Mentor, Nathan Troy and his mentee, Trevor Bradley enjoy many fun times together. (Submitted photo)
Mentor, Nathan Troy and his mentee, Trevor Bradley enjoy many fun times together. (Submitted photo)

A friend can bring you through tough times in your life. They can also be there to celebrate the joy from progress you make toward a goal.

Helping Services is creating and supporting these type of friendships between adults and youth in the area every day through their mentoring programs. Together they can go sledding, bake cookies, go to a movie or create a meal together.

"It's not complicated. The adult is a friend, not a counselor, not their parents, but another positive adult in their life, said Kathy Schwartzhoff, mentoring coordinator for Helping Services.



Mentoring month

January is National Mentoring Month--a time to celebrate these great friendships whether they're through formal mentoring programs, informal friendships with a youth on your block or a friend to a coworker's son or daughter.

For 13 years, communities throughout the nation have taken time in January to thank those who are mentors and to ask others to step up. Many people can reminisce about someone or several people who helped them as a youngster.

"Take the time this January to thank those people who influenced you when you were younger. Maybe they taught you how to fly a kite, to work on cars or how to hunt. Thank them for their time," said Schwartzhoff.



Get involved

Helping Services has children on its waiting list who have been waiting over a year for a mentor.

"Step up and be one of the adults who can make a friendship grow with a youth. The time commitment is minimal compared to the impact you have on the life of a youth," said Schwartzhoff.

For more information on how you can become involved in mentoring programs at Helping Services, call Kathy or Marilyn at 563-387-1720 or visit our website at www.helpingservices.org.