BEND, OR -- a Deschutes County Sheriff's Office's program called 'Central Oregon Partnerships for Youth,' or 'COPY,' is looking for volunteers to become mentors for children with incarcerated parents.
Saturday is the first opportunity to get involved; a six hour training will cover the issues these kids are facing, and what is required of a volunteer in order to be part of the COPY program.
Bob Moore, the project coordinator, says it only takes a few hours a week to make a huge difference to a child. "Incarceration really kind of destabilizes families in a lot of different ways. That's part of what we talk about in our training classes, is that it's pretty common to see families that are struggling with some financial difficulties that resulted from what happened, a bad decision that an adult made, big issues that come along with parental incarceration, and that's really what our volunteers are designed to do, is provide some stability around some of these conditions that these kids are dealing with."
Moore says kids with incarcerated parents just need support and opportunity. "Really, what we like to do, is have volunteers and kids commit to spending a few hours together each week for one year. Generally, what we do, is Spring and Fall and Summer make it a little bit easier to be outside, but in the winter we really require a lot of community partnerships for our kids and volunteers to get out and do positive things."
The best way to get involved is to contact Moore at either the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office website or Facebook page.