It was warm this past group night at the shelter. When I arrived, I was told a young man would be coming to spend time outside with the boys.
He turned out to be a basketball coach/recruiter for a local university and was tall, strong, and handsome. My supervisor introduced me to him and he immediately sat down at the picnic table where I was playing a board game with a little boy.
His warm, natural personality immediately had the little guy entralled.
Ditto the other older boys.
What a great night. After the "work" part of group, most of the kids went back outside to play. One girl joined the basketball "game" but the rest of the kids were older boys and the "little guy." They played enthusiastically and listened to his instruction and guidance.
How happy they looked. They listened carefully, followed his suggestions, and obviously enjoyed his gifts of time and attention so much.
I've volunteered at the shelter for four+ years. Men volunteers often fix minor problems or install things in the shelter, but the kids don't interact with them.
Four years ago, we had a teen male "babysitter" who was great with the kids, but this young man was the first adult male volunteer. The short-term effect of his kind behavior was wonderful to see.
How I hope he has time to repeat his visit often. The boys need his kind of male so badly.
So do the girls.