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July 06, 2020

Stories with Friends: Part 19

Exercise Bingo

As Friend/mentor Dani has been chatting with her youth on FaceTime, she’s noticed inactivity in her children’s lives. They talk about time spent on their devices but not about getting outside, running around or riding a bicycle.

Dani has taken it upon herself to encourage her youth to eat well, exercise and play! She created bingo sheets unique to each of her children. If they do five activities on the sheet, they win “bingo” and get a special prize!

Dani was so excited to talk with her youth about health and wellness and to get them moving their bodies! It’s another great example of one of our Friends/mentors seeing a problem and finding a way to make it a positive. It also gave our youth a great way to engage a Core-Asset, Self-Determination!

We can’t wait to hear stories about kiddos winning at Exercise Bingo!

A Rebel with a Friend

Rebel is one of our newest youth. Knowing how important our organization could be for his son, Rebel’s dad was distraught when COVID-19 hit right as they joined our program.

Rebel’s first interactions with his new Friend/mentor Andrew were tough as Rebel is shy and a bit skittish–especially around new people. Then one day, Rebel’s dad reached out to Andrew because Rebel wanted to talk on the phone.

This was a huge surprise for both dad and Andrew as he never asks to call anyone. They ended up talking on the phone for over an hour. Andrew recognized this as a huge moment in his relationship with Rebel and a clear sign of our Core-Asset, Positive Relationship Building, taking effect in Rebel’s life.

Andrew went on to say how proud he is of the difference the Friends/mentors have been able to make in their youth’s lives through digital tools. The last few months have required adjustments from us all, and our entire team has come together to keep supporting our youth through the craziness!

I’ll be Around to be a Part of Your Life

Friend/mentor Corey started out this week by talking about the impact Friends/mentors have on the family unit in their work with youth in the program. He has noticed that having everyone at home during quarantine has made it easier to connect with all members of the family.

For example, recently he went to Prineville to take a few things to Evan. While he was there, they decided to walk together to look at a goose nest they’d recently found. Evan’s younger brother wanted to come along.

Corey agreed, given that Evan’s brother struggles with self-control, Corey got on his level and helped him set boundaries–reminding him to stay close and safe. He promised to stay close, and the three of them headed off on an adventure together.

Through his experiences with this family, Corey can see clearly the impact he is having on those around Evan. It’s tough because clearly, Evan’s little brother wants a Friend too. Corey was able to speak to this longing, telling him, “I’m not going anywhere, I’m going to be with Evan for a long time. I’ll be around to be a part of your life”.

Corey went on to tell him he could come along on some of their future adventures and bike rides. As Corey spoke, it was clear how much he cares for this family and how much he wants to also be there for Evan’s younger brother.

It’s a good reminder for all of us that when we help one, we help many, as our care and love have a ripple effect far beyond what we expect.