Why I mentor kids

A dear friend asked my recently, “Why did you get started volunteering/mentoring kids?” I thought for a second.. that answer needs conversation over a cup of coffee..

My initial answer is LOVE. My heart is my greatest asset & greatest weakness. Part of the reason I’m on this earth is to love others & share unconditional love. I’ve been blessed to understand the true meaning of love, its purpose and experience many shades of love. We NEED love to survive.

I grew up an only child. I was loved. I was shown great love and taught about the importance of loving others. When I hit my 30s, it hit me hard!  I finally understood one of my purposes on this earth.. loving others (hard) especially kids in need.

I love kids, I have always loved kids and always found myself teaching kids. When my husband and I decided not to have kids of our own, I told him I wanted to volunteer. My decision not to be a mom helped me realize I wanted to be involved in possibly helping 1 or more kids that could use some extra love.

In 2009, I started volunteering with the Boys & Girls Club of Burbank. I started a broadway dance class, tap classes & a performance/competition dance team. They won multiple awards & trips all across the country to perform. I can only hope I left them with love in their hearts & memories they will remember for a lifetime.

In 2016, I heard about a program called Kids Hope at my church. It’s one child, one mentor, one hour, one day a week. I was thinking about trying a one-on-one relationship in the future, but I knew I had to do this when I started crying watching the promo video.

For the past 3 years, I have had the privilege of mentoring 2 young boys that have taught me as much as I’ve taught them. Sharing my heart with kids in need have created some of the most fulfilling moments of my life. When they lean in and whisper in my ear, “I love you Miss Michelle..” or randomly grab my hand to hold.. (you know little boys – this is HUGE) it’s just makes my heart explode!

I want to make a difference in people’s lives. I am willing to stand in the gap for anyone that needs me. When any kid, teen or adult (who am I kidding), sees me and comes running for a hug, sends me a text from college, wants to sit down for advice, giggles or laughs uncontrollably because of what I did or said.. that’s why I mentor.  I have to.. my heart NEEDS to share LOVE!  (It’s why I’m here).

Michelle xo

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A Different Valentine

With Valentine’s just passing, I wanted to share a different view..

I remember HS years filled with “secret admirers” and vases of roses, delivered carnations, love notes and surprise boxes of chocolate – and I giggle when I think about Valentine’s.  I was so naive and had no idea how the flowers or notes mysteriously appeared at my desk or in my locker. (Seriously!?!)

This week I was with my BGC dancers and I wished them a happy Valentine’s, followed by passing out hugs.  I was surprised at what I heard.  Junior High and High School girls were saying they HATED Valentine’s Day.  I believe alot of people feel this way, because they are alone.  (I hate the “forever alone” & “single awareness day” references). But I look at Valentine’s differently. I want to share with you what I told my girls.
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