Well right now my husband is out with Mr. Steve Schutzman shoveling sidewalks to make some extra cash, so tonight has been slightly lonely but somehow I have been able to totally forget about my post until like 11pm, please forgive me blog readers, it will be posted before midnight though to keep to my resolution!
*I will go ahead and warn you, this is a long post, but I believe it'll be worth your time to read it*
So today I wanted to talk about a program that I am involved with in Lexington. The group is called Amachi. Many of you probably have never heard of Amachi because I had never heard of them until they came to CSF recruiting. Amachi is a part of the Lexington Leadership Foundation and is a non-profit grant funded organization kind of similar to Big Brother, Big Sisters with a little twist.
who knows but what God has brought us through this child
Amachi's main goal is to "assist children of incarcerated parents in achieving their highest potential by engaging them in consistent and committed mentoring relationships with people of faith and/or good will."
Basically, Amachi matches a Mentor (me) up with a Mentee (child) meeting the conditions above. One of the things that immediately drew me towards Amachi was that it is a Christian Organization. It's ok to talk about church, God, Jesus, etc. with our Mentees and I love that. I originally heard about Amachi at a presentation given at CSF's Synergy fall of 2009 I believe. I am a huge service oriented person and had been wanting to be in a Mentoring role for a while. I knew when I heard their announcement that it was something I was definitely interested in. So I applied, interviewed and went to the 2-3 hour (dinner provided, always a plus) training. I was sooo ready to meet my mentee. What I didn't realize was that there is a matching process, which matched me with a mentee who had similar interests as me, and that took time, I was finally matched in the Spring of 2010, although some people's matches are much faster.
Let me introduce you to my mentee, Adrielle:
|We have made 2 visits to the Lexington Humane Society, we love animals!|
|Playing with Bubbles at the Explorium Kids Museum in Lex|
|Adrielle excited about her Christmas present|
|Dressing up like a Jockey at the Explorium|
My mentee's name is Adrielle and she is 9 years old and absolutely hilarious! She tells the funniest stories and loves to be a mommy to our puppies. The dogs actual listen to her and let her dress them up in her coat and stuff, it is hilarious, they look miserable but they don't fight against it at all! :) Adrielle and I have done things like painted pottery, gone to the explorium, walked the dogs, played tennis a few times, gone to the park, eaten out, consumed a lot of ice cream, and the list goes on. It's a great experience for me to have such a positive, fun-loving person in my life weekly too, I feel like our relationship benefits the both of us equally! :)
Amachi asks that you give your mentee at least 1 hour a week, or see them 4 times a month. Which is easily done because we have so much fun together! Amachi also requires that you keep your Mentor/Mentee relationship for a full year, at least, in order to allow your mentee to have something stable, reliable, and constant in their lives and to allow them to open up and connect with you.
Last November I was asked to join the Advisory Council of Amachi. I accepted right away. Today we had a meeting and I learned some stats that I thought I could maybe share on my blog and maybe see if any of my friends are interested in having an Amachi relationship with an awesome kid!
One thing that I heard today is that there are about 40 boys/young men right now, still waiting to be matched. Amachi doesn't have problem matching the girls because they get plenty of eager women to be mentors. I just really hope and pray that maybe a guy friend of mine will read this and find a yearning in their heart to take on this mission and mentor a young gentleman. I can think of plenty of guy friends off of the top of my head that would be an excellent mentor, it doesn't take much to be a mentor, you should, ya know, just hear me out! ;) PLUS mentoring a boy seems pretty easy to me, basketball, baseball, video games; guys really, it's not like you're not doing this already, why not bring a totally cool kid along with you and have a blast while doing it?
Adrielle has a brother that is a year older than her and he had been waiting for months upon months to match, I would let him hangout with me and Adrielle a lot because he was jealous. Thankfully, he was matched about a month ago, but he had been in the Amachi system for a while. I can tell you Adrielle's brother was SO excited to be matched with a really cool guy. So far that I know, his mentee has taken him to a basketball game and Adrielle's brother LOVED it. Every male needs a positive male role model in their life. As do girls with a positive woman role model.
Another thing that was mentioned to me today was that they are in need of a Spanish speaking person to help them with interviews with potiential mentees and their parents. It has been harder to reach this community because they don't have anyone to help out with this. If you know anyone who may be interested let me know. We are definitely wanting to reach out to the Cardinal Hill area in Lexington, it's just hard when you don't know much Spanish!
If you don't have the time to commit to a relationship like this there are so many other ways that you could help this AWESOME organization. For example, Amachi just created door hangers that they will be distributing in their target neighborhoods around Lexington. They will definitely be needing help distributing those (they printed 1,000 hangers, that's a lot of doors!). Another way to help is to donate. You don't just have to donate money, you can also donate things like basketball tickets, movie tickets, giftcards, sports equipment, games, fun things, etc. Things that help a lucky mentee/mentor group have a fun activity to do that they probably wouldn't have been able to do without your help. Lastly, if you are connected with any media outlets or would like to advertise Amachi at your church, small group, etc please feel free to contact me or go to the Amachi website that I have linked at the bottom of my blog.
Just think about how you can positively affect a child in Lexington's life. I promise you, it's worth it!