Monday, April 20, 2015

Becoming a Big

Today is National Volunteer Recognition Day! There’s no better way to celebrate than interviewing a couple of our volunteers about what it’s like to be a Big. Christina Gau and Kristen Norlund are just beginning their journey as a volunteer Big with Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS). Both of them were motivated to volunteer when Rachel Bogenrief, a recruiter for BBBS, visited the team at DAYTA Marketing to talk about volunteer opportunities and what it means to be a mentor. Kristen was a mentor in high school and had such a great time that she wanted to do it again! She said her first mentoring experience, “was a great experience and I could tell how much she valued our time together and I loved it!”

One of the most exciting experiences when volunteering as a Big, is meeting your Little for the first time! The first meeting is at BBBS with the Big, the Little, the parents of the Little, and an employee of BBBS. The goal of the meeting is to get to know all parties involved, learn what is expected of all parties involved, and talk about what the relationship will look like after the initial meeting.

Before you can get matched up with a Little, BBBS has to get to know you. Christina said, “There were a lot of questions. The interview was about an hour and a half long. They asked everything they needed to know to make sure the Little was going to be in a safe environment.” The process is very thorough to ensure a perfect match!

Going through the process of becoming a Big can take up to a month, because, as Kristen describes, “the process of becoming a Big was not only exciting but also very thorough. They dig deep into who you are and why you want to be involved in this organization and spend time with a child. They ask questions about your past, present and future and make sure that you will be a positive role model for the little. They also want to make sure that you will be committed and are planning on staying in the area and carry out the relationship for at least a year.”

Both ladies made it clear that they are excited to become a mentor and a role model for a child who needs one. They can’t wait to get started!

Volunteering is not one sided. Becoming a Big is a very rewarding experience not only for the Little but for the Big as well. At BBBS, we couldn’t be more thankful for our volunteers and everything they do. We couldn’t do what we do without them. A BIG thank you goes out to all volunteers! Thank you kindly for your service.

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