We're so glad you're interested in becoming a Big Brother or Big Sister. The basic steps and information for all one-on-one volunteer applicants is here for you to get started.
We'll find the program that's right for you!
The volunteer enrollment process along with the BBBS team, will help to determine the program(s) that best fit your needs. To get started complete Step 1 - Contact Request Form.Contact Request Form
MATCH STORIES - The Power of Mentoring
Justin / Michael - Matched Since 2012Program: Community-Based
Frequently Asked Questions
We ask for a minimum commitment of one year for each Match we make. Matches stay in the Traditional program until the Little is in the 8th grade, at that time they transition to our ACES program where they may remain active through at least the Little’s first year of post-secondary education. That is not the end though, many of our friendships end up lasting a lifetime.
We do everything in our power to make a Match that we think will last. However, we realize that sometimes things come up, Bigs or Littles move, situations change or something doesn’t work out. We will attempt to mediate the situation, but if it doesn’t work out, we will end the Match. If this happens, your Case Manager will be there to support you every step of the way and handle it in the best way possible.
Once you are matched with your Little , a Match Support Specialist from the agency will be in regular contact with you to provide assistance and give feedback. Any time you are unsure about what to do or how to handle a situation, you will have a Match Support Specialist there to help. They’ll help you with ideas for activities, guidance for handling possible difficult situations, and feedback on how you are making a difference.
In the beginning, it’s important for you and your Little to get to know each other. This can happen best on a one-to-one basis. However, over time it’s also valuable for your Little to get to know the people who are important to you. Just keep in mind that if you’re spending lots of time with others, your Little may begin to feel jealous or neglected. The main focus is the friendship you develop with your Little and the impact you have on his/her life.
The quality of time invested 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 a Little see the world through a different lens so you can inspire them 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. BBBS Independence Region offers 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.
Anything you like. Share an activity that gives you something in common to talk about. Go to the library, check out a book and read together, play a board game, go on a nature walk, or just hang out and talk about the music you like. You want to select activities that give each of you a chance to learn more about one another, so we often recommend sharing an activity rather than creating a new one. Most important … keep it simple and enjoy yourselves!
Parents that enroll their children in the BBBS program want the very best for their children. They see the benefits of introducing another caring adult role model in the life of their child. Many say that their children’s Bigs are able to talk to them about issues that are just difficult for a parent to address. That is why parents often say introducing a Big into their child’s life has not only changed their son/daughter’s life but it’s impacted the entire family. BBBS Independence Region only enrolls children who want and need the program and whose parents specifically want them to be in the program, so 100% of the children enrolled are ready and excited about being matched.
Our Bigs come from diverse backgrounds just like our Littles. They are regular people, just like you, and come in all shapes and sizes. You don’t need any special degrees or job skills – you just have to want to positively impact a young person by being their friend.
As a team, you decide together what you want to do, and then your Little must get parent or guardian approval. We recommend that you keep a consistent schedule of outings and get together on a regular basis (2-4 hours, 2-14 times per month). We provide free and low-cost activities for Bigs and Littles too!