FAQs for Bigs
HOW MUCH TIME DOES IT TAKE?
On average, our adult mentors (Bigs) and children and youth (Littles) will meet for at least a few hours each week in the Community-Based Mentoring Program and one to two times a month in the Sports Buddies Program. Some prefer to spend the time all at once, and others prefer to meet more often and for shorter periods of time. Bigs in the Site-Based Mentoring Program meet with their Littles in school for 45-60 minutes each week throughout the school year.
DOES BEING A BIG REQUIRE EXPERIENCE?
You do not need any special skills or experience to become a Defender of Potential! Spending time and caring about your Little will make all the difference, as your help him/her see new Possibilities.
DOES IT COST ANYTHING TO BE A BIG?
There is no fee to be involved. Whatever a Big chooses to spend on his/her Little is up to him/her and his/her good judgment. However, we discourage doing costly activities and buying gifts, except for special occasions such as birthdays, Christmas, etc.
WHAT KIND OF SUPPORT CAN I EXPECT FROM BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS OF WASHINGTON COUNTY?
The staff is here for the sole purpose of serving the Bigs and Littles in any way possible. You will be contacted on a regular basis by a staff person to offer support and advice. We also encourage you to contact the office to discuss problems that arise or just to let us know the good news about your relationship with your Little.
HOW LONG OF A COMMITMENT MUST A BIG MAKE?
Bigs are asked to make at least a one-year commitment but we’re hopeful they’ll continue beyond a year. In the Community-Based Mentoring and Sports Buddies Programs, matches may continue meeting until the Little turns 18 or graduates from high school, whichever is the latter. Site-Based Mentoring Program matches may continue meeting until the Little transitions to high school. These matches are eligible to transfer to one of our community-based programs if there is a desire to continue meeting.
Many of matches result in a lifelong friendship.
ARE THERE ANY GROUP ACTIVITIES AVAILABLE FOR PROGRAM PARTICIPANTS?
There are planned group activities every other month. These are entirely optional, but many Bigs and Littles enjoy them as it provides a change of pace and an opportunity to meet other Bigs and Littles.
WHAT IS THE BENEFIT OF BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS?
Our Bigs are Defenders of Potential! They Create Possibilities for the Littles served through special, one-to-one friendships. An increased sense of belonging, enhanced social skills and improved performance at home, school and in the community are just a few ways our Littles show progress. The relationship changes the lives of our Bigs too as they are uplifted through giving of their time and talents to make a difference in the life of a Little.
WHAT IS THE ENROLLMENT PROCESS TO BE A BIG?
The enrollment process includes completion of an application, in-person interview, pre-match training, reference checks, and criminal background and driving record checks. When applicable, a home safety assessment will also be completed. The entire process can be completed within seven weeks but may be completed faster in some cases.
IS THERE ANY WAY I CAN BE OF HELP IN ADDITION TO BEING A BIG?
Yes, there are several ways! First, you can help us in our Big recruitment efforts by inviting your family members, friends and colleagues to serve as Bigs. There is a continuing need for more Bigs and many of our Bigs were first introduced to the program by a Big they knew. Secondly, we are always recruiting for our board of directors. Board members meet at least twice a month for committee and board meetings to oversee the agency and program. Lastly, as a Big you may help the agency with its fundraising efforts.