Program teaches kids about the act of giving

Posted 11/10/09

What began as their typical quarter challenge, ended with lessons learned and a deeper meaning of the word give. The Elbert County Mentoring program …

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Program teaches kids about the act of giving


What began as their typical quarter challenge, ended with lessons learned and a deeper meaning of the word give.

The Elbert County Mentoring program began their challenge three weeks ago with the theme giving. The purpose of the challenge was to teach the kids about giving while becoming involved in their communities.

The first week of the challenge began with each child working in pairs with their mentor in the act gratitude and kindness portion of the challenge. The pairs made treats and gave a plant or care basket to a local agency in the county as a thank you to the agencies that give back to the county every day. Sher Bush, director of the mentoring program, said the agencies were shocked that the program thought of them.

“We went to the police departments in the county, the Sheriff’s Office and the fire departments, social services, Centennial Mental Health and Victim’s Assistance,” she said. “Everyone was so happy to see the kids and the get the recognition.”

The second week of the challenge, the kids and the mentors split into small groups and volunteered at local non-profit organizations in Elbert County. Bush said even though some of the kids were hesitant at the beginning to get involved with volunteering, they ended up not only learning about other organizations that help people, but they enjoyed their time spent volunteering.

“Some kids volunteered at the Gabriel Foundation or Elbet County Ocalition for Outreach community garden while some did a book drive and danoted the books to the librbary district,” she said. “So we had a variety of volunteering among the kids. We even helped a couple of families in need who are going through a rough time.

Through out the entire three week period, the kids worked on collecting food for one of the local food banks in Elizabeth. Bush sadi the kids came up with their own ways to collect the food. She said some went door-to-door asking for food donatiosn and some used their allowance money to buy food.

The challenge finale was taking all the food gathered and filling up the food bank at Harvest Bible Church in Elizabeth. Bush said the mentoring program has never done a challenge like this one before and can not be happier with the outcome, not only with the amount of food gathered, but the change in the kids overall.

“I saw different kids at the end of the challenge. They grew so much over the three weeks,” she said. “At the beginning their motivation wasn’t too strong, but they learned it’s really fun to give, and they worked their butts off along the way.”

Not only did the kids learn how important it is give back to the community, but also how important it is to recognize the non-profit organizations in the county and they agencies dedicated to helping people.

“Elbert County is a wonderful rural community and we hope people will see what we’ve done and be inspired to use their life for a greater good,” she said. “All it takes is a few hours a week or a few hours a month in some cases, or a financial donation to some of these organizations to make a really big difference to the community.”

Bush said the mentoring program is in need of mentors more than ever. At this point she needs ten to 15 mentors to adequately provide services to the program. She said as a mentor people can learn so much about themselves, while being a steady support system for a child in need.

Having a mentor helps the kids with their confidence, self-esteem, belief in themselves and opens them up to new worlds and opportunities they wouldn’t have otherwise,” Bush said. “And all it takes is a few dedicated hours a week. All of the kids in our program grow and blossom into their best selves.”

For more information or to become a mentor call 303-621-3215 or visit


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