GIVE A LITTLE SOMETHING BACK.
BE A BIG.
You have a big opportunity in front of you – to not only impact a child’s life today, but to transform their potential for tomorrow. We’re always looking for people eager to positively impact a child and improve their community at the same time. Big Brothers especially are in high demand. For a few hours, a couple times a month, you can give a Little the invaluable gift of your friendship. By simply changing their perspective of what the world can offer, you can literally start changing their lives. And sometimes it’s as simple as playing video games, going to a museum, or just hanging out together.
WHY WE NEED BIGS
Doing good is a beautiful thing. As a BIG, you can give a girl or boy an opportunity to see beyond their everyday world and dream big. It’s good for your Little, as well as your community. And it can start with simply letting her enjoy the things you already love to do, but can grow into something bigger.
For a few hours, a couple times a month, you can give a Little the invaluable gift of your friendship. By simply changing their perspective of what the world can offer, you can literally start changing their lives. And sometimes it’s as simple as playing video games, going to a museum, or just hanging out together.
WHAT OUR LITTLES SAY
Our impact on our Little’s self confidence is confirmed by those closest to it: our Littles. In a 2009, we commissioned industry leader Civic Enterprises to conduct a nationwide survey of our Bigs and Littles. The results speak volumes about the ways in which Big Brothers Big Sisters helps to change a child’s life for the better, forever:
- Despite the barriers they face, 94% of Littles said they have a lot or some confidence they will achieve their goals.
- 93% of Littles said to have adults who care and look out for them is very important to helping them achieve their goals.
- 80% of Littles said they feel their Bigs help them a lot.
A CALL TO MEN & MEN OF COLOR
More than 70% of our children waiting for a Big are boys, but only 3 out of every 10 inquiries to volunteer come from men. Research shows that having the positive influence of a Big Brother makes a real difference in a boy’s life. So join the hundreds of thousands of volunteers that give a young person someone to look up to. And learn why so many are now saying, “I get back so much more than I give.
Disproportionately the children we serve and those waiting to be matched are African-American and Hispanic boys. Their parents seek our support, knowing a Big Brother can recognize their son’s potential and model positive choices that put him on the path for success in and out of school.
FAQ’S ABOUT BEING A BIG
WHO ARE THE BIG BROTHERS & SISTERS IN THE PROGRAM?
Our Bigs come from diverse backgrounds just like our Littles. They are regular people, just like you. You don’t need any special degrees or job skills. You just have to want to positively impact a young person. Role models come in all shapes and sizes, and you could be a perfect fit!
HOW MUCH MONEY SHOULD I SPEND?
The quality of time invested with your Little is more important than the amount of money you spend. That’s why we don’t encourage spending a lot of money on your outings. The goal of the relationship is to help him see the world through a different lens so you can inspire him to become something he never thought possible. If you are going to spend money, we encourage you to seek out low-cost activities, especially in the beginning. Shoot hoops at a local park, play a game together, or share that pizza that you were going to have for lunch anyway. Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies offer donor-supported group activities that are a great way to meet other Bigs and Littles. As a Big, you may also receive notices for free tickets to cultural and sports activities for you both to enjoy.
WHAT ARE SOME GOOD IDEAS FOR OUTINGS WITH MY LITTLE BROTHER OR SISTER?
Share an activity that gives you something in common to talk about. You want to select activities that give each of you a chance to learn more about one another. Go to the library, check out a book and read together. Play a board game. Go on a nature walk. Or hang out and talk about the music you like. For children, playing can be learning. Most important: keep it simple and enjoy yourselves! Buy a comic book to read together. Play a board game. Hit a bucket of golf balls at the local driving range. Take a ride in the car with the radio on and talk about the music you like. You want to select activities that give each of you a chance to learn more about one another. For children, playing can be learning. Most important: keep it simple and enjoy yourselves!
WHEN CAN I SEE MY LITTLE SISTER OR BROTHER?
As a Big/Little team, you decide together what you want to do and then your Little gets parent approval. We recommend that you keep a consistent schedule of outings and get together on a regular basis. Your local agency will provide more guidance on this. Until your relationship is established the outings will also depend on the comfort level of your Little’s parents, your Little and you.
WHAT KIND OF SUPPORT CAN I EXPECT FROM BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS ONCE I GET MATCHED?
Once you are matched with your Little, a Match Support Specialist from the agency will be in regular contact with you to provide assistance and give feedback. Any time you are unsure about what to do or how to handle a situation, you will have a Match Support Specialist there to help. They’ll help you with ideas for activities, guidance for handling possible difficult situations, and feedback on how you are making a difference.
CAN I BRING MY SPOUSE, A FRIEND OR FAMILY MEMBER ON OUTINGS?
In the beginning it’s important for you and your Little Sister or Brother to get to know each other. This can happen best on a one-to-one basis. However, over time it’s also valuable for your Little to get to know the people who are important to you. Just keep in mind that if you’re spending lots of time with others, your Little may begin to feel jealous or neglected. The main focus is the friendship you develop with your Little and the impact you have on her/his life.
WILL I BECOME A REPLACEMENT PARENT?
No, Littles have a parent or guardian in their life already. What they need is a Big to spend quality, one-on-one time with them. Someone to have fun with, someone they can confide in, someone like you!
STILL HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT BIGS?
For more information or any questions about being a Big, please contact Kirsten Boll, Enrollment & Matching Manager