My son was seven the year his dad moved out and his grandpa died. Sweet innocent Nicholas was left without a male role model. I don’t know where I got the idea, but I found out about the Kinship program in Rhinelander and signed him up.
Then, as now, there are always more kids waiting for mentors than there are caring individuals willing to spend a few hours a week with a boy or girl who just needs a friend. After several months, there were no men willing to drive from Rhinelander to Tomahawk to mentor my boy.
Luckily that fall, Nick came home with information on joining the Cub Scout pack. He seemed pretty enthused, so I signed him up and off he went in his blue Scout shirt. What a difference it made in his life. He had friends, he had goals, he had activities to keep him busy. And most important he had positive male role models in his life.
Who would have thought that 17 years later, I would sign up to be a mentor through the Kinship program here in town. My kinskid, my mentee – what a doll. I care about her as if she were one of my own. I’ve heard it said that the mentors get as much out of the program as the kids do. I believe that is true.
The point is kids need positive adult figures in their lives. Even the best of parents just cannot do it by themselves. There needs to be grandparents, aunts, uncles, somebody else they can turn to, they can count on.
I look at the youth of today and it just makes me want to cry. So many lost kids, so many kids who could do so much if only they had the support, someone believing in them.
Jesus knew the importance of our children and the importance of putting them first in our lives. His followers wanted to run the children off, they thought the urchins were bothering their teacher. But Jesus said, no, that children were as important as anyone and that no one was to prevent them from joining him.
Have you been that kind of a champion in the life of a child? Can you be? If you need a place to start check out http://www.kinshipinc.org/ or http://kinshiptomahawk.org/