To the Editor:

Heidi Tucker, coordinator of Communities Against Substance Abuse, posed a thought-provoking question to the community: “Can we count on you to help every young person in our community feel supported in 2013?” (“2013 Resolution: Positive climate for youths,” page A8, Dec. 28).

I’d like to suggest one way folks might extend a hand to a young person — become a mentor and spend some time with a child who could use another supportive adult in their life. Since January is National Mentoring Month, the timing is perfect.

Depending on your schedule, skills and interests, there are many different ways to spend time engaging with kids. Consider contacting a local organization such as Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bath/Brunswick, Girl Scouts, Sweetser, Brunswick Teen Center at People Plus, Bath Area Family YMCA, Riverview Foundation, Seeds of Independence, or your local school for volunteer opportunities to connect with a young person.

Even easier ways to show kids they matter? Smile at them, say hi, learn their name, be yourself, laugh at their jokes. Jolene Roehlkepartain came up with 150 ways to show kids you care — you can find the other 145 ways at www.cycnet.org/today2000/today00121 1.html.

Whether you decide to volunteer with a young person or just step outside your door and say “hi” to the neighborhood kids, your action can help build a positive climate for youths.

Angie Buxton
Volunteer Coordinator
United Way of Mid Coast
Maine