Support Youth Mentoring in Vermont!November 29, 2021 Annual Appeal, MENTOR Vermont
With support from individual donors, MENTOR Vermont has been able to assist mentoring programs across Vermont to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and meet the needs of mentors, youth, and families in their local communities.
Given the long-term effects of disconnection and trauma brought on by the pandemic, this is a crucial moment for us all to collectively do everything we can to ensure young people in Vermont have the supportive mentoring relationships they need to process, recover, and grow. Your support provides a source of stability and helps mentoring programs provide a social outlet for both youth and adults amidst the uncertainty.
Maribeth Domanski and 14-year-old Gracie have been matched as mentor and mentee for seven years through Girls/Boyz First Mentoring. Through the simple act of making a little time for each other, sharing common interests, and doing fun activities around their community, Gracie and Maribeth have laid the foundation for a strong, mutual friendship to lean on during tough times.
“COVID has made me and Maribeth closer. Maribeth helped me open up with what was going on and my concerns,” says Gracie. “She is very accepting and always there for me. She is one of the two people in my life that I feel I can turn to for support.”
“Gracie has been there for me as well. During this time of COVID I lost my husband of 53 years. When I told Gracie I was planning his memorial she was there to help in any way I needed,” says Maribeth. “I also got crushed by a truck in my driveway earlier this year. It was tough. While I was unable to drive for six months, due to the accident, Gracie would have her dad drive her to my house just so we could go for short walks and catch up.”
In 2014, on the first day Maribeth and Gracie were matched, they came up with a list of 36 different activities that they wanted to do together. Seven years and more than 250 meetings later, they realized there was still one activity left on that original list: bowling! As of last month, I’m happy to say that the list is completely crossed out and they are working on the next version.
MENTOR Vermont works to ensure that youth mentoring programs across the state have the support, training, resources, and funding they need to foster life-changing relationships.
Kim Smith, the new program director of Girls/Boyz First Mentoring (the organization where Gracie and Maribeth first met each other), explains it from her perspective, “The pandemic has been a complex time to learn the ropes. In addition to providing critical funding, Mentor Vermont has been an invaluable resource to help me get oriented and connected to other programs. They helped me streamline our mentor application process, provided useful information to guide my decision-making, and offered ideas and resources for mentor pair activities.”
All of us, youth and adults alike, can benefit from having a mentoring relationship like Gracie and Maribeth’s. We cannot do this important work without your help.
Please make a generous donation this year to support MENTOR Vermont.
If you have any questions or wish to make a contribution of stocks, bonds, or mutual funds, please feel free to email me at [email protected] or go to mentorvt.org/donate for detailed giving information.
With gratitude for your support,
P.S. I encourage you to read our 2020-2021 Annual Report to learn more about how MENTOR Vermont provides support, training, resources, and funding to mentoring programs. For information on how you can become a mentor in your community visit mentorvt.org/become-a-mentor.