As the kick-off event to Philanthropy Week, more than 300 guests celebrated the role mentors play in our community. The majority of the audience were mentors themselves. They found meaning in their lives by mentoring children or young adults. Moreover, all had passed along that sense of meaning to the the young people they mentored, a kind of two-for-one bargain.
Twelve of the hundreds of mentors present were singled out for special praise. Each had been nominated because their work inspired others to become mentors or because their work made such a big difference in the lives of children. The twelve were:
Suzanne Bennage, Outreach Learning Center at St. Matthews Church
Darrell Brace, e3 Mentoring Program- North Charleston Dream Center
Herb Burwell, Metanoia Young Leaders
Phil Byers, e3 Mentoring Program- North Charleston Dream Center
Bernice Dawson, Foster Grandparents Program at Sanders Clyde Elementary School
Patricia Franklin, Young Ladies/Leaders Conquering Obstacles
Steve Latour, Big Brothers Big Sisters
David Neff, Rotary Reader at Sanders Clyde Elementary School
Joyce Nesmith, Beyond Our Walls at Burns Elementary School
Jesse Short III, Malcolm C. Hursey Elementary School
Charles Smith, Communities In Schools at Frierson Elementary School
Gail Wright, Malcolm C. Hursey Elementary School
In the week before Thanksgiving we celebrate Philanthropy Week, or “Thanks for Giving” week. These mentors give more than time. They give meaning and momentum to the children they mentor, and themselves as well.