Sports and Outdoor Mentor Program

What is the Sports and Outdoor Mentor Program?

Designed for the boys in our traditional mentor program, the Sports and Outdoor Mentor Program provides mentoring for boys considered at-risk and may otherwise have to wait months to be matched with a mentor because of the high need for more male volunteers. In addition, the program provides unique opportunities for at-risk children to experience participatory and spectator sports as well as the abundance of outdoor activities Lane County has to offer.

How Does the Sports and Outdoor Mentor Program Work?

You will be matched with one youth or a sibling pair whom you will mentor for the duration of your commitment. At least once per week for 2-3 hours, you will meet with your youth to engage in an outdoor and/or sports activity (we’ll match you with a youth who likes the same activities you do!). You will be responsible for scheduling a time to meet with your youth and will keep A Family For Every Child up to date with your progress with monthly activity reports. There is a 6 month commitment, however, it can be extended!

What are the requirements?

The requirements are similar to our Mentor Program and just as easy! If you fit the following criteria you can be a Sports and Outdoor Mentor to a youth in our program:

  • Male, 19 years of age and older
  • Willing to meet with buddy 2-3 hours per week for sports/outdoor mentoring
  • Able to commit to 6 months of mentoring
  • Able to pass a background check
  • Able to provide three character references
  • Able to mentor a youth in the Eugene or Springfield area

We’re here to guide and support you through this process — it’s easier than you think!

How is this program different from the Mentor Program?

This program is for male youth in our program who are not yet matched with a mentor. While some of the basics are the same, there are some key differences:

  • This program’s main focus is on sports and outdoor activities
  • The time commitment is 6 months, as opposed to 18 months
  • Youth are NOT allowed to visit their mentor’s home
  • The minimum age for mentors is 19-years-old
  • We are only accepting male mentors at this time

Draft – Social Worker Info

Professional Portraits Taken Nationwide

Knowing how important a good photo is to recruitment, AFFEC is now offering to take professional photos for child bulletins. We are committed to a fast photography process, and promise to begin coordinating the photo session upon receiving the photo request. We have a large list of Oregon photographers, but have increased our photography volunteers, and now provide services nationally. As soon as we receive the images from the photographer we will email them to the caseworker for their use and then will continue with the recruitment process as the referral form specifies. All that is needed is the completed referral form.

Heart Galleries

The Heart Gallery exhibits portraits to raise awareness of the needs of waiting children. They wait and hope for their own adoptive family to love and protect them. Professional photographers volunteer to take compelling portraits showcased in the Heart Galleries. These beautifully framed and matted portraits then get displayed along with the children’s biographies in various venues. On average, we receive over 50 inquiries per week about these children. DHS foster/adoption orientation class size, adoption inquiries, and general applicants to DHS have more than doubled since the inception of the Heart Gallery.

“The mission of Heart Gallery of America ® Inc. is to facilitate and utilize the power of photography to capture the individuality and dignity of children living in foster care, in order to advocate for their permanency, raise public awareness about their needs, and obtain support to help meet those needs. An integral part of honoring this mission is to provide assistance and resources to Heart Gallery chapters nationwide to help them achieve parallel goals for the waiting children they represent.”

What information do you need to provide when referring a child to the Heart Gallery?

Indicate any specific locations your child should not be featured. If your child is located in Lane County and is not open to seeing their photos you can request they only be featured outside of Lane County. Provide the contact information in order to coordinate photos of the child.

How to prepare your child for the Heart Gallery

  1. Does your child understand that you are searching for their forever family?
  2. Discuss the purpose of the Heart Gallery.
  3. Show the child examples of other children’s photographs and bios.
  4. Talk about what the child likes and dislikes about various recruitment methods.
  5. Are there specific areas your child does not want to see their photos?
  6. If age appropriate allow your child to give input into what is said in their bio and allow them to choose their favorite photos

Bio Ideas

  • First Name, Age
  • What are your favorite subjects in school?
  • What activities do you enjoy?
  • What is your favorite thing to do?
  • What makes you laugh?
  • What is your favorite food?
  • What do you like most about yourself?
  • What are you good at?
  • What is something you want to learn?
  • What is your dream job?
  • What is your favorite type of pizza?
  • If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
  • If you had three wishes, what would they be?

How to Start a Heart Gallery

Cooperation
  • Recruit social workers to help you choose children for the project. Not all children are comfortable participating in the Heart Gallery.
  • Recognize team members’ best skills. If one member is good at networking and another at editing, assign tasks accordingly.
  • Reach out for help from within the local community.
  • Recommend that foster parents and social workers will help prepare children for, and support them during, the project.
  • Request the input of others; it makes them feel more involved and invested, and may help you do your job better. Ask others for contacts and referrals.
  • Rally those involved! Keep everyone informed on the progress and outcome of the event.

Contributions

  • Locate your exhibit venue by promoting the public relations benefits of the exhibit (the venue is named in ads and media coverage). The venue does not have to be a gallery. All you need is ample and attractive space, easy access, and plenty of parking.
  • Lead your request with your most professional or captivating portraits. They inspire people to donate and can be scanned for use in press releases, print ads, and other materials.
  • Link with prospective donors via a faxed request, phone call, or personal visit and be specific about what you’re requesting.
  • Laud sponsors in writing and at the event.

Coverage

  • Take time to locate a media guide that lists your state’s press contacts.
  • Tailor your request to each media source. A good “hook” is an interview with someone who has/was adopted, or is otherwise sympathetic to child welfare issues. Establish contact early so you have time to build interest.
  • Target several children who can serve as “spokeskids.” They should be able to interact with reporters and photojournalists and speak briefly at the event.
  • Think national and local. One can often lead to the other.
  • Tell radio stations and television stations about the event. Some may give you free time to talk, especially if you purchase some advertising spots and show producers the portraits’ artistic and human appeal.

Celebrities

  • Go through proper channels. Call the Screen Actors Guild at 323-954-1600 for contact information (agents, managers, etc.). Celebrities who live in the area near the event are most likely to attend.
  • Gather celebrities who have a reputation for being involved with nonprofit organizations or who have a connection with children’s issues, especially adoption or foster care.
  • Generate a request letter to tell the contact about your organization, the purpose of the event, and exactly what will be asked of the celebrity. Fax the letter to the celebrity contact.
  • Grant the celebrity permission to speak or perform. Plan for adequate space and refreshments to accommodate your expected audience. Although including a celebrity involves more work, it can increase your event’s visibility in the eyes of the public and the press.

Sample print material (Acrobat PDF format)


If you have further questions about starting a Heart Gallery please see contacts listed from other states.

Featured Heart Gallery

Featured Heart Gallery

While out doing your shopping stop by the food court and take a look at our Heart Gallery! Just click the QR code located on each child’s biography to learn more about each child’s personality and interests. You may be the perfect match!

Photographers

The Youth We Serve

Support for Mentors

Mentor Resources

Becoming A Mentor

Education Outreach