Lutheran Social Services is looking for a few good men—or, more than a few—to participate in a new, local program designed to benefit fatherless boys in the Big Bear Valley. The United Way-funded program, billed as Boys 2 Men, serves to benefit young men by offering them mentors by pairing fatherless boys ages nine to 12 with men who can serve as positive role models. As explained by Bobbi Martinez of Lutheran Social Services, “It is basically for boys who come from single parent households, because they need a man to help them go through that transition and know what it means to be an honorable man—because if they’re not taught, they don’t know. My experience as a single mom who brought up some boys is that when boys get eyeball-to-eyeball with their mother, they don’t hear you any more. The statistics are pretty scary in terms of the outcomes for boys who don’t have a positive male influence during their upbringing.” She cites an example of this in which a church coordinated with Hallmark cards to provide prisoners with free Mother’s Day cards. “They were amazed at the response,” Martinez says, “so they tried the same thing at Father’s Day and got zero response.” The effort to help boys transition to good men ties in to the Lighthouse Project’s mission to build a child honoring community and the Soroptimists have contributed funding to the Boys 2 Men program, which asks that mentors participate in one three-day campout over the summer, call the boy they’ve partnered with twice a month, and spend one day a month doing something together. “I’m looking for men willing to make a difference,” adds Martinez. “There are many honorable men on this mountain and we don’t care how old they are—they can be 70—because they can plan those two phone calls a month, and plan some outings. We had one boy who just wanted a man to take him fishing.” For those who participate, training will be provided once a background check is completed. Should you be interested in serving our community as a Boys 2 Men volunteer, please contact Lutheran Social Services, or stop by their offices on the second floor of Summit Plaza, at 866-5070.
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