Happy Mentoring Month!

As a core focus of YWCA Cortland, our youth mentoring programs, Bridges for Kids and GEMS, have been able to provide support, guidance, and opportunities to help Cortland area youth succeed in life and achieve their goals!

We thank all the incredible mentors who have come through the YWCA and formed long-lasting, stable, and supportive relationships with their mentees and all of the donors who have supported this program with donations of school supplies, food, holiday gifts, and much more.

Here are some ways you can get involved and support the program in January:

  1. Become a Mentor: We are always seeking mentors to pair with the children on our waiting list. Make an impact; apply to become a mentor today!
    • To mentor a child through the YWCA you must be 18 years or older, have access to a vehicle, be willing to commit to at least one year with the child, and attend training.
  2. Donate New and Unused Supplies: Supply the mentoring programming with arts and crafts supplies, books, games, and more. See the comprehensive list of accepted items on the Mentoring Wishlist.
  3. Make a Donation: Donate to the Mentoring general use fund so that we may provide enriching youth programming and supplement donated school supplies, food, and gifts to ensure every child is taken care of.  
    • Donate online
    • Donate with a check: Make check payable to “YWCA Cortland” and mail it to 14 Clayton Ave., Cortland, NY 13045. To support this fundraising campaign, be sure to write ‘Mentoring 2024’ in the memo line.
    • Donate with a credit card: Please call the YWCA front desk at (607) 753-9651 and mention the gift is for the 2024 Mentoring general use fund.
  4. Volunteer: Reach out to Mentoring Director Mindy Gardner at bridges@cortlandywca.org to volunteer throughout the year. Prepare food, distribute gifts & school supplies, assist at community events, etc.

Does your child need a mentor? Enroll them in Bridges for Kids today!

Bridges for Kids is an individual mentoring program that matches a trained adult volunteer with youth ages 5-12 looking for a trusted adult to help them succeed. The mentor meets with the child once a week. Mentors provide the one-on-one attention so crucial to building self-esteem in our local youth. In addition, they offer enrichment activities designed to increase the child’s self-confidence, resiliency skills, and background knowledge. Activities range from cooking nutritious meals at the YWCA to sledding in Beaudry Park. The importance of education is stressed, as is healthy exercise, creative outlets, and new experiences such as museums and sporting events.