GET INVOLVED

There are many ways to support the mission of changing children’s lives for the better, forever.

Volunteer

Becoming a Big is one of the most enjoyable and fulfilling things you’ll ever do. You can help shape a child’s future for the better by empowering them to achieve. And the best part is, it’s actually a lot of fun. You and your Little can share the kinds of activities you already like to do.

While there are youth across the country are waiting to be matched, there are thousands of boys in particular who are ready and waiting to be matched with Big Brothers right now. There are more than twice as many boys on our waiting lists than girls. 

 

Give

You can also make a donation to help fund our one-to-one matching and ongoing professional mentoring support unique to Big Brothers Big Sisters. Your gift will help match a child with an adult mentor. The gift you make today will lead to better outcomes for our nation’s children tomorrow.

Mentoring Works

Big Brothers Big Sisters, the nation’s largest donor and volunteer supported mentoring network, holds itself accountable for youth in its program to achieve measurable outcomes such as: educational success; avoidance of risky behaviors; and higher aspirations, greater confidence, and better relationships.

National research has shown that positive relationships between youth and their Big Brothers and Big Sisters have a direct and measurable impact on their lives.

Little Brothers & Sisters are…

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LESS LIKELY TO BEGIN USING ILLEGAL DRUGS
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LESS LIKELY TO BEGIN USING ALCOHOL
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LESS LIKELY TO SKIP SCHOOL

Community-Based & Site-Based Mentoring

Our community-based mentoring program is the traditional Big Brothers Big Sisters experience. It is all about building relationships between our volunteer mentors and their mentees. For a few hours, a couple of times a month the boys and girls of BBBS get to enjoy and share their favorite activities with our volunteers. They share their interests like shooting hoops, playing a board game, watching movies, taking a walk in the park, sharing a pizza, etc. Learn more about community-based mentoring by clicking here.

School-based mentoring is not a classroom program or tutoring; it is one-to-one mentoring with the child’s school as its setting. Volunteers who participate in our school-based mentoring program meet with their Littles for at least one hour each week throughout the school year. Matches in this program do not meet outside of the school setting. Learn more about school and site-based mentoring by clicking here.

For more information on either program, please contact us at enrollment@becomeabig.com.

You are a role model.

Commonly Asked Questions

The mission of Big Brothers Big Sisters is to create and support one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth.

 

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern Lake Michigan Region (BBBS-SLMR) focuses on one-to-one, community based mentoring relationships, which help youth in the program develop confidence, competency and caring.

The Little is a youth in need of a consistent, supportive, positive friend in their life. The youth is between the ages of 6 and 18. Once a youth is matched, the relationship can continue until he or she graduates high school.

The Big Brothers or Big Sister is a mature, responsible volunteer who seeks to make an impact in the life of a youth by providing a caring and positive friendship. There are not any occupational, religious, or educational requirements. A Big may be of any age, race, religion, sex, or marital status.

Couples can volunteer together can become a Big Couple. Families can volunteer as a Big Family.

The youth and volunteer generally see each other 2-4 times each month for 1-5 hours, depending on the schedule of the Big and Little and the match itself. Each volunteer is expected to commit to at least one year of volunteering.

The ordinary, everyday things that are always more fun when done with a friend! The match may have an activity in common, such as fishing, crafts, or a particular sport. They may learn together, just talk, attend some special event or even volunteer together. Matches can also enjoy something new or out of the ordinary, such as a new hobby or special experience like a concert. The agency also offers occasional group activities, such as ice skating, a Summer Picnic, a Christmas Party, camping trips, etc.

The purpose of the agency in the relationship is to provide support and guidelines to the people involved in each match. This is done by the Match Support Specialist over the length of the match. The Match Support Specialist and other agency program staff (including Enrollment Specialist, Customer Relations Specialist, etc.) are involved in the match in many ways, including: the recruitment, interview, and overall intake of new volunteers and youth; matching Bigs and Littles; and offering support, guidance, and supervision to the volunteer, youth, and parents.

There is no charge for parents and youth to be enrolled in the program.

Overall, the agency is funded by private donations, grants and fundraising activities. The agency is a not-for-profit organization and contributions are tax deductible. Participants may be asked to help with fundraising and promotional activities.

Although many activities can be low cost or even free, there is an expectation that the Big will cover the cost of the outings. The agency offers some free match events throughout the year, and will often post calendars and activities on the BBBS website with free community events. (Reasonable unreimbursed out-of-pocket expenses incurred by the volunteer for the Little and mileage may be tax deductible.)

Any person interested in volunteering as a Big is encouraged to contact the BBBS office.

Youth enter the program by referral from parents, school, or social service agencies, and by the consent of the parent or guardian only. The parent and youth must agree to interviews for social history and understand that youth are matched as volunteers become available.

All information is treated in a confidential manner. Services are provided without regard to race, age, sex, religion, handicap, national origin or ancestry.