I guess you could say helping people is a passion of mine. I used to work in a group home with 30 residents. I would work with them in small groups of four at a time, helping them to shop, clean and do chores. I also worked with kids with disabilities and those from tough backgrounds in a local school district. I enjoyed my time with all of them, but I knew I wanted to have a more personal connection with one individual on a more regular basis.
After becoming a Mentor three years ago, I’ve realized that it is what I was meant to do. My son, a Marine who recently returned from Afghanistan, moved out on his own, and I wasn’t ready for an empty nest quite yet. Now Linda has come into my life and I think she has changed my life as much as I have changed hers.
Linda is a very sweet 21 year old young lady. We love to go shopping together, and I took her for her first-ever manicure. She’s had a rough life- her father is deceased and she’s been separated from her mother as long as she can remember. Linda has a developmental disability, but that doesn’t stop her from being very active. During the days she goes to a day program where she helps to assemble products for companies. On Sundays, we go to church together.
We are very close and can talk about what bothers us. We work on her goals together, which include using a cell phone appropriately, keeping her teeth and gums healthy and doing her chores.
Being a Mentor comes naturally to me. All it takes is patience, love and the desire to live by the golden rule. Whenever I’ve needed support or had a question about how to handle a situation, help was just a phone call away. Some days I think I get more out of our relationship than Linda does, she’s become a great friend who listens to me just as I listen to her.