“We can give them new chances and opportunities in life they might not have on their own.”

When real estate broker Geraldine Healy got involved with Mercy Home for Boys & Girls, she seized every opportunity to volunteer at fundraisers and events. She even joined Mercy Home’s board of professional women who improve our young people’s lives through education.

Still, she wanted more.

“I wanted to do as much as I possibly could,” she said. “So I looked on Mercy Home’s website and found the Friends First Mentoring Program.”

As an advocate for at-risk teens and young adults, Healy saw Friends First as a chance to impart direct action to her mission. After attending an info session, she was hooked.

“Working with teenage mentees is something I’m very passionate about,” she said. “We can give them new chances and opportunities in life they might not have on their own.”

Soon, she was matched with Ariel, her 10-year-old mentee. Both admitted to being nervous, but their honesty broke the ice. Now, they’re inseparable. Each week, they talk on the phone about books, past outings, and new destinations to explore.

Geraldine and Ariel

“The best thing about Friends First is the communication and the convenience of getting to Mercy Home, whether you drive or take public transportation,” she said. “The whole package Friends First puts together is outstanding.”

Geraldine and Ariel at the movies“This past weekend we went to Navy Pier and went up on the Ferris wheel,” Healy said. “I try to do fun activities that Ariel enjoys. We’ve also gone to plays and the circus.”

Healy even bought a photo album to capture their memories.

“I take pictures at every outing, then print them out,” she said. “The following week, we put them in the album together. We have a running story that really tells our history.”

Healy also illustrates she is full of gratitude and praise.

“The best thing about Friends First is the communication and the convenience of getting to Mercy Home, whether you drive or take public transportation,” she said. “The whole package Friends First puts together is outstanding.”

Thank you so much to all the volunteers at Mercy Home for Boys & Girls. Your time and support show you have what it takes to truly change the lives of kids in need. 

Have you considered becoming a volunteer? If so, Mercy Home’s Friends First Mentoring Program is great place to start. Attend the next info session to learn how. There are so many boys and girls in the community who could use a mentor like you in their life. They’re waiting for you.

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