The United Fund of Talbot County continues to support the efforts of Talbot Mentors in making a difference in the lives of the kids of Talbot County. A named agency each year since 2001 in the annual community effort, Talbot Mentors has again been designated a beneficiary of the United Fund’s 2008-2009 campaign.
United Fund support enhances the ability of Talbot Mentors to recruit more volunteers to match with children in need of an additional adult presence in their lives. The organization currently serves more than 60 students in Talbot County, but more remain on a waiting list to be matched. Male mentors, especially, are needed to match with boys, who may sometimes have to wait a year or more.
Support from the community in the form of the United Fund campaign allows Talbot Mentors staff to provide the resources necessary to encourage more successful and enduring relationships.
While the initial commitment from volunteers is to spend an hour or two a week for a year being a friend to a child, most relationships continue long after that first year. Much of the credit for this longevity is due to the care taken in matching the volunteer to the child and the support provided by the staff as the relationship grows.
Volunteers often report getting as much out of the friendship as the kids do. Whether wanting to keep connected to the younger generation, to pass on their own skills and experience to a youngster, or simply to hang out with a kid again, volunteers each have their own personal reasons for being mentors.
For the kids, the difference may not be apparent until many years later, when they look back and remember having special adults in their lives who listened and cared. In the short term, children in the Talbot Mentors program demonstrate better school attendance and promotion and graduation rates, fewer office referrals and less need for summer school.
Diana Trams, Executive Director of Talbot Mentors, thanked the United Fund of Talbot County and the community for their generous support for the organization. “The importance of a mentor to these students cannot be overstated,” she said. “The United Fund helps us to enhance their lives, expand their vision and open up worlds of possibilities that they may never have known existed.”
For more information, to make a contribution, or to volunteer as a mentor, call Talbot Mentors at 410-770-5999 or visit their website, www.talbotmentors.org.