The Unit 40 Mentorship Program and Effingham County Big Brothers Big Sisters held their Christmas parties Thursday, gathering mentors, children and families together.
The gathering at the Effingham Performance Center, which featured refreshments, opportunities for family pictures and a performance of "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" by Three Chicks and a Stage.
"It's just a wonderful night," said Christy Mesnard, program coordinator for Big Brothers Big Sisters in Effingham County. "We all get to come out and have a little fun. A lot of these kids might not have the opportunity to normally come to the Performing Arts Center and it's a nice way to all gather together."
The night provides something of an end-of-the-year gathering for all those involved with the program and a time to reflect on the year.
"It's helped me with my schooling," said Kameron Myers, who has had a mentor for five years. "I have somebody to talk to."
The night also gives mentors a chance to see the families they have effected through the program.
"I mentor a little boy at Central Grade School," said Rick Bullard of Altamont. "We're buddies. We have a really good relationship. He just needs to have somebody to talk to. He needs a friend so for lunch, we can do or talk about whatever he wants."
Bullard said the program has given him a way to impact a student's life in a very real way.
"You just never know what kind of life a kid has," he said. "If I can help him with anything, that's great."
While local mentoring programs have assisted hundreds of students, Mesnard said the Big Brothers Big Sisters still has a waiting list for children in need of a mentor.
Although help is still needed, Mesnard said the community has been very supportive of all local mentoring programs, as well as the Christmas Party.
"We really want to thank Three Chicks and a Stage and the Effingham Performance Center for all they've done," she said. "We just really appreciate all they've done."
Jackson Adams can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 131, or email@example.com.
- Local News
Wind chills to dip below zero Thursday morning
Bundle up! It's about to get even colder.
Man wanted in Cumberland County arrested
A Mattoon man accused of firing into five Coles County homes also was wanted on a Cumberland County warrant.
Boos expansion receives unanimous approval
Effingham Plan Commission approved Tuesday a site plan for a 42,000-square-foot addition to the John Boos Company building on U.S. 45.
Board member calls for sheriff's resignation
Effingham County Sheriff John Monnet said he has secured legal representation to fight allegations of financial mismanagement and deceit within his office.
Willow's mom makes first court appearance
Ciara DeRyke, the mother of slain Willow Long, made her first court appearance in Effingham County Circuit Court Tuesday.
Sheriff candidates draw for ballot order
Effingham County Sheriff's Deputy Darren Feldkamp drew the No. 1 slot out of a bowl provided by County Clerk Kerry Hirtzel at the Effingham County Office Building Tuesday morning
UPDATE: Willow's mom arrested in daughter's disappearance
Ciara DeRyke, mother of Willow Long, was arrested Monday for providing false statements during the investigation into WIllow's disappearance.
Quinn announces Pinnacle Foods expansion
Gov. Pat Quinn announced that Pinnacle Foods Inc., a leading grocery manufacturer, will expand its plant in Fayette County and double its workforce in the first half of 2015
Reason for the Season
Robert Hayes believes the holiday season should focus on Jesus Christ. To illustrate that point, he and his wife, Lisa, built a large Bible that stands in their front yard.
Teen dies in early morning crash
A head-on collision Thursday led to the death of an 18-year-old, who was a senior at Effingham High School.
- More Local News Headlines
- Wind chills to dip below zero Thursday morning