Wednesday, February 17, 2016

“You Get A Lot More Than You Give”

Bill Riner, a Big Brother in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program for 7 years, says “you get a lot more than you give” when referring to his experience with mentoring. He continues “I have had the opportunity to watch a little boy grow into a very fine, accomplished young man.”

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota is encouraging men in Minnesota to “Man Up” to meet the rising need for Big Brothers. The goal of the Man Up campaign is to recruit 100 male mentors in 100 days.

There is a critical need for men to volunteer. Boys comprise over 70% of the waiting list for mentors, yet only 20% of new volunteers are men. Boys in our community are waiting an average of 304 days before being matched with a Big Brother.

Being a mentor is about enjoying simple activities with your mentee. “How many senior citizens get to navigate through a straw maze, enjoy a haunted house, or spend an afternoon at a water park,” asks Riner.

“We play catch with a football and laugh about the times we’ve had together, such as when we could not get a kite to fly or the fishing trip where all we caught was cold feet,” states Riner.

The mentoring program provides ongoing guidance and support to its mentoring matches, including offering monthly activities and supplying matches with donated tickets to attend sporting events.

Big Brothers Big Sisters is currently looking for community partners to join them in the Man Up campaign. Several state and local leaders such as Senator Al Franken, St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis, St. Cloud State President Earl H. Potter III, St. John’s University President Michael Hemesath, and Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf, have created promotional videos for the agency offering their words of support and encouraging males to help meet the need.

Rachel Johnson, Big Brothers Big Sisters’ Recruiter, says they’re hoping local businesses will also consider partnering with them to help match some of their male employees with boys looking for a Big Brother.

Big Brothers Big Sisters is available to make presentations to organizations, companies, and clubs regarding its mentoring programs and evidenced-based outcomes with children in need.

For more information about becoming a mentor, or referring a male to provide friendship and inspiration to a child, visit or contact Rachel at 320-258-4537.

Photo 1: Big Brother Bill Riner with Little Brother Skyler Figallo in 2014

Photo 2: Big Brother Bill Riner with Little Brother Skyler Figallo in 2010

No comments:

Post a Comment