Also on Nov. 25 will be the BBBS “Mentor Round-up” at Anytime Fitness. Beginning at 10 a.m. and lasting until roughly 8 p.m., workers from BBBS will be on-site with information about mentoring and all the required applications to enter the organization as a big brother or sister. Snacks and drinks will be provided. Stoffel said that BBBS tries to keep a 1 to 1 ratio of big mentors to little siblings, but due to a shortage of volunteers, there are still children on the waiting list, particularly little boys without a male mentor.
When becoming a mentor, one can expect to file the initial application, go through an intense screening process and have a background check, regardless of whether they are involved in the school or community programs. Those in the community program will be asked to provide personal and employer references and go through an additional home interview with a BBBS case worker. After being partnered, case workers will make weekly contact the first month, followed by monthly contact for the first year, after which case worker contact is completed quarterly. Parents approve big sibling matches with their children, as well as approving all activities.
Becoming a mentor does not cost anything, though if the mentor takes their little sibling somewhere, they usually cover the cost. Generally, BBBS tries to promote activities that don’t require money because the mentor’s presence is the valuable commodity. Going to the library or the park are popular activities. While meeting in person isn’t required each week, BBBS asks that the mentor maintain some kind of contact with their little sibling, whether it be by phone or email or in person.
“BBBS advocates doing things that don’t cost money. Their time and influence are the important things,” Stoffel said.
Stoffel added that BBBS always needs mentors and that there is a match for almost anyone. A wide variety of people have found enjoyment in being a positive influence for a child though BBBS. Donations are always accepted to assist with the running of the organization for those who wish to help but are unable to commit their time regularly.
“We do appreciate all the mentors that we have. We appreciate the time they spend with the children and being the positive influence that they are and that the kids need. We just appreciate all they do,” Stoffel said.
Anyone interested in obtaining more information about BBBS and the services they provide may do so at www.bbbsgreensburg.org or by calling 812-663-7556.
Contact: Amanda Browning 812-663-3111 x7004 email@example.com