Frequently Asked Questions

What is Mentors 4 Kids, Inc.?

In early 2009, an existing mentoring program closed their doors.  That’s when a group of local business and community leaders laid the foundation for Mentors 4 Kids.  Mentors 4 Kids, Inc., was founded in June 2009 to continue the tradition of providing area kids with a positive role model.

What is the Mission of Mentors 4 Kids?

The mission of M4K is to provide children in need with a caring, volunteer adult role model to befriend them and spend quality time with them.…Because all kids matter!

What is the vision of Mentors 4 Kids?

M4K envisions a society in which all youth have the chance to develop into their full potential, experience a nurturing one-on-one relationship with a caring adult, and be a part of a caring, supportive community that cultivates their growth and development.

Is Mentors 4 Kids a recognized 501c3 Organization?

In July 2009 Mentors 4 Kids, Inc. was recognized by the Internal Revenue Service and the Illinois Secretary of State as a 501c3 Organization.

What Geographical area does Mentors 4 Kids cover?

Franklin, Jefferson, Williamson, Saline, Gallatin, and White.  All seven counties currently have children waiting to be matched with Mentors.

What is the structure of the Mentors 4 Kids Board?

The Governing Board of Director’s (GBD) has authority over all Mentors 4 Kids, Inc., business.  The GBD meets on a monthly basis and is representative of the communities it serves.  The rotating board is comprised of a President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and board members.

How can I become involved at the County level?

Each county has, or is in the process of organizing an Advisory Board to the GBD.  Anyone is welcome to attend meetings and join the effort to spread the word about the need for mentors in their respective communities. Contact the M4K office for more information.

What is the purpose of the County Advisory Board?

The purpose of the County Advisory Boards is to be a resource for the organization for fundraising, mentor recruitment and providing their communities with information about the organization.

How can I become a Mentor?

You can become a Mentor by completing the application process.  The application process includes; an in-home interview, personal references, driver’s license check, background check, and a fingerprint check with both state and federal agencies.  Upon completion of the application process you will be required to attend a two (2) hour training session on mentoring where you will learn about our program policies and procedures.

What kind of commitment does it take to become a Mentor?

Upon a match being made, we ask for a minimum of a 1 year commitment.  Generally it is asked that each match attempt to spend one to two hours a week together or at least 6 hours per month.

How do I find time in my schedule to mentor a child?

Kids like to be with their mentors. They don’t always need to be entertained. Including them in your day-to-day activities helps them to feel a part of your life. If you’re going to do some errands, call your mentee and get some ice cream on the way home. Or just spend some time “hanging out” with your mentee…it’s a legitimate reason to have fun for an hour or so a week. Your time with your mentee may be something that you do by yourself or with your family. Consistency is the key to building a significant relationship. And remember, it’s the simple things that count.

Isn’t it difficult to mentor someone else’s child?

You will be developing a relationship with a child, to help him or her grow emotionally, academically, and spiritually. Your relationship will become a friendship, guiding your mentee toward a healthy lifestyle. Engaging in fun, interesting activities that you and your mentee enjoy, or helping your mentee with schoolwork are just some of the things you can do to make it easy. Parents with limited resources are grateful for the support and guidance you can provide the child.

What if something comes up with my mentee I can’t handle?

Most of our mentors are not counselors or social workers. They are just people like you, willing to become a friend. Showing your mentee that you care and being consistent are what counts! Every mentor has a Program Coordinator to help with any problems or concerns that may develop. You will keep your Program Coordinator informed about your meetings with your mentee, and your Program Coordinator will be available to problem-solve with you. You will meet other effective mentors at our activities, training sessions and other meetings. You won’t be in this alone, but will have a team of people supporting your efforts.

Can I pick the child I mentor?

Your preferences will be considered and you’ll decide when to accept a mentee. All of our volunteer mentors and mentees and their parents are given an opportunity to meet each other before being officially matched.  That way each person has input into the match decision and an opportunity to either agree to the match or wait for another one.  We do our best to put together matches that will succeed and flourish!

What is the mentor application and screening process?

Once you have reviewed the information and application packet, just complete the application and return it to us. Once we receive your application, we will review it, process your background check and personal references, and let you know about upcoming training sessions. After training, we will schedule a face-to-face interview with you. We will also conduct a home assessment, since mentors often have their mentee in or around their homes. You will then attend a training session before we match you with a child or adolescent.

How will I be matched?

The Program Director is responsible for making all matches.  She attempts to match individuals based on interests that they have stated on their applications, as well as information that has been provided during the one – on – one interviews.

Will I be matched with a child from my community?

Every effort will be made to complete matches that will enhance the relationship between the mentor and mentee.

Is what I spend on my mentee tax deductible?

Yes.  All related expenses are tax deductible, including mileage.  All expenses are subject to IRS guidelines.

What is the Age range of children covered by Mentors 4 Kids?

Mentors 4 Kids matches children from the ages of 7 to 16.

What are some of the ways that my child would benefit from being in a mentoring program?

Community studies show that kids directly benefit from mentoring in positive ways; a) Do better in school, b) Stay in school longer, c) Avoid drugs and alcohol, d) Have better peer relationships, e) Have improved self-esteem.

How do I sign my child up for mentoring services?

The parent or guardian must complete an application for the qualifying child.  Upon completion of the application process your child will be placed on a list in the county which you reside. The Program Coordinator will make every effort to match your child with a caring adult volunteer mentor.

How can I donate money to Mentors 4 Kids, Inc.?

You can donate to Mentors 4 Kids, Inc., by personal check.

Are my donations tax deductible?

Yes. Mentors 4 Kids, Inc., is a recognized 501c3 Organization with the IRS.

How do contact Mentor’s 4 Kids? 

540 N. Commercial St.
Harrisburg, IL 62946

For more information, call us at (618) 252-1012, or apply online.