“What if you decide to leave? What happens if I do something you don’t like? Will you still be my ‘Big’?”
These are just some of the things heard out of the mouths of children in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program (BBBS). For most, the idea of a consistent, caring person in their life is foreign.
Take Juan, who started with BBBS when he was 6 (he is now 13). He’s been heard telling ‘Big Brother’ Rick “You helped turn me from an angry boy into a respectful young man.” Juan saw his dad get run over by a car and die when he was very young. Coupled with a tough household, he was in desperate need of a mentor. Especially one that could help with his anger issues.
Enter Rick.With a big personality and a lot of love to give, Rick has truly made a difference. He and Juan spend a lot of time together, hunting, fishing and just enjoying each other’s company. Rick has even set up a college account for Juan. Rumor has it he gets the money after he graduates high school.
Stories like Juan’s are typical for children in the BBBS program. That’s why BBBS helps at risk children ages 6 to 13 (Littles) by matching them with an adult mentor (Bigs). Volunteers are asked to commit to one full-year as consistency is very important to BBBS children. Many, if not most, however, choose to stay together well beyond the initial year.
Bigs like Rick provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change children’s lives for the better, forever. The people involved with BBBS are passionate about changing lives. Building stronger, healthier lives for children while enriching the lives of the volunteers, funders and staff that are part of the organization.
BBBS of FDL County currently provides ongoing support for about 130 active matches. Most are individual matches like Rick and Juan. But some are couples, families or school based matches as well. If you have time to give, Big Brothers Big Sisters will find a match that works for you.
There are 60 children between the ages of 6 and 13 waiting for a Big. (Down from 69 in July of 2015). There are a total of 720 hours in a month, all you need to spare are 4 to 6!
If you have what it takes to be BIG, contact Big Brothers Big Sisters at 920-922-8200.