INDIANPOLIS – Hoosiers are helping children across the state grow up healthier and happier simply by driving.
Indiana drivers who have purchased the Mentor a Child specialty license plate are allowing mentoring organizations throughout the state to better serve children. Proceeds from the plate benefit the Indiana Mentoring Partnership (IMP), a program of the Indiana Youth Institute (IYI), which splits the $25 in revenue with local mentoring organizations.
Since January 2011, the 473 Mentor a Child license plates sold have raised $11,825, and eight mentoring organizations recently received the first round of grants from the proceeds. That money is working to change lives. Funds will go toward a variety of initiatives, including recruiting mentors, training mentors and hosting events to thank mentors.
Organizations receiving the grants and the amounts of those grants are:
· Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ohio Valley, Evansville, $1,500
· Project Leadership, Grant County, $1,500
· Big Brothers Big Sisters of Decatur County, $1,500
· Montgomery County Youth Service Bureau, $1,500
· Starfish Initiative, Indianapolis, $500
· Lebanon Area Boys & Girls Club, $756
· Youth Service Bureau of LaPorte County, $500 and
· YWCA of Evansville, $500.
“These grants are providing mentoring organizations across Indiana with a unique opportunity to advance mentor recruitment efforts so as to serve more Hoosier children,” said IYI Vice President of Statewide Outreach December Warren.
Research shows that sustained one-on-one mentoring with a caring adult impacts children in several ways. Mentors can help mentees stay in school and graduate, pursue higher education, enhance self-esteem, avoid criminal activities, better relate to others and set career goals. Yet, nearly two-thirds of Indiana mentoring programs have a waiting list of children who need a mentor.
“The funding made available through the sale of the Mentor a Child license plate will help recruit more mentors for more at-risk youth,” said IYI President and CEO Bill Stanczykiewicz. “Mentoring positively impacts the lives of children and youth as well as their mentors and this funding will strengthen the organizations that support these life-changing efforts.”
Hoosier drivers can request a Mentor a Child specialty license plate at the BMV or online when renewing their annual registrations. Specialty plates have an annual fee of $40 in addition to regular registration fees, with $25 going to the Indiana Mentoring Partnership. IMP grants out half of the proceeds to mentoring organizations across Indiana.
More information about each organization’s plans for the grant it received may be found at . http://www.iyi.org/media/press.aspx.
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