Big Brother Big Sister (BBBS) is a national organization that pairs “bigs” with “littles.” What this means is that an adult is paired with a child between the ages of 6 and 18. The “littles” come from backgrounds in which there is some type of situation that he or she may need a little bit of extra love. Single parents are a huge portion of the members. Parents in jail, behavioral issues, etc., also are some of the predicaments. The organization’s vision is that all children achieve success in life.
I’ve been a mentor since 2010 with the same little girl, who is now 13. She comes from a single parent, low-income home. She was having anger issues at 7 years old and her mother knew something needed to be done to help her daughter. She enrolled her in BBBS. We had a sit down at her home, which happened to be five minutes from mine at the time, in April of 2010. Pairs aren’t always from the same town so we lucked out. It has made it easier to spend time together.
The organization’s only requirement (after screening each person of course) for the match is that we spend 6-10 hours a month together. I was able to continue the match even when I moved to NYC because I’d come home to visit family and also fulfill that requirement. I am back and have a new baby so I am also still able to fulfill the obligation. The notion of building trust is important for these littles. They have had so many adults fail in that department. The organization makes it relatively easy to do this.
BBBS provides activities, a lot of them being free-of-charge, to the bigs and littles. They also provide match support to make sure both are getting what they want out of the relationship. A lot of matches don’t make it the five and half years that we have. I’ve had a great match coordinator who has helped through any minor bumps over the years. These 5 and half years have been such a blessing!
If any of you are looking for an opportunity to better a child’s life, please visit their website: http://www.bbbs.org/site/c.9iILI3NGKhK6F/b.5962335/k.BE16/Home.htm
You can find your local chapter also on this site.
“Be Kind to One Another” -Ellen Degeneres