In Campbell River, there are 143 kids (aged 6-18) eagerly waiting to have mentors to spend a few hours a week together just having fun through Campbell River KidStart. This is a stock photo to protect the confidentiality of program participants. Photo submitted

Campbell River kids face 2-6 year waitlist for mentors

KidStartMentoring Program is looking for volunteers to spend time with kids

Jaime* is a nine-year-old ball of enthusiasm and joy.

He has been on the wait-list to get a big buddy since his Kindergarten teacher referred him to KidStart when he was 5. He and his two brothers are being raised by his single parent mom and haven’t had any contact with his dad in the past three years. Jaime is very excited about getting a mentor in the KidStart program and hopes to get a buddy who will build driftwood forts with him on the beach, go fishing (he’s never been, but would love to try it), and play soccer or other sports together.

Jaime is one of 143 kids (aged 6-18) in Campbell River that are eagerly waiting to have mentors to spend a few hours a week together (or approximately 12 hours a month, for volunteers with different work schedules), just having fun. Mentors can be individuals, couples or families and any age 19 to 109! Mentees in our community are waiting an average of 2-6 years for big buddies to have fun with them. This is just too long to wait!

KidStart volunteers say that they love KidStart more than they ever imagined and that they get way more out of volunteering than their buddies do. In terms of flexibility and diversity of schedule, as well as pure awesomeness and joy, KidStart can’t be beat as a volunteer opportunity. For three hours a week, anywhere that fun things are happening (walking the dog, running errands, cooking dinner, etc), KidStart is one of the most heartwarming and rewarding opportunities a volunteer can have.

To find out about becoming a volunteer or to sponsor a child to participate in the program for as little as 83 cents per day (KidStart depends on fundraising to help kids in our community that need big buddies), contact the John Howard KidStart Mentoring Program Coordinator Tara Jordan at 250-203-3111 or tara.jordan@jhsni.bc.ca

*Names and photos are changed to protect confidentiality.