The organization’s mentoring program pairs at-risk Essex County youngsters, ages 7 to 18, with volunteer mentors. They meet two hours a week, to get an ice cream, go to the movies or just take a walk and chat, said Arden Dore, director of youth mentoring.
The relationship takes the youngsters “out of their everyday life,” she said, and exposes them to new places and things, such as learning how to swim or going camping.
At any given time, the nonprofit has between 35 and 55 mentor pairs, said Dore. The group meets once a month for events, such as a picnic or disco bowling night.
“These kids need someone to believe in them, be involved,” said Dore. “It can really turn their life around.”
To learn more or to get involved, visit www.childrensfriend.net.
Bethany Bray can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @SalemNewsBB.