Mentoring changes lives. We see that every day at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Fairfield County (BBBS). Our mission is to provide children facing adversity with mentoring programs that change their lives for the better, forever. Our “Littles” perform better in school, are more confident in their social skills, have better family relationships, and create plans for their futures.
On October 1, Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies nationwide rebranded. We launched a new logo, new color, and new message. We are excited about the possibilities rebranding can provide our community. We need to raise awareness that our mission is vital and urgent. We need to provide more services to youth in our community to help avoid risky life choices later. Prevention is key with children. Together we can strengthen our community one child at a time. Now is our time to recruit more volunteers because we do not create potential, we DEFEND it.
At BBBS, we are making an impact. Little Brother Jayce was being bullied at school, his grades dropped, and he started to withdraw and refused to go to school. His mother knew he needed extra support and signed him up for a Big Brother. Along came Bill … he had heard about BBBS for years but was not sure he was the right person for the job of Big Brother. He sat with a BBBS staff member at a lunch and started to ask questions about the program and what was required. He met other Big Brothers and asked them about their experiences. Bill agreed to volunteer. Once Bill became a Big Brother, we knew Jayce was the one for him. At BBBS we match “Bigs” with Littles based on their personalities and interests. This allows for a long and enduring relationship. Big Brother Bill and Little Brother Jayce have hit it off and are doing amazing things in our community. Little Brother Jayce’s self confidence has improved, he loves attending school again, and he ran for a class officer this year! We get to hear amazing stories like this every day. We need more people like Bill to ask questions and learn about our programs because there are many more kids like Jayce waiting today.
With the financial assistance from the ADAMH Board, our agency provided one-on-one mentoring to more than 130 children in our community this year, but the need is still great. We currently have 63 Ready to Match youth waiting for a Big Brother or Big Sister of which 45 of those children are boys. The need for male volunteers is urgent. Each day a child waits is one more day of lost opportunity. This fall, our agency added a new school-based mentoring program through a partnership with the Pickerington Alternative School. We currently operate programs in all Lancaster City and Berne Union schools. By offering both community- and school-based mentoring, prospective Bigs can choose the opportunity that best fits their schedules. Serving more children requires additional funding and that is where you can help. The average cost of supporting one Big/Little match each year is $1,200. With your yes vote, ADAMH can provide prevention services, like youth mentoring. BBBS’s youth mentoring program is life-changing for the Little, the Little’s family, and the Big. We are asking for your support for Issue 6 because mentors are needed now more than ever.
For more information and to volunteer, visit www.bbbs-fairfieldoh.org.