Will I have enough time?

When you become a Big Brother or Big Sister in our Community Based Program, you will be asked to make a one-year commitment to your Little Brother or Little Sister. How frequently and how much time you spend together will depend on the circumstances of your particular match.

What would you normally be doing this week? Going to a game or to the movies? Spending time outdoors, running errands or just puttering around the house? As a Big Brother or Big Sister you could be doing these same activities with a child and making a positive difference in a child’s life at the same time.

Although we ask for a one-year commitment, most Matches last longer than that. Some even last a lifetime!

When you become a “Big” in a school-based program, the time requirement is usually one hour per week. Again, we ask for a one-year (school year) commitment.

How is a Match made? (How do the BBBS Staff decide which child and volunteer will be best suited to each other?)

The BBBS staff is professionally trained. We have a time-tested approach to matching children and adults that result in highly successful and rewarding match relationships.

The match focuses on the needs of the child, and BBBS staff makes every effort to match children with adult volunteers based on similar interests and personalities. Your Case Manager will give you and your match the guidance and support you need to make sure you and your Little Brother or Sister form a successful relationship.

I haven’t spent much time with kids before …what do I have to offer?

YOURSELF! We all have gifts to offer a child. The Big Brother Big Sister matching process is designed to match your strengths and experiences with the needs of a child. You only need to be yourself and to be a friend. If you encounter a situation where you need some guidance, you have a Case Manager assigned to you for advice, assistance and support.

What do Matches do together?

You do not need to come up with something special to do when you are together. You can do simple things like playing games together or going for a hike, renting a movie and hanging out at home, sharing arts and crafts projects, going to the beach in summer or sledding in the winter. Whatever both of you enjoy doing is appropriate, as long as the parent of your Little Brother or Little Sister approves.

Many activities that are routine for you, such as running errands or doing yard work, will be exciting for your Little and more fun for you if you have someone to do them with. Take turns with your Little Brother/Sister deciding what you will do together.

In addition to doing things with just the two of you, Group Activities are offered regularly throughout the year. These are fun and give both you and your Little a chance to meet other Matches. We encourage Matches to get involved with community projects, either on their own or with other Matches.

If you are mentoring a student in a school, you can spend your hour playing games with your little, shoot some hoops in the gym, help with a homework assignment, or just talk. Some of your best times together may be in sharing your interests and talking about life experiences together.

What is involved in the volunteer Application Process and how long will it take before I can meet my Little Brother of Little Sister?

Before we make a match, we will ask you for both personal and work references and proof of car insurance. We will also do a criminal background and meet with you for an in-depth interview (so we can really get to know you).

Will I really be able to make a difference?

Parents, teachers and counselors report significant improvements among matched children – behaviorally and academically. Sometimes the changes are obvious and dramatic; sometimes they are harder to see. In every case, however, a matched child learns and grows in their relationship with his or her Big. Best of all, matched children feel better about themselves and more optimistic about the future because someone is giving them the extra attention they need. Research has proven that this is the most effective program for positively changing the life of a child.

What if something really serious comes up?

While most Match relationships develop and flourish without serious problems, things can happen. Big Brothers and Big Sisters play an important role, but that role does not include medical or psychological treatment, or family counseling. You are there to provide friendship and guidance to your Little. There are support systems in place for any serious issues or emergencies that may come up. The BBBS staff is professionally trained to help you deal with any situation that you may encounter while matched. We are just a phone call away.

What if for some reason I can’t continue my match?

Deciding to become a Big Brother or Big Sister is an important decision. We recognize, of course, that things happen in people’s lives that can’t be foreseen, such as being transferred to another state for work on very short notice. If you find out, after you are matched, that you can’t continue for ANY reason, your Case Manager is there to help you plan a way to leave your relationship with your Little in a way that can be a positive learning experience.

I am interested, but is there a way I can find out more before I decide?

Yes. Call the BBBS staff at 603.516.BBBS to find out more about the opportunities that are available. If you like, we can arrange for you to talk with a current “Big” so that you can hear their thoughts about the experience. There is no pressure to sign up. We want you to be fully informed and comfortable before making this important decision.