With the holiday season upon us, the Campbell River KidStart program is seeing an increased need for adult role models.

KidStart Program Coordinator, Tara Jordan, says there is a growing waitlist of children in need of a mentor as many families struggle this time of year.

“Over the holidays, families experience an increased need for supports,” Jordan says. “If you’re a single mom and work full time for Walmart and have 3 kids, a break from school can be difficult. You have to juggle child care and your kid’s needs.”

Research supports the idea that the 3-hour per week commitment by KidStart volunteers leads to kids having a better chance of reaching their potential.

There are no specific skills needed to become a mentor and Jordan says she tries her best to make it mutually rewarding by matching kids with mentors who have similar interests.

“The skills required are any of the skills that anyone would need to be a good friend. Being caring, non-judgemental, dependable, enjoy life and have fun. If you have hobbies and interests that you want to share with a younger person, a lot of my volunteers have specific skills like wood-working, fishing, crafting, or baking that they love to share with a child in their life.”

As the only mentoring program in Campbell River, KidStart was established in 2006 shortly after Big Brothers/Sisters closed its doors due to a lack of funding.

“Every dollar and every cent that we use to run our program is fundraised. We don’t get any core government funding to operate. Unfortunately, programs like mine often close because we have to struggle so much day in and day out,” Jordan added.

For more information or to donate to KidStart, visit this website.