A husband and wife both give time to local children | AspenTimes.com

A husband and wife both give time to local children

Aspen Times Staff Report

Monty Montgomery called the Buddy Program after he saw a newspaper ad last year, to inquire about becoming a mentor.

During an interview with the program coordinator, he mentioned that his wife, Sandra, might also be interested in helping out a young person involved in the program.

They were given two options. They could either help mentor one Junior Buddy, or each could take on a buddy of their own. The Montgomerys chose to participate in two young lives.

According to Monty’s application, his desire to get involved in the Buddy Program stemmed from his desire to be a role model, to share a bit of his life with others, and to use his time toward a more positive end. The Buddy Program found him a good match, and Monty was finally matched with his Little Buddy, Shane Abrams, in November of last year.

Sandra became a Big Buddy to Rosa Sanchez, a student at Basalt Middle School. They knew each other from church, and Rose had been in the program with another buddy prior to getting matched with Sandra in May of 2000.

According to Buddy Program officials, it is volunteers like Sandra and Monty that have made the Buddy Program successful in its efforts to mentor young children. “It is so wonderful to be able to give back and share my time with a child,” said Sandra.

Sandra and Rose get together as often as they can, and do different things each time. They have gone swimming, painted together, eaten out, and spent time on Rosa’s schoolwork.

Rosa says her favorite part of being in The Buddy Program is that she gets to go places she wouldn’t normally go, and that she always has someone to talk to. Her favorite experience with Sandra so far has been a trip to the Hot Springs Pool in Glenwood Springs.

Monty has been equally involved with his buddy’s life.

“I love having a buddy to go do things with,” he said. “We hang out at the library together, go sledding, play games together and laugh.

“I like having a new friend. It channels some of my energy into a very good cause, and allows me to experience new people.”

Monty and Sandra have also become good friends with Shane’s mother, Molly Dawson.

“I want my child to know what a good, wholesome adult can be like,” says Dawson. She feels like the Buddy Program has opened Shane’s eyes to a new world and role model.

“Monty is such a good influence in both of our lives,” she says, “and every time Shane returns from spending time with Monty, he is happy and in a good mood.”

Shane is an only child whose father and other family members live far away. His favorite activity with Monty is sledding.

“I love being in The Buddy Program because I have somebody to hang out with besides my stepdad or other family,” he said. “We have such a good time together. Monty even came to my house recently.”

The Buddy Program is in need of volunteers like Sandra and Monty who enjoy giving back to kids in the community. For more information on how to become involved, call Kim at 925-5717, or Julie at 927-1001.

The Buddy Program is currently in need of male role models for many of the boys that have been on the waiting list for a long time. According to the Buddy Program, the time commitment is not as much as many perceive it to be at first glance.

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