When you were growing up did you have a parent, adult, or mentor that you could turn to for advice? Well, not everyone is lucky enough to have a person like this in their life- that is where Big Brothers, Big Sisters comes in to help. Anyone can help out in a variety of different ways. One can sign-up to be a Big or sign-up as a volunteer mentor; people can even sign-up as non-mentoring volunteers.
Becoming a Big is the most common way for people to help out in a hands-on way. The process for becoming a Big has several steps, but all the steps are necessary to help ensure the suitability of potential volunteers and in creating the best possible matches.
The enrollment process includes the following steps:
- Complete online application, providing us with references
- Complete BBBS training
- Complete in-person interview/home assessment
- Driving record and criminal background check
When signing up to become a volunteer mentor, a person is required to commit for a minimum of one year. When a person signs up to be a volunteer there are a few different programs a person can choose from: Community-based, school-based, or site-based program. For the community-based program, Bigs spend a few hours, 3-4 times per month, with their Littles doing activities in the community.
Community-based programs are a great way for both the Bigs and Littles to get out and meet other people in the community. In the school-based program, Bigs spend about one hour a week at the child’s school. They also keep in touch during the summer months via phone or mail. Site-based Bigs often will meet their Littles at a designated spot in the community and play board games or some other kind of activity.
Signing up to be a non-mentoring volunteer is another great way to get involved and help out! A non-mentoring volunteer is someone who plays an important role by offering their skills to help recruit, promote the agency, and assist at local events. Word of mouth has proven to be our strongest form of referrals and recruitment, so don’t be afraid to tell your friends!
There are many ways to get involved and be a Big. No one way is better than the other. Every way is helpful, especially when you are helping a child in your community. If you are looking to sign-up or want more information please visit our website for more information.