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The gift that keeps on giving

Most of us can look back on our lives and pinpoint one or two people who have had an important impact on who we have become.

Perhaps it was a neighbor or a teacher, perhaps a coach, a family friend or relative. This person was likely someone who took the time to care, who offered wisdom, taught valuable skills, gave of their time, or provided a listening ear.

Have you ever stopped to think about the direction your life would have taken without them? Many of us would shudder to consider it.

There are many children in Archuleta County who are longing to find just one person who will take an interest, who will give a little of their time, who will care. For children involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters, this longing is being fulfilled through volunteer adult mentors. Adults from all walks in life are volunteering to become a friend and mentor to one of these kids and they are making a difference.

These volunteers would be the first to tell you that being a mentor is not rocket science. Indeed, you don’t need to know a thing about rocket science. You don’t have to come with a book of wisdom, or a perfect life track record. You don’t have to be good looking, wealthy, brilliant, athletic, artistic, a king of industry or any of those sorts of things. The job description is simple: be there, care, have fun, listen, and share. Not so hard.

It is interesting that often the calls that come into the office of Big Brothers Big Sisters from interested volunteers include the following statement: “I have been thinking about doing this for a long time and I think now is the time to move forward and volunteer.” If that thought has crossed your mind lately, listen to it. Become a mentor for a child. You likely will respond as so many other mentors have — “I have received as much from the relationship as I have given.”

Presents under the tree are symbolic of people’s thoughtfulness and affection. Giving time is more than symbolic, it is a life-giving gift. Make it your resolution for 2010 to become a mentor. It will change your life and the life of a child.

What greater gift can we give?