The average Big Brother/Big Sister/Big Couple spends at least a few hours each week with his/her/their Little Brother/Little Sister. Some prefer to spend the time all at once, and others prefer to see the child more often and for shorter periods of time. Bigs in the Site-Based Mentoring Program meet with their Littles in school for an hour each week throughout the school year.
Does being a Big Brother, Big Sister or Big Couple require experience?
You do not need any special skills or experience. Spending time and caring about your Little makes a difference in the life of a child.
Does it cost anything to be a Big Brother, Big Sister or Big Couple?
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. We discourage doing costly activities and buying gifts, except for special occasions such as birthdays, Christmas, etc. The IRS has ruled that “out of pocket” expenses and mileage are deductible.
What kind of support can I expect from the agency?
The staff is there for the sole purpose of serving the Bigs and Littles in any way possible. You will be contacted on a regular basis by the agency’s caseworker. We also encourage you to contact the agency office to discuss problems which may arise or just to let us know the good news about your relationship with your Little Brother/Little Sister.
How long of a commitment must a Big Brother, Big Sister, Big Couple make?
We ask for at least a one year commitment. We have found that relationships of less than a year are not meaningful, and in some cases do more harm than good. The Big’s commitment formally ends when the child reaches his/her 18th birthday. Most Bigs and Littles remain close friends and see each other even after the match ends.
Are there any group activities available for program participants?
There are planned group activities every other month. These are entirely optional, but many Bigs & Littles enjoy them because it provides a change of pace and a chance to meet other Bigs and Littles.
What is the benefit of Big Brothers Big Sisters?
The individualized attention and companionship our children receive as a result of being matched has proven to help keep them away from drugs and alcohol, keep them in school and greatly reduce the likelihood they will have delinquent or aggressive behaviors.
What is the application process to be a Big Brother Big Sister volunteer?
The application process includes a personal interview, a criminal background check, driving record check, references and a home visit. The entire process can be completed within 3-4 weeks.
Is there any way I can be of help in addition to being a Big Brother, Big Sister or Big Couple?
Yes, there are several ways. First, there is a continuing need for more Big Brothers/Big Sisters. Many of our Bigs were introduced to the program by a friend who was a Big. Promoting the program at a Big’s place of employment has also been a productive way of gaining new volunteers. Secondly, there is a Board of Directors. This group meets once a month to oversee the agency and program. Directors are elected for a three year term. Membership as a director requires participation on a functional committee. Lastly, as a Big you may help the agency with its fund raising efforts.