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January is National Mentoring Month

by Vicky Marquez

This post originally appeared on the White House Office of Faith Based and Neigborhood Partnerships blog on January 7, 2011.

This month we celebrate 10 years of National Mentoring Month and the 25th anniversary of MLK Day. Throughout the month organizations, groups and individuals across the country are celebrating both anniversaries through service or mentoring a young person. How will you get involved?

Want to play sports or go to an amusement park? There are over 15 million children in need of a mentor—all it requires is a few hours of your time each month. Whether you want to play in a park, read a book, or share a favorite hobby, whatever the reason, there are many opportunities for you to get involved in your community. For instance:

  • If you have a background in science, technology, engineering or math you can help youth with inventions in Boston.
  • Transport youth to athletic events in Los Angeles.
  • Tutor and lead Bible studies in Chicago.

Visit Serve.gov to find mentoring opportunities in your neighborhood or click here to view 10 ways you can get involved this month.

On January 17th mentoring organizations plus other non-profits and faith-based institutions will be hosting events to commemorate Dr. King and his message of service to our country. Every day many of you are answering his call by engaging in selfless acts of service, improving countless lives and communities. In 2009 President Obama asked each citizen to make community service and volunteerism part of our daily lives. Do your part and get involved—this is a job for all of us, not just on MLK Day but throughout the year. Visit MLKDay.gov to learn how you can plan your own day of service or get involved with an existing project. You could:

  • Be a fair housing tester in Austin.
  • Tutor or teach life skills in St. Louis, MO.
  • Beautify your neighborhood or help others learn about cooking in Salt Lake City.

Whatever you are interested in there are opportunities available for you to show off your skills and talents. If you need another reason to get involved, adults who volunteer are more likely to experience health benefits when it comes to longevity, mobility and mental health. We don’t care the reason why you get involved but encourage you to be the change you want to see in your neighborhood.

If you have questions or comments about this posting, please contact us.

Vicky Marquez serves as a Policy Analyst at the White House Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships Office.

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