By Mike Kruzman /

A local organization that provides friendship and mentoring to children is leaving its headquarters and will operate remotely.

Mentor Livingston, which was formerly known as Big Brothers Big Sisters Livingston County, has paired volunteers who serve as friends, mentors and role models with children from primarily single parent families to help them gain greater self-confidence since 1980. Mentor Livingston is dependent on donors, grants, contributions and fundraisers to meet their budget. With the economic challenges being posed by the pandemic to many of their supporters, they have decided to close their office at the McPherson Mansion in Howell, and have staff work from home. In a release they recognize that while it is not ideal, the pandemic has taught them that they can make it work, with a firm belief that the kids are worth it.

Using guidance and knowledge from local health departments, the Centers for Disease Control, and government they are creating various ways to support their matches. Community Based Mentors and Mentees continue to meet in various ways based on individual comfort levels. Many are doing so virtually through online platforms, other match members are seeing each other while wearing masks and maintaining social distancing. All interviews taking place after an Inquiry are by done by staff, virtually. Meanwhile, staff continue to plan for the new school and still need to hear from some parents regarding meeting preferences and their child’s access to virtual devices.

Staff hope to reach out in August with more information on site-based mentoring methods after Livingston County districts decide what school will look like in the fall. Those with questions or concerns should contact Mentor Livingston by phone at 517-546-1140.

Their new mailing address is:
Mentor Livingston
P.O. Box 2300
Howell, MI 48844