A mentor/mentee hangout can be as simple as getting ice cream and skipping rocks at the beach. Photo courtesy of the North Island John Howard Society

Could this child be your new best friend?

Mentor a child through the John Howard KidStart program

Brian (whose name has been changed to protect confidentiality) is very excited to be turning 10 in February.

He is one of nearly 130 kids who are waiting to be matched with their new best friend through the John Howard KidStart program.

The Mirror will be featuring a different child twice a month in support of the program and to recruit volunteers.

Brian loves board games, bike riding, baking, swimming and spending time with animals (but can’t have one at home).

He lives with his mom in Campbell River. Dad moved out of province and Brian hasn’t seen or heard from him in three years.

He is very excited about getting a KidStart Mentor and would love to go to the beach together and learn to fish.

Brian was referred by his teacher at school when she noticed he was very upset when his parents separated.

His mom is very supportive of having a volunteer for her son and wants him to have a grandpa or uncle type figure in his life to do guy stuff with.

If you or someone you know has three hours a week to spend time with Brian, please give Tara Jordan, John Howard KidStart Coordinator a call at 250-286-0611 ext. 113 or email tara@jhsni.bc.ca. More information can also be found at www.jhsni.bc.ca/index.php/kidstart

Mentors age 19-109 are invited to volunteer either as individuals or as couples.

Though the first few months are structured three hours a week visits, once the friendship grows there is more flexibility.

“It is like a lifeline for kids when they are going through roller coasters,” Jordan said.

Read about Tom and Gloria Heisterman and their mentee Adrienne Biggs to learn about a mentor/mentee teams everyday experiences.