Mentoring programs matter in local communities

Opinion

To the Editor:

As I sit here and reflect, the day after Bowl for Kids Sake, I think how blessed we are to live in such an incredible community that supports all causes. Not just Big Brothers Big Sisters, but so many in Pictou County. From the corporate community, to small business, government, families, non-profits, individual citizens, all supporting one another. For that we are truly grateful, but this letter is written most out of our dire need to ensure we continue to provide mentoring programs that are so needed for so many in our community.

After the tragic accident in the Humboldt region of Saskatchewan that virtually wiped out a large part of their youth population it was important for us to honour them in some way. At our Bowl for Kids Sake event we hold a sparkler ceremony to draw attention to the children on our wait list. Yesterday we did it in honour of those young men who lost their lives, as that community is no different than ours. We need to do what we can to help our young people along the way. We may think, “that is not my problem, my children are doing well”, however it really is our problem.

In my 31 years with Big Brothers Big Sisters, I have seen many children come through our doors. What I have learned is we can help them now as children and youth by mentoring, and providing youth programs, or support them later as adults on social assistance, in lower wage jobs, unhealthy in hospitals or incarcerated. We have studies that support that mentors keep children in school, helps them to make healthier choices, are higher wage earners as adults and give back to their communities. This in turn will build strong communities, healthy communities and a connectiveness that will make Pictou County a stronger place.

For everyone who supported Bowl for Kids Sake this year we thank you and to all the many volunteers, donors and sponsors you are building a better community. Let us keep the young men who lost their lives in our minds and let them ignite the spark in you as to how you can make your community a better place for young people.

#HumboldtStrong

#MentoringMatters

Margie Grant-Walsh

Executive Director

Big Brothers Big Sisters

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