When Mike Gibbons met Thomas last year she instinctively knew the talkative towhead needed someone who would spend time with him, someone he could count on. “Youth Guidance only asks for two hours a week,” Mike says. “How little it takes to make a big difference in the life of a child!”
When a co-worker invited Dee Giannotti to a Youth Guidance Christmas party she didn’t intend to become involved on a regular basis; volunteering occasionally at a group event maybe. That was 12 years ago. Today Dee chairs the non-profit organization’s board of directors, mentors 13-year-old Melissa and feels blessed as a result.
“I come from a very large family and had a lot of people around me with strong religious values and traditions. We were always made aware that there were people in need and it was our responsibility to reach out to them,” says Dee, who, while raising her son, sensed things weren’t the same for others.
“He would bring friends home and I started noticing that some never had to call home and check in, never even had a time to get home. At the same time I began to notice these were the kids who had poor grades and never participated in school activities. The awareness dawns on you like… wow!”
Read the entire article in the January 2011 issue