Bridges of Light Foundation gives at-risk kids guide to success
Founder, Stacey Papp, is this week's Getting Results Award winner
ORLANDO, Fla. – Bridges of Light Foundation founder, Stacey Papp, is this week's Getting Results Award winner.
The foundation provides mentoring, tutoring and necessities to children in need.
Papp started the organization in 2004. She said she knows from experience what these kids are dealing with.
"I grew up like a lot of these children and I had a mentor," she said. "I said that I would always give back and make sure to pass along what someone was kind enough to give to me."
The foundation started as a way to provide mentors to kids in foster care. Papp said having someone dedicated to each child, guiding them, that's what can make all the difference in success and failure.
"They don't have someone at home to guide them, to tell them these are the rules, this is what it takes to be a good human being." She continued. "So that you can go on with your life and be good to others and get the rewards of being a good person and the successes that come with that."
Papp said dozens of Bridges of Light kids have gone to college, many returning to volunteer as case workers with the foundation.
"The reason we get such good results is because we don't stop, we don't take a child for a year and then say goodbye," Papp said. "We take the child, we stay with the child and we never leave, we are your mentors and your friends for life."
The foundation has expanded over the years and, in fact, they just moved into a 3,700-square-foot warehouse space. The expansion allows them to continue helping kids in need with their "Closets of Care" program. Students from Carver Middle School and foster children at Great Oaks Village can pick out items that have been donated.
The children of low income families can get new and gently used clothing, shoes as well as toiletries and other items. Papp said the children may not have many of these items at home.
Nearly 20 volunteer mentors and another 20 professional tutors work in the program. Papp said it's a small organization that she hopes can grow.
"It's a passion, truly, If I hear that someone is in need from the bottom of my heart I want to help. I think everyone feels that way and sometimes people don't know how. That's why I'm excited to do this, there might be someone watching who says I would love to help but I just didn't know how. Joining an organization like ours is very fulfilling."
If you would like to donate your time, money or items of need, you can learn more at bridgesoflightfoundation.org
Items can be dropped off at their Orlando office located at 4203 Vineland Rd. Suite K12-13 32811. Phone:407-490-3290
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