Resolve to make a difference

by David Morgan, Lawrence County Executive

With Christmas behind us, you may be thinking about the next holiday on our calendar and its traditions, like New Year’s Eve parties and black-eyed peas with hog jowl the next day.

What about Resolutions? Let me suggest that “make a difference in a child’s life” would be a great one to consider for 2024 and beyond.

IAM4kids is a faith-based nonprofit that’s been working with children in our community since 1996. 

In conjunction with the Lawrence County School System, it developed a one-on-one mentoring program that was interrupted by COVID. Today there are 30 mentors in the IAM4kids program and a great need for many more.

IAM4kids mentors agree to visit a child they are matched with for lunch at school one day a week. The mentor may bring the child’s favorite fast food meal, or enjoy cafeteria offerings for the day. The food doesn’t really matter – it’s about the relationship that forms over the meal.

What does a mentor do? He or she becomes a friend and listens to whatever the child wants to share: their successes, struggles, worries and fears. IAM4kids’ website states that “A mentor is a listener, friend, coach, guide, helper, and a fallible human being.”

A mentor doesn’t have to be a perfect person, but does have to go through an application process that includes three references, a background check, and approval by the School Board. A three-hour orientation follows, then the process of matching begins. All details about becoming a mentor, including the application, are available at

Mentors can choose the school they want to visit, and the age they prefer to begin with. Hopefully, a connection will develop and the relationship will continue as the child grows.

One thing is certain: the need is there. The world our children live in is hard and confusing. Many are suffering from anxiety and depression, often quietly. Your friendship can make ALL the difference in their lives, their family, and their future. It is worth an investment of one hour a week. 

You can also support the work of IAM4kids financially, and make one-time or monthly donations through its website. Any questions can be directed to the nonprofit’s Administrator at, or its Founder and President at

Skip to content