January is National Mentoring Month. Helping Services for Youth and Families is celebrating the month in a variety of ways. A potluck dinner will be held at 6:00 p.m. Friday at the Decorah UCC Church's Congregational Center at 209 W. Broadway in Decorah. Helping Services will provide the main course and table service. Mentors are asked to bring a dish to pass. On Monday at 11:00 a.m., Winneshiek County Supervisors will sign a resolution proclaiming January as Mentoring Month.
The communities served by Helping Services have a list of 23 kids who are waiting for a mentor. Research shows that mentors play a powerful role in providing young people with the tools to make responsible choices, attend and engage in school, and reduce or avoid risky behavior like drug use.
Kevin Sand has been a mentor for over 10 years through Helping Services. He says, "This is a really positive experience. It's not a lot of time. It makes me do things I might not otherwise do. You get to have fun and see things from a kids' perspective."
To learn more about the role mentoring plays in the community and to find volunteer opportunities, visit www.helpingservices.org/mentoring. Request an application, or contact Kathy Schwartzhoff at (563) 387-1720.