FAYETTEVILLE — Church leaders in Fayetteville have unveiled a mentoring program they hope will transform the lives of kids who live nearby.
M.T. Olive Missionary Baptist Church sits in one of the toughest neighborhoods in Fayetteville.
Young Winston Farley is lucky; he has a mentor. Winston's father died five years ago. His mom asked leaders at her church for help.
"I just wished sometimes Winston had somebody who could shoot a ball with him, talk over problems with him," she said.
When she made her request, her church was already planning a mentoring program.
"The mentor is a special friend, somebody with whom you have a special trust and bond established. You can come to that person and talk when you can't come to anybody else," says Deacon James Hoffman.
Deacon Hoffman came up with the idea, in part to help the Bonnie Doone section of Fayetteville. That is where the church stands.
Thirty families have signed up for a mentor. More than 30 are in training to become mentors.
They will spend time with the children and also tutor them.
Winston got a head start.
Winston has much that his peers in Bonnie Doone do not. But as the guys watch football together on a Sunday night, it is evident that the reverend has had a positive impact.
The program has virtually no money right now. Leaders say that will change. Faith and hard work brought them this far. They trust that a good idea will find funds.
To help out, call the Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church in Fayetteville at 910-868-2770.