Dupont Rotary has been volunteering in support of BEST Kids (BEST stands for Building Experiences, Skills, and Teamwork)—a program which develops and supports one-on-one mentoring relationships between youth in DC's child welfare system and caring, consistent adults.
Each winter BEST Kids organizes a big holiday party not only for the mentees, but also for their siblings, cousins, and caregivers. This year Dupont Rotary participated in both the pre-party preparation and the actual event. On January 3rd, Dupont Rotarians helped sort gift donations by age and created gift bags for each mentee's family based on age, gender, and interests of the children. On January 10th, Dupont Rotarians worked at the party, helping with activities such as check-in, crafts, goal-setting, and games. It was a spectacular event, featuring volunteer chefs who taught the kids how to prepare the lunch they then ate, an ice sculptor in action, and more! On January 15th (National Thank Your Mentor Day), BEST Kids hosted their annual volunteer appreciation dinner and awards ceremony, during which Dupont Rotarians got to meet not only the mentors, but also some of the founders of BEST Kids, and hear several inspirational stories about the differences BEST Kids mentors have made in their mentees' lives. The staff at BEST Kids is terrific, and participants had a great time at every single one of the events.
BEST Kids has a few more events coming up where they could use volunteers, so keep an eye out for more details!