Each volunteer that applies goes through a multi-layered enrollment process. We do not accept every volunteer who is interested in becoming a Big. Volunteers are required to complete an application, a background/driving check, provide references, and attend an in-person interview. If approved for the program, Volunteers are required to attend a training prior to matching.
We ask for a minimum commitment of one year for each match we make. Matches can remain active through elementary, middle, and high school. Many of our friendships end up lasting a lifetime.
Once your child is matched with their Big, your family will be assigned a Mentor Relationship Specialist. This professional staff member will be present the first time you and your child meet their Big. They will be available to provide support throughout the lifetime of your match relationship. Your Mentor Relationship Specialist will be in regular contact with you, providing ideas for activities, guidance and coaching tips, resources, and will always be ensuring child safety.
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!
While this varies by program, in general, you and your Little will decide what you want to do then your Little will get approval from their parent. We recommend getting together on a regular basis. Your Match Support Specialist can also provide case-specific guidance on this topic. Overall, outings depend on the comfort level of you, the Little, and their parents.
Our Bigs are regular people, like you. They come from diverse backgrounds. They’re accountants. Baristas. Construction workers. Lawyers. Anyone who wants to positively impact a young person – no special degree or skills needed. Role models come in all shapes and sizes. You could be a perfect fit.
During the application process, we interview you, the Little, and their parent to learn specifics that will help us make a Match. This includes age, religion, personality, family background, ethnicity, and interests. We strive to follow your preferences closely when selecting Matches. After we exchange information regarding a potential Little, you will have the final say as to whether or not this is the right fit for you.
A “Match” is the paring of a Big and a Little.
A “Little” is any youth in our programs between the ages of 6 to 22. A Little could be your niece or nephew, the kid next door or a kid at your church – or any other youth. Our Littles come from all different backgrounds and socioeconomic groups.
The quality of the time you invest 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 your Little see the world through a different lens so you can inspire your Little to become something they never thought possible. If you are going to spend money, we encourage you to seek out low-cost activities, especially in the beginning. 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.