Because All Kids Matter

 In Newsletter

I began my time with Mentors 4 Kids at the end of 2011 after meeting one of the board members while looking for a new SUV. He was a true advocate and felt like me being a mentor would be great. I was invited to attend an Advisory Board meeting and soon after I was hired to help in the office, became a mentor and later was given the opportunity to be the Executive Director.

There are many wonderful things I could say about my time at M4K and what this program gives to the community. Mentors give hope, support, and unconditional friendship to their mentees. They share laughter, inside jokes, memories of too much fair food, a failed recipe in the kitchen, working at the soup kitchen, shopping for a prom dress, a favorite fishing spot and/or a first professional baseball game. There are also the times they share disappointment, loss, being bullied, bad relationships, insecurities and/or feeling like they have no hope. Mentors matter and I have witnessed it from the first match I helped to process in January of 2012-that is still going today, to the most recent match last month. Mentors and mentees become family!

It would be ideal if I could list all of the people that I have come to know, appreciate and love during my time here, but…probably not practical! I will say, the Board of Directors that I have worked for during my entire time at M4K have given me nothing but support. They mentored me as I grew into the role of Executive Director. Not only did they give time for meetings, fundraisers, trainings and speaking engagement, they gave heart to the program. Two members that I have to mention; Dr. Michael Handwerk and Judge David Overstreet have been on the board since 2011. They have been champions for mentoring in Southern Illinois. We have been through the highs/lows together and I believe (my opinion) these are two of the finest men that I know and I want to say thank you for your support and for your friendship.

My time at M4K was more than a job. As I write this last newsletter article and leave my position as Executive Director I struggle to find words to express my gratitude. Mentors 4 Kids has changed me, it has changed my heart, the way I see the world and people. It has made me a better person and again I say thank the people that gave me a chance to make a difference and be part of something that really does change lives.

All my love and blessings, BECAUSE ALL KIDS MATTER!!


Vickey Taake

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