250-286-0611 Campbell River........... 250-338-7341 Courtenay mail@jhsni.bc.ca

You want to volunteer

Now what?

Volunteers are caring individuals in the Campbell River and Comox Valley area who commit 3 hours a week for a year or longer to develop meaningful and life changing relationship with a young person aged 6-18.  Most volunteers report that it is not only fun but also highly rewarding to spend time with a young person who enjoys their company.

We have over 100 children and youth waiting for volunteer mentors (some wait up to 5 years) in Campbell River, Comox Valley and area.  The first step to becoming a volunteer in KidStart is to fill out an application and set up a time to do an information session. Applications are available below:

Frequently asked questions

and our best answers
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Question

What is volunteering as a mentor like?

Answer

Fun fun fun. Most volunteers report that spending time with their buddies is the highlight of their week. Many KidStart kids can hardly wait until their mentor arrives to pick them up. Key to the success of our program is connecting kids and mentors who have similar hobbies and interests. Walking the dog, making dinner, and playing board games is always a lot more fun when you have an enthusiastic young person along.

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Question

How many hours a week is the commitment, and can it be done all at once or at different times?

Answer

The minimum weekly commitment is 3 hours, and can be done all at once or on different days. Some volunteers work shift work, or take lengthily holidays, so the goal is to average approximately 12 hours a month in those circumstances.

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Question

What happens if I go on vacation?

Answer

Lots of mentors and mentees take holidays. Most volunteers spend a little more time before and after their holidays on visits, and send postcards or keep in touch while they’re away.

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Question

What is the difference between KidStart and a program like Big Brothers & Big Sisters?

Answer

These 2 mentoring programs have a lot of similarities in that they both offer 1-to-1 mentoring for vulnerable children and youth. The main difference is that Big Brothers & Big Sisters is not offered in the Campbell River or Comox Valley area.

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Question

Can I take my buddy on road trips to different communities?

Answer

Absolutely. Many mentors take their buddies on road trips (with parental permission). The farthest a mentor has ever adventured with a mentee was to Seattle to see the Toronto Blue Jays play the Seattle Mariners.

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Question

Can I take my mentee to a family reunion or other family function?

Answer

Once your relationship is established, and if it’s something your mentee would enjoy, then absolutely. Many mentors observe that bringing their mentee to a family function is their mentee’s first opportunity to experience how other families interact.

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Question

Can my other family members be in the house when I’m having my mentee over?

Answer

KidStart protocol is that mentee’s are never to be left alone with anyone except their mentor. However, once your relationship is established, and if it’s something your mentee would enjoy, then introducing them to your family members can be a natural and enjoyable time. Some mentors live with their parent’s or room-mates. In this case, mentees and their families would know about this in advance and would be selected based on comfort with this arrangement.

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Question

What activities can we/can’t we do together?

Answer

Mentors and mentees decide together on what fun and safe activities they can enjoy doing every week. Many mentees enjoy established weekly routines, like walking the dog, making dinner together, swimming or going to certain cafes. The goal of outings is to provide mentees with an opportunity to celebrate success and build their self-confidence. The KidStart don’ts are:

  • 2-wheeled motorized vehicles
  • Seados
  • Skidos
  • Quads
  • Skydiving etc.
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Question

Is it OK to take my mentee to my home?

Answer

Yes, once your relationship is established, with parental permission, and if it’s something your mentee would enjoy. Many mentors enjoy working on rainy day projects like cooking, scrapbooking, woodworking and crafts.

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Question

Will I be required to spend a lot of money as a mentor?

Answer

KidStart suggests role-modelling low-cost and no-cost outings in general on your weekly visits. We encourage this because it helps mentees to see that anyone can access recreational and cultural activities in our community. In addition, developing mentoring relationships is about spending time together (not money) and having fun. There is a $30 monthly honorarium available to those mentors who wish to receive it.

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