January is National Mentoring month. Our 2016 Crystal Butterfly Award recipient, Alex Faust, shares about his mentoring experience with JMF.

My experience with JMF started rather abruptly when, my wife convinced me that her swim group needed some help one week day night. I was very hesitant; I know next to nothing about swimming. But, reluctantly I showed up with her at the pool for that first hour in my JMF mentoring career.

JMF at that point was sort of a mystery. I knew about it, but just thought that the organization was involved in helping kids with special needs, but I didn’t exactly know how. That short hour in the pool taught me.

The Joseph Maley Foundation has managed to create an environment that no matter who shows up or where we are, the children can have fun and learn something. It’s not just about swimming or the activity going on. The kids and equally, the mentors are learning and growing in the environment that JMF has created of love and inclusion.

That was all it took, one hour one time, now I’m hooked. Mentoring for me isn’t just about helping a person, a child learn to swim. I have learned that positive interactions I am able to have with a child, with their parents, siblings, grandparents, helps our community. In such an easy act, I am able to influence how a person’s day goes, their outlook on the community, and really how they then treat others in their life.

Mentoring means I get to hang out with some amazing kids and teach them how to be safer in and around water. It has become something I honestly look forward to, it always manages to put a smile on my face and I know they feel the same.

January is National Mentoring Month, go out and lend someone a hand.


Post written by: Alex Faust, 2016 Crystal Butterfly Award recipient and Executive Board member