|Good morning everyone,|
Our theme for this month: “The influence of a mentor”
Our Bible verse for today: “And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.” Mark 10:16 (NIV)
Our thought for today: “Children are our future”
Children are our society’s most valuable resource because they represent the future. But children today are struggling like never before. Psychological problems among children are at an all-time high. Some studies show that as many as 1 in 5 below the age of 18 are being treated for some mental health issue. Likewise, slightly more than 20% of those under 20 years of age are classified as being obese, and many of those will develop type 2 diabetes. 16% of all children live in poverty, and approximately 25% live in single parent homes.
Those are just a few of the vital statistics pertaining to children. It says nothing of literacy rates, failing schools, gender confusion, social engineering, drugs, violent video games, and a host of other societal issues impacting our children today. So, even the average child faces a host of pressures and challenges on a daily basis. But then there’s a segment of the childhood population classified as “at-risk”. These children face special challenges beyond just the things already mentioned, and usually their situation includes the lack of positive adult interactions in their homelife. As has already been noted in this series, positive adult interactions are vital for the healthy mental, emotional, and spiritual development of a child.
Here in Cumberland County, Tennessee we’re blessed to have a wonderful organization that helps to address that problem. It’s known as “Kids on The Rise” (KOTR). In partnership with local schools, KOTR identifies at-risk children who would benefit from a having a mentoring relationship with an adult volunteer. Then, with the permission of the parent or guardian, the child meets with the mentor for one hour a week. Here’s how their website describes their mission:
“At Kids On The Rise, we believe that children are most likely to reach their full potential when surrounded and supported by positive, caring adults. A mentor listens, encourages, establishes positive boundaries and acts as a strong role model to help students develop a sense of hope and vision for their futures. (Our mission is) to provide experiences for youth that will enable them to further develop their intellectual, social, verbal, and creative capacities and to facilitate their entry into a responsible, productive adulthood.”
You can find out more about KOTR on their website at www.kidsontherise.org. Whether you are interested in potentially serving as a mentor for a child, or if you would simply like to make a donation, it’s a worthy cause that does great work on behalf of some of the most vulnerable children in our society.
Tomorrow, I will tell you about another organization which is also doing great work to help struggling children and which depends on the help of volunteer workers and mentors.
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