Mentoring makes a huge difference in the life of a child, as well as helping the volunteer learn more about themselves, and interacting with youth.  We match youth age 5-17 with adult volunteers, who are fully interviewed and have had a background check.  The program director is available any time to answer questions or intervene as needed. Our focus is on the needs of the child. Therefore, active participation in and cooperation with the parents and/or guardians is essential to maximize the benefit of a mentor.  Mentors are  asked to spend 2 hours/week with the match, flexible , depending on whether the family or volunteer have other commitments such as school homework, or other family or volunteer issues arise. Communications between the parent’s/guardian and the volunteer is critical to a successful long term match. We have had matches go as long as 8 ½ years, and the typical match is 2-3 years.   The match is on a 6 month probationary basis, and if all goes well, and the child and volunteer can continue the match as long as everyone is working well together.

The volunteer and parent/guardians communicate to determine weekly activities.   We believe that a good relationship starts by just talking to the youth first, over the first 3-4 weeks, then going outside of the home after that time period.  Time spent with the child is the most important goal, it is not to plan expensive outings which may be a burden on the volunteer.  


The need for mentors has never been greater. Volunteers are needed to serve as mentors, and are matched as closely as possible to the needs of the youth. Please e-mail for more information on how to serve as an adult volunteer, sign up a youth, or support the program financially. Mentoring is an experience you will cherish for a lifetime, and is also a great experience to add to résumés as you show your commitment to youth and the community.


Clay-Union Foundation, Inc. does make a Difference!

Volunteers and contributors are always interested on seeing a return on their time and investments. Your financial commitments, donations, and support provide the foundation to our success. The mentoring program is making a big difference in the lives of children and young people.

An independent, National survey showed that youth in mentoring programs were:
Less likely to start using drugs
Less likely to start using alcohol
Less likely to skip a day of school
Less likely to skip a class
Less likely to hit someone
Less likely to lie to their parent or guardian

They were more likely to:
Be more confident of their academic performance
More trusting of parents and guardians
More likely to feel better about themselves

Locally, we see our youth become more outgoing, more engaged in talking with their parents and guardians, and having a more positive attitude on life, after just 6 months in our program.

In addition, volunteers report a high level of satisfaction with their matches, are more confident that they are giving back to the community, and are engaging more in community projects once they are aware of the needs.

To submit an application:

  1. Right-click and SAVE the application to your PC.
  2. Print the application and fill it out.
  3. Mail the application to:

Clay-Union Foundation, Inc.
P.O. Box 731
Elk Point, SD 57025

Note: The Clay-Union Foundation, Inc. applications are Adobe Acrobat files. If you don't have Adobe Acrobat installed you can still view the files using Adobe's FREE Acrobat Reader .

©2020 Clay-Union Foundation, Inc.