Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

"But I have found that in the simple act of living with hope, and in the daily effort to have a positive impact in the world, the days I do have are made all the more meaningful and precious. And for that I am grateful." - Elizabeth Edwards

Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) has been helping children build bigger, brighter futures since 1904. They believe that by pairing adults ("Bigs") and children ("Littles") between the ages of 6-18, they can develop positive relationships that will, in turn, have a direct and lasting effect on the child and help the child achieve success in their life.

"Mission: Provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever."

Big Brothers Big Sisters is currently operating in almost 370 communities across the United States. Professionally trained Big Brothers Big Sisters staff work with the education and juvenile justice communities to find children that are in adverse situations and see how they can help.

So, what do "Bigs" and "Littles" do? Well, it depends on the situation. There's nothing specific that you have to do, you just need to spend a few hours every month with your "Big" or "Little." It's based specifically on the pairing and what they like to do. So if they both like art, they can go to a museum or if they both like sports they can go to a sporting event. Some Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies also offer school-based mentoring programs so it's really up to the "Bigs" and "Littles."

If you think this is an interesting program, you're probably wondering, how does one become a "Big" or "Little"? Well, before BBBS can offer you the position you have to go through a background check and an interview process. Afterwards, if they think you're a good candidate you get matched with your "Big" or "Little" based on location, personality, and preferences. BBBS is always there if you ever need help with anything as well, so don't worry if you don't know what to do!

What's the point though? What does this program do? Well, according to their website (bbbs.org), "national research has shown that positive relationships between Littles and their Bigs have a direct and measurable impact on children's lives. By participating in our [BBBS] programs, Little Brothers and Sisters are: more confident in their schoolwork performance, able to get along better with their families, 46% less likely to begin using illegal drugs, 27% less likely to begin using alcohol, and 52% less likely to skip school."

So what can you do to help? You can enroll to become a big brother or sister, make a donation, enroll a little, become a volunteer, or you can even help by spreading the word and raising awareness through social media or even word of mouth! Anything you do helps. Even if you just read this, you're helping because you are making yourself more aware. (:

By helping children, we are helping the future because the children are the future! We are the future. Just remember, anything you do, even if it as simple as just looking at their website, is helpful. And remember to always be grateful for what you have because there is always someone out there who has it worse.

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