Shortage of male volunteers for Big Brothers Big Sisters match program

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Wabash Valley needs your help. The youth organization pairs "bigs" and "littles" to give kids a one-on-one mentoring relationship. Currently, there's a shortage of male bigs for male littles.

Posted: Sep 4, 2019 12:44 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI)- Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Wabash Valley needs your help. The youth organization pairs "bigs" and "littles" to give kids a one-on-one mentoring relationship.

Currently, there's a shortage of male bigs for male littles.

According to Chances and Services for Youth, there are almost 40 children on the waitlist looking for a match. 35 of those looking are young boys seeking a male mentor.

Right now, there are only two men going through the application process.

A boy may receive a female big if they want but most prefer a male.

Program Coordinator, Emily Freeman, says while it may seem like extra effort, it's something that benefits both parties.

"It's just as rewarding for the big as it is the little. I mean, I love seeing our matches together and the friendships they form and hearing what they've done.  I can't imagine you're the one that's matched up..how rewarding it must be to be their mentor," Freeman said.

Some children awaiting a male mentor have been on the waitlist for over a year. Freeman tells us it's discouraging for the child.

"They were all really excited to get enrolled in the program and now they're just waiting," Freeman said. "We've had some that come to the events we offer for the waitlist and they say 'Have you found me a big brother yet?' and it's really heartbreaking to tell them 'No, we're still looking, we're still trying to recruit more volunteers."

The entire process is simple and could change a child's life.

In order to register, you must be 18 or older, pass a background check, provide three references, complete a volunteer interview and complete training.

For more information on how you can register to become a big, click here. 

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