Lancaster &
Chester Counties

A Church-Based Approach to Ending Family Homelessness

A Bridge of Stories

Paying My Blessings Forward – A Mentor’s Story

I have been blessed all my life and I am very thankful for all the gifts that God has provided to me. However, to be completely fulfilled with my life I knew that I needed to “pay my blessings forward”. I wanted to inspire another person through a difficult situation and potentially see that person pass on their blessings to others. Being a Bridge of Hope mentor provided me the opportunity to “pay my blessings forward” and truly help to change the world one person at a time.

But, I have to admit, I was worried about the responsibility of being a mentor. What if I couldn’t relate or be supportive? What if the effort involved was too draining or the time commitment too demanding? My fears disappeared quickly when I met my fellow Bridge of Hope mentors and felt immediately the shared responsibility among us. We all had diverse strengths that fit perfectly together and our combined efforts made my concerns about time and effort vanish.

The support and education from Bridge of Hope Lancaster & Chester Counties provided me the confidence that I needed to give my mentee a successful experience. The coaching and materials seemed to be created just for me.

I was so very excited to share my blessings and become a mentor. Little did I know that it would be my life that would be enriched and further blessed through my mentoring experience. After some time of getting to know each other, my mentee shared her story and daily struggles with me. She became my inspiration as I watched her courage and strength fuel her journey to overcome her past and provide a better future for herself and her daughter. Through my mentee’s situation, I saw the person that I wanted to become; strong, resilient, and courageous. While “paying it forward”, I was further blessed.

Through this experience, my self esteem improved in knowing that I can bring happiness and support to another person. I have a feeling of fulfillment and accomplishment. It has been such a positive experience for me. Mentoring for Bridge of Hope Lancaster & Chester Counties provided to me a much needed break from my busy professional life and a chance to give something back in the name of God’s grace and love.

Does He Belong To Me? – A Child’s Viewpoint

(The following was received from a mentor about their mentoring group’s first cottage night with Tammy and her 3-year-old daughter, Nikki.)  We met at Megan’s house. It was a fun evening of everyone bringing something to eat (soup, sandwiches and dessert). After eating we just sat around and talked and laughed. I remember you saying how import it was to have men involved in mentoring groups. The following happening reinforced this in my mind:

Nikki is such a sweetheart and would go around to everyone at some point during the evening. When she crawled up on my lap (with book and toys) she asked me my name and then she asked me my husband’s name (he was sitting next to me). Then she said “Does he belong me?” After that she crawled up on his lap and spent a good bit of time with him. She seemed to enjoy the attention of a Grandad!