• 63 % of youth suicides
• 75% of chemical abuse patients
• 83% of youth in prison
Seeing and hearing the news and what goes on in your community… this makes you think about the influence of the Father. Fatherless children today need a positive mentor in their lives. Even if you are a Father with your own children… there is room for more love and guidance to someone who has no male influence in their life. We need more men to stand up and be a mentor and teach other children how to treat others in today’s society. There are two men that come to mind that are Making A Difference in lives of youth today. While these are only two of the programs that I will mention, I know of many more I challenge you to get involved with.
Glenn Ellison, of The Parent Help Center is one of the leaders in the community. Glenn’s project is growing. rapidly. He holds monthly conferences for parents, a monthly camp for parents and children, not to mention the weekly support sessions for parents. If that wasn’t enough, last summer he opened a home where troubled boys live 24/7. The purpose of all the efforts of Glenn’s team – Empowered Parent, Camp Consequence and Max’s Farm – is to help the kids and their parents when there are problems. About 2,000 families have been through his program since he started it 11 years ago. Glenn is a former Marine and NFL player and brings motivation an discipline to the table in changing these boys and girls lives, a number of them having no fatherly influence. You can learn more about Glenn’s program at www.theparenthelpcenter.com.
Another example of mentoring is The Mentoring Project. It was founded in 2005 by Donald Miller who sought out to respond to the American crisis of fatherlessness by inspiring and equipping faith communities to mentor fatherless youth. The project is growing rapidly as churches and other organizations get one board to help these fatherless children. To learn more go to www.thementoringproject.org.
Mentoring has proven to make a difference. With a Mentor:
• 46 % are less likely to use drugs
• 53% less likely to skip school
• 59% less more likely to improve grades
• 33% less likely to resort to violence
What are we doing to help keep our own children from falling into the Fatherless grip of our society… Yes, our own children with real Fathers! I have had children tell me that their father lives at home with them, but not engaged in their lives and does not care what they do. I have had others tell me they never see their Dad because of divorce. or they just don’t come around because they do not want to. Then there are even Fathers who are so controlling with every aspect of their lives, they are planning ways to leave. How saddened I am when I hear this.
I do believe that Dads are a key element in their children’s lives. The long-term impact is overwhelming to our children and our society. I do believe that organizations like Glenn Ellison’s and Donald Miller’s are important in redirecting our thoughts towards this issue. We can be better parents, and we can mentor a young person in need. I have mentored kids for several years. It is amazing to me how at the time I did not think I was making an impact… but… years later they come back to show their appreciation and the difference I made in their life.
I wish I would have had someone to mentor me as it may have been an easier road to travel. I challenge you to think about being a mentor in your community. Together we can make a difference in our community in our society … even in our future. We can influence change in the next generation. Find someone in your family, your church, your community who needs a helping hand … Be A Mentor!