photo submitted

Big Brothers Big Sisters Lacombe seeks program mentors

‘40 Mentors in 40 Days’ campaign will soon be underway

It’s nearing that time of year again when Big Brothers Big Sisters will be putting out the call for folks to sign up as mentors for the youth the organization serves.

There are several mentoring programs that residents can join where they can have a very profound impact on the life of a young person, explained Chelsea Hudkins, a case worker with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lacombe and District.

The ‘40 Mentors in 40 Days’ kicks off in early September.

Hudkins said to help spread the word about 40 Mentors in 40 Days, some awareness-building events are set to run over the next while as well.

“We have 40 days to find 40 mentors, and we have about 38 kids on our wait list right now. So we take this new wave of mentors that we will be getting and try to get these kids off of the wait list,” she said.

Hudkins said that in order to get the word out as effectively as possible, the organization plans lots of awareness-building events around town from lawn signs to lemonade stands.

“We have the great big, huge yellow signs that we put up on all the fences at the schools as well,” she said, adding they are also focused on recruiting teen mentors in the high school as well. “They can also get credits for volunteering, and we can give them a scholarship letter as well which is huge. The kids also just love the teenagers!

“With our in-school mentoring program, it’s strictly one hour a week in the school. With the traditional program, it’s a bit more flexible. We have some of our matches that have a set schedule, and will meet every Tuesday for example. Or they just wing it – get together on a Saturday for a special event.”

The program really can mean the world to the youngsters involved.

“It makes them feel special that they have someone just for them,” she said. “I love to see the impact on the kids’ lives and how excited they get to have someone in their lives like this. It’s also exciting to see when the ‘littles’ grow up and they want to become mentors, and they get to share the experiences that they’ve learned, too.”

In the meantime, it’s been a busy and successful summer for the organization, said Hudkins.

“We had our Kids and Cops summer camp which was really successful,” she said. “We partner with the Lacombe Police Service and the Blackfalds RCMP, and it’s a four-day camp that we run with 24 kids. We take 12 kids from Blackfalds and 12 from Lacombe, and they get to experience what it’s like to be a police officer for a week,” she explained.

“They get to do a tour of the police station and they all get to dress up like officers and take part in different scenarios around town,” she said, adding that there are also some 100 volunteers onboard throughout the community to help out with the camp. “There is so much behind-the-scenes stuff; we even have actors set up in the community like at Home Hardware, for example.” An actor may portray a shoplifter, and the youngster has to decide how they would deal with that particular scenario.

“We usually have such a huge wait list because the kids can only take it once, as they ‘graduate’ from it.

“The feedback is phenomenal, and again, the kids are pretty devastated they can only take it once,” she said. “They have so much fun, and we also really try to encourage the kids that have taken it to come back as camp leaders when they are a bit older,” she said. “So we have a lot of previous attendees help us, which is really cool.

“A lot of kids leave (the camp) wanting to be police officers, too.”

Looking ahead, the Landlord for the Month program is also going strong as well.

The Lacombe Rotary Club sponsored six ($6,000) months of the Landlord of the month program, and other community businesses and organizations have sponsored the rest of the year.

“We are taking bookings into 2019; 2018 is all taken care of, and it was taken care of right at the beginning of the year,” said Hudkins. “It’s been essential to our operations for sure.”

Check out www.bigbrothersbigsisters.ca or cal the local office at 403-782-7870.

Just Posted

Oil and Gas researcher Vivian Krause to speak in Lacombe

UCP fundraiser brings in researcher claiming to expose dirty American lobby money in Canada

MNP Canada Games Torch Relay coming to Lacombe

Torchbearers will carry the torch on a 4.64 km loop around Cranna Lake

Eagles soar over Lacombe Generals in 4-3 OT win

Generals will look for revenge on Wednesday at home against Innisfail

Blackfalds moves forward with seniors housing project

Public engagement meeting requests applications for plus-55 housing development

2-for-1: Total lunar eclipse comes with supermoon bonus

On Sunday night, the moon, Earth and sun lined up to create the eclipse, which was visible throughout North and South America

Jason Kenney disputes expense allegations while MP

Questions over his residential expense claims from his time as a cabinet minister in Ottawa

Anti-pipeline group wants NEB to consider impact of emissions, climate change

Stand.earth filed NEB motion asking to apply same standard to the project as it did with Energy East pipeline

Teen in confrontation with Native American: I didn’t provoke

Nick Sandmann of Covington Catholic High School said he was trying to defuse the situation

Kamala Harris opens U.S. presidential bid in challenge to Trump

The 54-year old portrayed herself as a fighter for justice, decency and equality in a video distributed by her campaign

Woman offers luxury Alberta home for just $25 and a flair for the written word

Alla Wagner ran into health problems, which forced her to list the 5,000-square-foot estate at market value

46% of Canadians $200 or less away from financial insolvency: poll

45% cent of those surveyed say they will need to go further into debt to pay their living and family expenses

World economy forecast to slow in 2019 amid trade tensions

For Canada, the IMF’s estimate for growth in 2019 was 1.9 per cent, down from expected global growth of 3.5 per cent

Most Read