Our kids need you

Clinton County may not have a $200,000 budget and four to six paid staff members in its Big Brothers Big Sisters program to qualify as a nationally-accredited service, but the needs of its kids are just as important.

In fact, perhaps those needs are even greater here because there are fewer resources and people locally to match adults with kids who need older people in their lives to help guide and mentor them.

No longer will you find a Big Brothers Big Sisters program locally.

As we featured on Page A1 this past Saturday, it’s now called Reach Out Mentoring Program, or ROMP, operated through the county’s Children and Youth Services.

Please … please consider being a mentor.

Even if you’re not sure, please … please consider stopping by ROMP’s open house from 4 to 7 p.m. tomorrow, Jan. 24, at 8 N. Grove St. Suite #2, in Lock Haven.

Staff members Clarissa Shirk and Kaylee Mulhollan will be there.

So will some ROMP mentors who can help answer questions.

Many of the kids in the ROMP program come from homes where parents work long hours or where the family dynamic is unstable … or worse.

They rely on the positive interactions they get from their ROMP mentors.

But ROMP is having a tough time finding people committed to spending even a limited amount of time with kids.

Only 10 of the 45 kids eligible for the ROMP program have qualified mentors.

Finding volunteers has been extremely difficult, Shirk told us, and even when they do, many do not complete all of the steps to fully participate.

Upon completing the necessary steps, participants need only to commit a limited number of hours per month.

A community is defined by how it treats those in need.