My name is Lisa and I have been mentoring with icouldbe.org since February 2008. My hopes when joining icouldbe.org were to help someone. I always wanted to go out and volunteer, but just felt I never had the time. I learned about icouldbe.org through one of Oprah’s shows. Oprah was suggesting ways that people could become more involved in their community, and something inside me knew this was the perfect place for me! What could be better than helping someone in an online setting, meaning I wouldn’t have to be at a specific place at a certain time? icouldbe.org gave me the opportunity to help someone from the comfort of my own home. At the time I applied, I was working outside of home, but knew eventually my goal was to be my own boss and work from home. icouldbe.org allows me to both work and mentor from home any time of the day!
Almost three-and-a-half years ago, I was fortunate enough to receive an email back from a mentee named Daisy. Little did I know that I was about to be blessed by a girl whom I’d never met before, seen or knew anything about. It was in our second email via icouldbe.org when she began to guide me on how to use the site, what to expect and how I could help her. From the beginning we had so much in common. One of our common interests was our faith. We are both very committed to our faith and from there it was a friendship that I knew would last a lifetime. That year I mentored her and answered her questions about college, life outside the walls of high school and finding a career that would suit her and make her happy. I gave her advice that I wished I’d had from someone I could trust to avoid some of the mistakes I made along the way.
Even though I was correcting her icouldbe.org assignments, we would still email throughout that first year, talking about life and friends. Our friendship blossomed quickly and our trust grew such that she wasn’t just getting help with her schoolwork, but was opening up and letting me into her heart, and what her hurts and hopes were. We still continued to email throughout the summer and throughout her last year in high school.
That next year we both experienced personal tragedies and were able to offer each other support. It was wonderful to know that we were always there for each other. Daisy and I had experienced and shared so much of ourselves that it was second nature, even after she graduated. We continued to stay in touch even though she was not part of the icouldbe.org program anymore.
My mentoring relationship started with Daisy almost three-and-a-half years ago and I have been blessed with the opportunity to “virtually” mentor Daisy. Daisy and I have emailed each other on icouldbe.org about how great it would be to meet after she turns 18. Now that she is, icouldbe.org is helping us to make contact and my hope is that we will meet someday soon! icouldbe.org has far exceeded my expectations; not only was I able to help someone, but in return I received a lifelong friend. Thank you icouldbe.org!!!
Posted in Inspiration, Mentors
Tagged at-risk, charity, connection, crisis, disadvantaged, drop out, e-mentor, education, icouldbe.org, inspired, kids, mentor, mentoring, online mentoring, schools, students, technology, thank you, volunteer, volunteering, volunteers
Father’s day is upon us and it seems like every year we get our dads a card they may misplace or a gift they’ll never use. This year, why not make it a Father’s Day he’ll never forget (and neither will you)!
Why not put together a fun and simple fundraising event with Dad?
Raising money for charity or putting together an event can seem like daunting tasks but really, they can be easy – especially when a cause inspires you (or Dad!).
We’ve put together a list of fundraising activities you can do with your dad this Father’s Day to raise money for your favorite cause (or at any time during the year):
- Car Wash – Ask dad for help on this one. Post up signs around the neighborhood and raise money for Dad’s favorite charity.
- Bottle Drive – Get dad out of the house and get together for a bottle drive. Make sure to let your community know ahead of time that you and your dad will be going around to collect bottles to donate to a good cause.
- Bike Race – Get the entire family involved for this one! Have everyone sponsor himself or herself and the winner can choose the charity that will receive the winnings!
- Dog Wash – Anyone who owns a dog will love this one. Get together with your Dad and wash your neighbors dogs for a small donation to your non-profit.
- Garage Sale – Finish up some of that Spring Cleaning (you forgot to do). Use the items you think would be “sellers,” break out the lawn chairs and enjoy a nice day outside with dad all while raising money for a good cause
- Yard Work – Grab Dad and go around the neighborhood to see if anyone would like to make a small donation in exchange for your services in cleaning up their yard. Another option is to do yard work for your Dad, and see if he’ll make a small donation in exchange for your time and effort.
Now you need to find a cause that inspires you. If you can’t think of one, we’d love to suggest supporting a local mentoring program for your community. As you know, we launched the 50 State Campaign earlier this year to bring awareness to the significant impact mentoring has to hinder the nearly 30% of students that drop out of high school each year nationwide – and to find a way for every state to bring a mentoring program to its’ communities.
We could use your help to bring online mentoring to students in each state – what better way to do that than to raise money with Dad this Father’s Day?
If you’re looking for another way to give back (or if Dad is), check out what it’s like to be an online mentor at icouldbe.org. It’s flexible and it only takes about an hour of your time each week.
Posted in 50 State Campaign, Appreciation, Fundraising
Tagged #dads, charity, donation, donations, e-mentoring, education, Father's Day, fun, fundraising, funds, gift, icouldbe.org, ideas, inspiring, last minute, local, mentoring, raise money, special day, support, thank you, time, volunteer
Here’s another Volunteer Week story from one of icouldbe.org’s dedicated mentors, Jeff Valentine. Also, check out our recent post on Jeff’s commitment to match donations for our 50 State Campaign – he’s the “champion” for New Jersey!
From Jeff Valentine:
How it came to be that I became involved with icouldbe.org –
In late 2006 I had an opportunity through my employer to become familiar with a variety of non-profits affiliated with Youth-Inc. which is effectively a non-profit assisting the development of non-profits. I had always wanted to work with a non-profit focused on mentoring, though I didn’t really didn’t have an appetite or time for traveling around the five boroughs of the New York City area to meet face-to-face with kids.
Upon looking through the materials provided by Youth-Inc., I read about the services provided by icouldbe.org and its web-based mentoring platform. It was a eureka moment for me as the icouldbe.org program, curriculum, and track record for serving kids was strong, and its web based platform resolved my prior excuses surrounding logistical constraints. The more I learned about and became associated with icouldbe.org, the more inspired I became with it’s potential for providing broader and expanded service.
Being raised in a small southern town, I thought about how wonderful it would be to be able to reach beyond urban cities and include smaller rural communities with its resources. Fast forward to 2011 and the organization has evolved, expanded its scope, and is stronger than ever. I am proud to part of icouldbe.org and look forward to the years ahead.
Posted in Mentors, Volunteerism
Tagged career, charity, education, icouldbe.org, kids, mentoring, National Volunteer Week, non-profit, nonprofit, online mentoring, students, thank you, Volunteer Week, volunteers
Many kids take collection boxes out with them trick-or-treating, and ask for spare change to support various causes. It’s a great way to let your community know about your favorite cause, and earn some donations in the process.
We’re in the process of getting the word out about our new campaign across all 50 states – and we’d love your help. We’re aiming to raise enough money ($8,000 per state) to implement our e-mentoring program into a school in every state. At our campaign site here, you can donate towards your state and nominate a school you think deserves a mentoring program.
Will you spread the word to your community, and let them know about our campaign? Your community can come together to vote for schools near you – and if everyone could give some spare change, we’ll be on our way to bringing mentoring to students in need of help with career exploration, college preparation and support in school.
Visit our campaign site to find out more – and have a safe and Happy Halloween!
Posted in Students, Volunteerism
Tagged charity, education, Halloween, high school, kids, mentoring, middle school, online, spare change, students, trick or treat, volunteer