The Virus That Goes Boom in the Night!

by John Cragg Executive Director, Long Island Youth Mentoring I was 23. It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon. Not a cloud in the Spokane Washington skies. Kay and I were newlyweds with four months to our credit. We had been invited to a church picnic by my boss, so of course, we went. It was a [...]

By |2020-11-30T13:10:34-05:00April 2nd, 2020|Stories|Comments Off on The Virus That Goes Boom in the Night!


The three hours of Thanksgiving aromas had gathered in the laughing clamor and produced a feast on a beautifully adorned table. I was carving the turkey, responding to my three children's requests for drum sticks, when I heard a noise in the back of the house. I handed the knife to my dad and went [...]

By |2020-11-30T13:11:09-05:00November 27th, 2019|Stories|Comments Off on THE THANKSGIVING INTRUDER

The Call To Christian Mentoring

Thirty years ago I stood on the sidewalk and watched a home burn while waiting for the Firemen who had never been called. I did not know it then, but a five year-old girl was also waiting for rescue that came too late. Today 150 children wait for a Christian mentor to show them the way out of a toxic life. This time I am not waiting, and I hope you will join me.

By |2021-01-11T14:05:44-05:00July 24th, 2019|Stories|Comments Off on The Call To Christian Mentoring


Having fun together and building a relationship doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. The following activities have been divided into categories for your convenience but don’t limit yourselves...if it looks like fun to you then by all means give it a try! (The numbers in parenthesis after the activity is the suggested [...]

By |2021-02-16T16:23:14-05:00July 3rd, 2019|Stories|Comments Off on LOW COST/NO COST ACTIVITIES

Do We Take THE ANSWER For Granted?

“Ok, lets review. What is the name of Elizabeth and Zachariah’s son?” “Jesus!” said the 9 fourth and fifth graders in unison.” It is the Christian Jeopardy default for kids. I laughed. It reminded me of a story of a pastor who asks the following question during a children’s sermon. “What is gray, has a furry tail, collects nuts and hops?”

By |2020-10-09T16:43:53-04:00December 23rd, 2015|Stories|Comments Off on Do We Take THE ANSWER For Granted?

88 L.I. Boys Wait for a Mentor

I was at my church and community harvest party and it seems like all the moms were serving and the dads were walking the kids around to have fun. I must admit at first it felt good to see that many dads with their kids. Everyone enjoyed the music, dads were showing off at the ring the bell with the sledgehammer game, and the kids were eating their fair share of candy.

By |2020-10-08T13:12:55-04:00October 31st, 2014|Be A Mentor, Stories, Support LIYM, Why Mentor a Child|Comments Off on 88 L.I. Boys Wait for a Mentor

Dad’s Home

I was about a mile from my house when I saw a boy who looked to be 10 years-old shooting hoops in the street. I watched from a distance as he retrieved the ball, again and again, oblivious to the stranger who was now only one house-length away. In the next instant, a white Toyota pulled into the driveway and the boy, leaving the ball in the street, darts up the driveway and is at the driver’s side door before the car had completely stopped.

By |2020-10-08T13:04:03-04:00December 4th, 2013|News, Stories|Comments Off on Dad’s Home

Imagine all that is modeled during this creative mentoring activity.

Last Saturday Taya and I hosted our third annual dinner for her family. We spent a few hours at my house preparing food, and then served a total of 8 guests in my church basement. Each year she chooses a theme, and this year, she wanted to do everything “old-fashioned”. So we found some old looking jackets and hats and pearl necklaces to wear.

By |2020-10-08T13:16:22-04:00November 20th, 2013|News, Stories|Comments Off on Imagine all that is modeled during this creative mentoring activity.

A Boy and a Piano…

A mom was waiting in our lobby for her 14-year-old son, Josh, who was in the next room getting his first piano lesson. This is a fatherless boy who has longed to learn to play the piano. He has been trying to teach himself for years. His mom finally was able to get him a keyboard. He has been matched to one of our mentors for the past year. Mom said, ‘He was a very angry boy.

By |2020-10-08T13:06:00-04:00October 17th, 2013|Stories|Comments Off on A Boy and a Piano…

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