Today is National Thank Your Mentor Day, and we at RJLF could not be more thankful for our Mentors! They are the backbone of our Foundation, offering support, advice, friendship and more to our Fellows!
For many of our Fellows, their Mentor has become their person - the one they call first when something goes wrong but also when something goes right. Our Mentors are there for lost and new jobs, for struggles and successes in school, for family celebrations, and even for slogging through monthly budgets. Most importantly however, they are there. Their presence alone is more impactful than they can ever know. We at RJLF and RJLF’s Fellows are eternally grateful.
Thank you Jo, Kathleen, Melanie, Lisa, Rachel, Coleen, Megan, Dawn, Rosaleen, Tom, Barb, Shushma, Cindy, John, Victoria and Zaida. We would not be who we are today without you.
January is the first month since July that families throughout the country will not receive a monthly Child Tax Credit (CTC). They had been, for the last six months, receiving either $250 or $300 per child, depending on age. While 6 months might not seem like a long time, it is long enough for that income to become a fixture in the budget. Families, particularly those already struggling, used the CTC for groceries, utilities and childcare, and to make up for lost income when childcare and schools closed for COVID outbreaks. It is estimated that the Child Tax Credit reduced monthly child poverty rates by 30% and reduced food hardship for families with children by 25%.
Without the Child Tax Credit this month those gains are gone.
Of course, there are arguments for and against continuing the Child Tax Credit (currently a part of the Build Back Better plan). There are arguments for and against modifying the Child Tax Credit - adjusting the income limits or adding a work requirement, for example. But outside of those arguments, what is clear right now is that this month there are families and children going without who were not last month.
January is National Mentoring Month - an opportunity for us all to reflect on the impact mentoring has had on our lives. At the R.J. Leonard Foundation, we are fortunate to see first hand how powerful mentoring can be - on both the mentee and the mentor. It is life changing. As they build and maintain their relationships, mentors and mentees are able to grow and learn, while also having fun!
This month, we encourage you to take the time to reflect on how mentoring has affected your life. Whether a formal or informal relationship, how have you been supported and how have you supported others? We think you’ll be surprised by what an impact both roles have had on you.
And if you’d like to take the next step into a formal mentoring relationship, contact us.
Happy Mentoring Month!