We are excited to have trained in six new mentors. We’re working on finding them mentees and plan to offer another training before the summer.
Last week, Pastor Roy of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church invited me to speak at their Lenten service and tell the congregation about Bridges. We’ve had a long history with Our Savior’s since the program’s beginning and are thankful for our many mentors who are apart of this congregation.
Speaking about Bridges made me think about all of the ways you can support us even if becoming a mentor is not the right fit for you at the moment. Here are six ways:
- Become a mentor
Our primary need is for more mentors in Mitchell County. We have about 25 children on our waiting lists and we haven’t even recruited for new mentees recently. There’s just that big of a need. We especially need male mentors. Many of the children on our waiting lists are boys and some have been waiting for mentors for years.
We ask our mentors to commit to meeting with their mentee for a minimum of four hours a month for one year. Some of our mentors meet with their mentee every week and others meet a couple times a month for two hours. Some of our mentors choose to spend money on activities and others don’t. You don’t have to plan special activities each time you meet like swimming or fishing, but you certainly can. Simply invite your mentee to join you on whatever activities you would normally do such as making dinner, going on errands, walking the dog, or gardening. This is an incredible article recently published in the Des Moines Register about the huge impact mentoring can have on a young person’s life.
We’ll also organize group activities that are planned and paid for. All you have to do is show up. In the past we’ve attended sports games, gone bowling, and attended movies.
- Donate money
Bridges always welcome donations of any amount. We are very thankful for our community’s support. Our budget is sustained by significant funding from The United Way of North Central Iowa plus grants, donations, and fundraisers. If you are interested in making a donation, you can send your gift to:
Bridges Mentoring Program
P.O. Box 131
Osage, Iowa 50461
All donations are tax deductible.
Bridges could use helping hands. Some areas we could assistance in is planning fundraisers and helping to distribute marketing materials. Let us know if you have additional ideas for ways you could donate your time and talents.
- Donate Local Gift Certificates
As a new effort, we’d like to offer more giveaways for our mentors and mentee families. Giveaways are a fun way to encourage them and show our appreciation. We can also utilize gift cards as prizes we offer to grow our social media following. Plus, we love supporting local businesses.
Last month, we offered a photo contest in which mentors and families received one drawing entry for a $25 gift certificate for each photo they submitted of them having fun together. Our winner chose a gift card to one of our favorite Osage restaurants, the Teluwat Grille House & Pub.
- Interact With Us On Social Media
We’re trying to grow our social media presence to expand our reach within the community. Social media networks help us to connect with our mentors and mentee families, and Mitchell County.
- Put in a Good Word
Word-of-mouth is the most powerful referral. Tell people about Bridges and recommend us to anyone in Mitchell County who would make a great mentor.
Thanks for checking out our blog! We hope to connect with you soon.