Letter: A month for mentoring

January was a fantastic, busy month for the Buddy Program! As the new recruitment manager at the Buddy Program, I was pleasantly overwhelmed with community support and interest in what we do. Aspen Mayor Steve Skadron and Carbondale Mayor Stacey Patch Bernot joined mayors from Orlando, Chicago, Indianapolis, New York City and Boston by proclaiming that January is officially National Mentoring Month in their respective cities. Ryan Koster at KSPN and Carolyne Heldman at Aspen Public Radio were gracious enough to have us on their radio shows to speak about the current volunteer needs at the Buddy Program while giving the community insight into the support offered from our case managers to all Buddy Pairs. Carbondale Beer Works hosted us as the nonprofit beneficiary of its first bingo night, which proved to be a full and intense house of bingo players and a wonderful way of showcasing the Buddy Program as a fixture in the Carbondale community. In addition to a social-media campaign, Mentoring in Real Life, we hosted our annual Mentor and Mingle event at BB’s Kitchen in its private lounge. More than 40 community members came in support of the Buddy Program and enjoyed delicious appetizers and refreshments, learned about our continued need for volunteers throughout the entire valley and even heard from two Buddy Pairs in our program. Our unique community verified once again that we have an abundance of caring, compassionate individuals, and we at the Buddy Program are constantly astounded and grateful to be included in so many of your lives. National Mentoring Month was a momentous success, and I’d like to thank our current Big Buddies, volunteers in the screening process and future volunteers yet to come. We currently have 37 kids on our valleywide waiting list, and I hope that you consider and take action in becoming part of the Buddy Program.

We’d like to thank Skadron, Bernot, KSPN, Aspen Public Radio, Carbondale Beer Works and BB’s Kitchen for your enthusiasm and collaboration. Thanks to you, the Roaring Fork Valley’s National Mentoring Month was impactful and effective.

Laura Crow

Recruitment manager, Buddy Program