By JB Clark/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – When Scott and Kim Edwards heard Big Brothers Big Sisters needed mentors, they immediately prayed about joining the program.
They attend Hope Church with BBBS Program Specialist Sarah Davis, who sent out a church-wide email asking for volunteers.
“Having four children of my own, I knew we might get a child that didn’t fit in well,” Kim Edwards said. “One of the best decisions we made was to request a child that was the same age as our youngest son (Eli), who’s 10. That way, when we did stuff with our family, he would have a friend and fit in better.”
The Edwardses have been mentoring Tye Faulkner, 10, for almost three years, and this year they were named the BBBS Mentors of the Year.
Scott Edwards said since he has been blessed with a family, part of his responsibility is to pass that on and take care of children who don’t have the same opportunities as his children.
“They ask that you spend six to eight hours a month with a child,” he said. “That’s not asking a lot of time to invest in the life of a young person. Having one adult invest in a young person can make a huge difference.”
The Edwardses take Faulkner, and now often his family, to church with them on Sundays. After church every other Sunday, Faulkner comes to their house.
“He just does whatever we’re doing and it’s usually laid-back on Sundays,” Kim Edwards said. “He spent the night with us this past week because he came home with us Sunday and we realized he didn’t have school Monday. That’s the beauty of having him at the same age as my son; they go to their room and listen to Adventures In Odyssey and play Legos.”
Davis said BBBS is always in need of mentors, especially adult and male mentors.
“We have a lot of high school student mentors but adults have the kind of wisdom you hear from the Edwardses – the life experiences,” she said. “More females sign up and we need men because there are a lot of boys out there without a father figure.”
Edwards said mentoring is a way anyone can give to the community.
“You may feel like you can’t solve poverty or fatherlessness, but you can reach out to one and invest in one,” she said. “Everyone can do that. It’s manageable and doable.”
For more information about Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring, call Davis at (662) 687-1532 or Angie Owen at (662) 687-1299.