Friends First Launches Into Its Biggest Year Yet

Friends First Launches Into Its Biggest Year Yet

With the launch of its site-based program, Mercy Home’s Friends First Mentoring Program continues to grow as it kicked off its 32nd year last Saturday. This year’s roster includes 18 mentor-mentee matches, the largest group in the program’s history, and features five new mentees and 10 new mentors.

We’re seeing very positive retention rates,” said Tara Lucas, Friends First Matching Coordinator. “We’ve seen a good wave of more people coming through.”

Of the 18 matches on this year’s roster, some were returning pairs from last year, while other matches were meeting for the first time. Ice-breaker games facilitated introductions, before matches enjoyed one-on-one time, games, and family activities.

This year’s family activity was making exfoliating hand scrubs by mixing together various ingredients. Using olive oil or coconut oil as a base, attendees then added sugar and other essential oils in a winning combination.

The hand scrubs were a very big hit! A lot of the mothers and mentees really enjoyed that,” said Lucas. “We ran out of jars and no one wanted to start lunch because they didn’t want to stop that activity.”

Lucas said there was something electric about this year’s launch because after lunch, all the matches couldn’t wait to get back together and hang out with each other, one-on-one. That kind of excitement was a good indicator that matches were clicking, she said. In fact, matches were having so much fun that they continued to hang out long after the event’s formal closing.

That’s a great sign,” said Lucas. “There was so much great momentum and energy that I didn’t want to take that time away from them.”

Here’s to another great year of broadening horizons!

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