Change Someone’s Life – Provide a Mentor

John Sowers

The Mentoring Project exists to rewrite the fatherless story through mentoring. We recruit, train and encourage mentors to show up for at-risk and fatherless kids. We watch tiny (and massive) miracles happen day after day.

Although a mentor can never replace a father, he can be a champion of a child in a way that allows a precious young soul to spread its wings. Diego is an example of one who now soars with the help of his mentor.

Diego’s mom died from an accident during childbirth. Diego’s skull was fractured during delivery, and as a result, he developed Cerebral Palsy. His father, a drug addict, took the malpractice settlement money and split town, leaving Diego alone as an orphan. His heroic grandmother relocated to be with him. She stepped up and adopted Diego. Her love and devotion to Diego are without equal.

Meanwhile, Kevin, a vivacious leader in his community, heard about The Mentoring Project from Donald Miller at the Storyline conference. Since Storyline, Kevin has worked with The Mentoring Project to tirelessly recruit mentors for fatherless boys.

One fine day, Diego and his grandmother met Kevin in church after Kevin and his wife watched Diego singing his heart out in the front row of the service. Often sporting a bowtie, Diego is always sharp-dressed and dapper. He’s brimming with life and joy, with an infectious smile. But don’t let his smile fool you; Diego is a fighter.

Diego faces the realities of Cerebral Palsy and growing up without a relationship with either biological parent. Regardless, Diego has big dreams. He wants to be a judge and a pastor, which he is quick to tell anyone who’ll listen. He recently had a piano recital and wrote a letter to the State Supreme Court Judge (who he had never met) inviting him to the recital. The Judge showed up and immediately joined the ever-growing Diego Fan Club.

At The Mentoring Project, we are big fans of Diego and Kevin. Because Kevin shows up for Diego on a consistent basis, Diego is dreaming big dreams. Because Diego has a mentor, studies show he will do better socially and in school. He will be less likely to be swayed by peer pressure, less likely to skip class, less likely to try drugs. Diego will be more likely to positively engage with his community, pursue new skills, have openness towards authority figures and complete more educational milestones. For kids with mentors, life just gets better.

We get e-mails from moms all the time asking how they can “put their son on our list.” We wish that every child who desires a mentor could have one, but we need more capacity. The Mentoring Project needs more people who will pray for fatherless and at-risk kids, serve as mentors and we need more people to give generously to help us recruit and train more mentors.

We need more people who believe, like we do, that together we can rewrite the fatherless story through mentoring. We can positively change the destiny of a generation growing up without dad.

• • •

This Father’s Day, The Mentoring Project is asking you to do something different. What if we took all of those predictable Father’s Day gifts, like ties, shammy towels, and golf balls, and put them to good use? What if we gave a champion to someone who doesn’t have a dad to celebrate? What if we stopped buying useless stuff and instead helped a boy, like Diego, find hope with a mentor?

Instead of buying another tie, or other useless stuff, help recruit and train a mentor for a fatherless child. You can do that at dontbuythetie.com and when you do, we’ll send your dad a card telling him you made a donation in his name, we even include a special note authored by you!

This year, do something different for Father’s Day … Don’t Buy the Tie.

John Sowers

John Sowers

This is a post by John Sowers, one of the Storyline Contributors. Learn more about John's story by visiting his website or by following along on Twitter (@johnsowers).