Boys and Girls Club starts mentoring program by donating

Published 8:04 pm Friday, December 23, 2011

The Boys and Girls Club in Poarch is on the rise as the year comes to a close, and as the new organization looks toward 2012, they are also looking forward to a newly implemented project – a mentoring program for local children.

Poarch Creek Indian Boys and Girls Club Mentor Coordinator Cassie O’Brien said the new program pairs adult volunteers with children for an hour a week, and gives local youth who may not have strong adult role models a chance to bond with and learn from someone older.

O’Brien said right now the program has around 30 adult volunteers, but is always on the look out for new adults willing to spend a little of their free time with a local child.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

One of the first projects to stem from the newly formed mentoring program has already done some good in Atmore.

A community service project spearheaded by mentor Arelene Mack and mente 9-year-old Phenix Crews has raised over $400 in donations, with 100 percent of the money going to the Atmore Nursing Center hair and nail care program.

“Having nice hair makes elderly or sick people feel better about themselves,” Mack said. “Most nursing home residents do not have extra money for hair care or shaving.”

Mack said the program is a great way to give back to the community while teaching the mentes the importance of sharing good fortune.

“Whatever the activity, it is important to teach our youth to bless others because they have been blessed themselves,” Mack said. “Caring about others and giving of ourselves is more important than giving money or things.”

The donation raised by Mack and Crews was the result of the pair selling Pothos plants placed in water to root. Once rooted, bottles were decorated and bows applied.  The result of Mack and Crews’ efforts will be on display as the hair care products purchased are put into use Tuesday at ANC.

Mack said she felt doing something for others during the holiday season was very important and something she and Crews had been planning for some time.

“Phenix Crews and I have enjoyed working together on our project since October and we have had several detailed discussions about helping others,” Mack said.  “We plan to start our Easter Community Service the last part of January 2012.  We do not yet have that project defined, but it will be something simple and fun.”

The money raised by Mack and Crews’ first project will be matched by a local veteran who has volunteered to donate to ANC. Mack said important projects like donating to ANC are just one of the many good things that come from the Boys and Girls Club.

“Our children are our greatest natural resource,” she said.  “Time and effort is never wasted when invested in children regardless of whose children they are.  The trust and respect of a child must be earned. You earn their trust and respect by consistently doing what you say you will do.”