Olive Crest has a great need for mentors to their kids. Read the story below from 16-year-old Hunter. If you would like to be a mentor or would like to have more information about mentoring, please call Karilyn at Liberty Road Foundation, 206 790-1290 or send an email – Karilyn@libertyroadfoundation.
The first time I met my mentor was when I was 16. I didn’t really have a Father or any family growing up. My birth parents were either drunk, recovering from being drunk, or finding a way to get drunk. Whatever stage of drunkenness they were in, I had one friend I could count on. It was the TV. My favorite show was Mr. Rogers. I would pretend that he was my Dad. He’d come home from work and talk to me. He’d put on his comfy clothes – ya know, that sweater and those dorky sneakers – but he would talk right to me. It was a way for me to, I guess, imagine what a real father would be like.
I was watching TV one night when I was ten and heard a knock on my door. I waited for somebody to answer the door, but I hadn’t realized that I was alone. It was the police. The officer told me that my parents weren’t coming home. They had been arrested. I was taken into child protective services that night and for the next 5 years, I was in and out of Foster homes. Ya see, my parents couldn’t stay sober so they couldn’t keep a job or pay for rent so I never lived with them again. Living in foster homes I was ok but there was a hole in me that I couldn’t fill. Watching TV helped to … kinda…numb me; it kept me from feeling that emptiness and pain. But then Olive Crest found me and they introduced me to a guy named Jim.
Jim builds houses for a living and on the weekends, he builds them for people who need them but can’t afford them. I spend most of my time with Jim. He’s taught me how to make stuff and I go with him on the weekends to work with his team of volunteers. We have so much fun together. I may not be so good at swinging a hammer, but he lets me keep trying! He’s the person I go to if I’m down or if I need to make a decision but I can’t make it on my own. Since I’m with him more than anybody else, it’s kind of like… you know… having a Dad.
Thanks Olive Crest for… wait a minute – I just realized something – Jim’s last name is Rogers… He’s Mr. Rogers. Thanks Olive Crest for giving me my own Mr. Rogers!