"One small step, one BIG result!
Make a difference today!"
~ Rick Parsons, Big Brother
the need is urgent
Big Brothers needs men like you—or, if you’re a woman, like men you know and love— to step up to the plate.
We are launching an ambitious, no-holds-barred campaign to signup an additional 100 Big Brothers in one year.
“1 Year 100 Men,” as the campaign is called, addresses a severe shortage of Big Brothers in the greater St. John’s area.
Throughout the region, more than 150 boys—enough for almost 20 baseball teams—are waiting for Big Brothers now. The average wait for boys to be matched with a Big Brother can be up to 12-14 months. Some boys wait up to two years.
“Two years is too long”, says Kelly Leach, Executive Director. “Maybe people don’t realize that boys can wait that long. I am confident that the greater St. John’s area can find at least 100 men to become Big Brothers this year.”
Keep in mind, the need is not to adopt these boys. Nor is it to parent them. Rather, the need is simply to mentor them, showing them in the clearest way possible—through the gift of friendship—that they matter, that people care, that life is good.
In addition to the traditional Community-Based Mentoring, Big Brothers Big Sisters offers an In-School Mentoring program . Either way, Big Brothers and Big Sisters invest in the lives of young people, many of whom come from single-parent families and all of whom need positive role models.
“With more than 150 boys waiting for a Big Brother and a rising number of single-parent families in our area, we’re asking for men to come forward,” says Peter Ringrose, Board Chair. “We have a vision that every child who needs a mentor will have a mentor. We need men in the greater St. John’s area to come forward and make a difference now”.
myths & misconceptions
|BIG BROTHERS AND BIG SISTERS ACT AS SUBSTITUTE PARENTS.|
Not true. In reality, they serve as mentors or role models to children who need this positive influence in their lives. Our children waiting for a match range in age from six to 16 and many come from single-parent families. However, Big Brothers and Big Sisters don’t join these families, nor do they assume the same extent of responsibility a parent would.
|BEING A BIG BROTHER OR BIG SISTER TAKES A LOT OF TIME.|
Wrong. “There is an opportunity that can fit everyone’s schedule, whether they have two hours a week or several hours a month.” See “A program for everyone” on page 6 for details on our programs, which vary widely in how many volunteer hours are expected and over what time period. Hint: One-to-one mentoring isn’t the only choice.
|BEING A BIG BROTHER OR BIG SISTER TAKES LOT OF MONEY.|
Not so. Big Brothers Big Sisters encourages low- and nocost activities and can help you with ideas if you’re stumped.
|ONLY HEROES AND HEROINES NEED APPLY. |
Another myth. To be a Big Brother, you don’t need to be Superman. To be a Big Sister, you don’t need to be Superwoman. People often put themselves under too much pressure out of fear they won’t measure up. Yet the desire to make a difference is a mentor’s most important trait. “We’re simply looking for people who want to make a positive difference in the lives of children, period,” Leach says.
|SENIORS DON’T QUALIFY.|
Actually, seniors make great mentors and we’d love to have more of them. If you’re a willing senior but travel plans or health concerns are standing in the way, please let us know. We’ll be glad to discuss your needs and find a mentoring opportunity that suits you. Tip: We often hear from our older volunteers that mentoring helps keep them young.
|LITTLE BROTHERS AND LITTLE SISTERS ARE TROUBLED CHILDREN.|
What most defines our children is not that they are troubled, but rather, that they are eager. Eager to have a Big Brother or Big Sister walk through the brave red door of their hearts and lives. Eager to do fun, and perhaps new things with their Big Brother or Big Sister. Eager to have someone to talk to, joke around with and simply “be” with. Support mechanisms are in place to assist, should problems arise, but in most cases, proper screening and matching procedures help ensure that our matches go smoothly.
a program for everyone
If you’d like to make a difference in young lives by volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters, be assured that we can work around your schedule. Whatever your circumstances or level of availability, we can find the niche that’s right for you. Although the need for male volunteers is most urgent—thus our 1 Year 100 Men campaign—many girls also need adult role models. Right now we are accepting application from women for our In-School Mentoring program. In addition to opportunities in public relations and fundraising, here are some ways to volunteer through direct involvement with youth:
BIG BROTHERS/BIG SISTERS— These are our flagship programs, each involving a match between a caring adult and a child in need of a mentor. We ask for a commitment of at least one year, and participation in weekly activities.
IN-SCHOOL MENTORING— It’s not about homework! This program takes place at the child’s school during the school year. The volunteer spends one hour per week during the school day doing fun activities with the youth in need of a mentor.
GO GIRLS!— Led by women mentors age 18 to 25, this weekly, seven-week program is designed to help Grade 7 and 8 girls develop healthy bodies and minds. Go Girls! involves active games, healthy snacks and discussions aimed at developing self esteem.
Have we convinced you? Are you wondering what to do next? Here are the basic steps involved in becoming a Big Brother or Big Sister:
|1||Express your interest. To let us know you’re interested, complete an on-line inquiry form. Or, you can give us a call at 368-KIDS (5437). |
|2||Fill out an application form. In response to your call, or completion of the on-line form, we’ll send you an application form. Or, if you visit, we’ll give you the form on the spot and talk with you about the programs we offer and the application process. |
|3||Complete the process. This includes an information session and interview, a police check, three reference checks and a child safety session. Don’t worry; we’re friendly and will give you all the details as you go. |
|4||Meet your match! If you’ll be involved in one-toone mentoring, we’ll select a potential match for you, then meet with you, the child and the child’s parent to help you and your Little off to a great start! |