June, 2021

Dear Friends,

As a non-profit organization serving children in Garrett County, we are grateful for the generosity of our community to support the children we serve. Since 2008 we have been providing children with various needs with positive, caring, adult volunteers serving as lunchtime mentors at school. Many children are referred by counselors and school staff due to lack of support at home or other difficult circumstances creating the need for a positive, adult role model. Mentors and children meet together at school for weekly, one-on-one lunchtime sessions. Mentors become strong, reliable and positive examples in the lives of children. We currently offer our services to pre-kindergarten through grade 6 students across our county. Aside from our in-school services we also plan educational, fun and cultural out-of-school activities for the children that they would likely not experience otherwise. These activities allow them to bond with their mentors in a new environment. The children and their families are also often provided with individual resources or assistance as needed and we also plan a few service opportunities for the children each year, allowing them to practice giving back to others. We predict that in the coming years, especially due to significant challenges faced by many families during the pandemic, there will be an even stronger and more urgent need for our services than ever before. That will in turn require us to provide more trainings, volunteers, supplies and resources to meet these needs in the future.

In previous years, this letter would serve to launch our signature Barn Dance fundraising campaign and event held at Sang Hill Farms in September. Our 2020 event was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and in light of the many hardships still being experienced and the restrictions that were still in place at the time when our planning for the event would have begun, we made the difficult decision to cancel the 2021 Barn Dance event. Our barn dance is always our largest fundraiser and revenue source of each year. Although we have faced several challenges as an organization during this time, the incredible support from our community has provided us the means to be able to continue serving children in need of caring and dedicated adult role models. We found new and exciting ways to adjust and modify our work to keep the children and their mentors connected while they were not physically in the school buildings. We created a pen pal program, facilitated phone and video chats, distributed holiday gifts and meal cards, created coloring and writing activities and more. While we missed our in-person visits with the children, we were thankful to be able to engage with them and provide for them in these ways. We look forward to rebuilding our program and serving more children as we approach what we hope is a more normal school year.

To support our mission, we are pleased to launch our 2021 summer fundraising campaign, concluding with the Tucker Community Foundation “Run for It” event in September. To help us raise the necessary funds for the upcoming school year we graciously invite you to consider supporting our organization through this campaign. Below you will find several options for supporting our organization. All donations are tax deductible and funds received not only go directly toward our organization, but also allow us to earn even more money back through the Tucker Community Foundation event as well.

Ways to support us:

*Donate online: Click here to donate directly to our organization using PayPal or a credit card For funds to count toward the campaign event, please make online donations by September 10, 2021. You may also donate to us through the Tucker Community Foundation organization’s Run for It Event platform by clicking here (all donations made through Tucker Community Foundation come directly back to us!)

*Donate by check: Checks can be made out to Garrett Mentors. Our address is: Garrett Mentors PO box 725 Oakland, MD 21550. For checks to count toward the event campaign, we need to receive the check donations by September 10, 2021.

*Join Our “Run for It” Team! ***Updated August, 2021**: this event is now virtual only!**You can support us by joining our “Run for It” Team for $10!  Walkers and runners of all ages and levels are welcome!  You can choose to do a 2K walk, 5K Run/Walk in  virtually on your own time and enter your results.  The more teammates we have, the more funds we raise!  Register to join our team by clicking here

Mentoring is very impactful and we are always in need of new volunteer mentors. See more information about signing up to mentor with us at this link! We are so grateful for your consideration to support the children of Garrett County through our mentoring organization. Children in the program have been reported to have improved in classroom behaviors, respect for authority, relationships with adults and peers, self-concept and confidence, engagement in school and learning and attendance. Mentors have helped raise grades and have helped to improve the child’s feelings and attitudes about themselves and their abilities. We believe that the future of our community can be changed and strengthened by investing in our children today. Thank you for joining us to support Garrett County children through mentoring!

With Gratitude,

Laura Fike, Executive Director and the Garrett Mentors Board of Directors


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