive me for responding before listening to your videos – they brought warmth to my heart. I believe you are getting it – or you got it :).

    Sadly over the years there are few who see what the real needs of the kids are. I believe you do.

    May the Lord guide you, may He bring the adults who are needed to walk through life with the kids in your community.

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