Alliance Formed to Increase Mentorship
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Division of Labor Force Statistics, the volunteer rate declined for the year ending in September 2015. Approximately 62.6 million people volunteered through or for an organization at least once between September 2014 and September 2015.
To increase the volunteer rates throughout the United States’ fifth largest city, NFL safety Rodney McLeod, Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence Region (BBBS Independence) and Pennsylvania State Senator Anthony Williams formed an alliance to register mentors while celebrating National Volunteer Month.
“I wouldn’t be where I am today without mentors and positive role models in my life,” stated McLeod of the Philadelphia Eagles. “There are thousands of youth in Philadelphia and South Jersey facing significant challenges in today’s society.”
Through McLeod’s “Mentoring Is Brotherhood Challenge,” the collective have set out to recruit 100 male volunteers and raise $5,000 to support youth mentoring programs, run by BBBS Independence, this month. BBBS Independence currently has more than 1,200 children signed up and waiting for mentors, with the majority being young African American and Hispanic. McLeod is working with BBBS Independence and State Senator Williams by challenging all men in the Delaware Valley, especially men of color, to step up and volunteer.
“I think there’s a misperception that mentoring is a time consuming process,” said Marcus Allen, CEO of BBBS Independence.
“Our only requirement is that volunteer mentors (Bigs) meet with their mentees (Littles) 2-4 hours, 2-4 times per month. The time requirement is minimal, but the results are life-changing for youth in the program. We’re excited Rodney has decided to support our mission and hopeful that his status as an elite football player will attract the male demographic we’re looking for right now.”