LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - Consider volunteering as a mentor

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Did you know that January is National Mentoring Month?

The members of the Walla Walla Mentoring Coalition - Friends of Children of Walla Walla, Children's Home Society, and Whitman Mentor Program - would like you to celebrate with us!

Every day we provide a safe, consistent adult presence in the lives of hundreds of children in the Walla Walla Valley. National research is clear: a healthy relationship between an adult volunteer and a child is the strongest resilience factor we can build into our children's lives. Children in mentoring relationships are more likely to attend college and more likely to have positive relationships with their parents. They are also less likely to be involved with drugs, alcohol, or criminal activity.

Our community is fortunate to have a variety of mentoring programs and volunteer opportunities available: school-based programs, academic mentoring programs, and community-based programs. Our member organizations are committed to rigorous screening, intensive training and ongoing support so we can ensure a safe, productive and positive relationship between adult volunteer and child.

Although we serve hundreds of children each week, there are many more children waiting for an adult to support them and help guide them through the developmental challenges they will inevitably face.

Throughout the month of January, you will read stories about the magic of mentoring, you will hear our voices on radio and television and you will see our materials around our community.

Please consider supporting mentoring by volunteering or by donating resources to our efforts. Your time is the greatest gift you can give to a child in need.

This letter was written on behalf of Mariela Rosas of Children's Home Society, Lina Menard of Whitman College and myself.

Mark G. Brown,
Friends of Children of Walla Walla

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