Get a Big
Our future is Big
As a parent/caregiver, you recognize the potential of your child better than anyone. By giving your child the opportunity to be a part of Big Brothers Big Sisters, you’re starting them down a path to an even brighter, more promising future.
Match your child with another awesome adult! Life is hard – we all experience ups and downs and we know the more people you have in your corner, the better! We’d love the opportunity to provide your child with another positive, adult role model to help them ignite their own potential. Flip through the tabs below to see which program would be the best fit for you and your child.
Ages of Littles: 6-16 years of age
SELECT PROGRAM TYPE BELOW TO LEARN HOW TO GET A BIG
Little Meets Their Big
The Big and Little will meet for the first time and go on their first outing together and start meeting on a regular basis.
Meet Your Lunch Buddy
Meet Your Mentor
Safety From the start
Your child’s safety is extremely important to us. Big Brothers Big Sisters conducts a thorough background check on every volunteer in our program, and every relationship is closely monitored and supported by a professionally trained match coordinator.
Have Questions? We Have Answers
We’re here to help you every step of the way. View a full list of commonly asked questions to get the information you need.
The Big Brothers Big Sisters program is FREE of charge to families. Bigs get no compensation for volunteering their time.
Bigs are at least 18 years of age or older. 65% of our Bigs are between the ages of 23 to 39. Bigs want to make a difference in the life of a child and our community. These mentors are friends, role models, advocates and someone to stand with our youth as they realize their full potential through the power of a mentorship.
Making the best possible match between a Little and a Big is critical to the growth and development of a child. But before we begin the matching process, agency professional staff start by thoroughly screening potential Bigs. Big Brothers Big Sisters National Standards of Excellence require each volunteer to complete an extensive screening process that includes:
- Completion of a formal written application
- Background and reference checks
- An in-person interview
- Confirmation of identity via social security number and driver’s license
- Criminal history background check
- Driving record check
- Auto insurance verification
- Personal, family and work references
We also provide volunteer orientation and training processes that outline the individualized needs of the child and provide information and resources on how to encourage each child’s development. Child safety, match consistency and positive outcomes are our top priority.
The role of the family is very important in supporting the friendship of the Big and Little. When it comes to the future of our children and the well-being of our communities, we’re all in this together. So it should come as no surprise that we need the parents and guardians of Littles to be involved every step of the way, starting with the initial match.
Not only will you provide information about your child’s strengths and needs, but you’ll also approve the selection of the Big Brother or Big Sister. Once the match is made, you remain closely involved in many ways, including:
- Approving activities and outings for your child and their Big
- Asking your child questions about those outings, and sharing what you learn with the agency staff
- Reporting your child’s progress and milestones to the agency on a regular basis (Big Brothers Big Sisters will contact you, but we welcome your feedback any time)
- Participating in training on child safety offered by Big Brothers Big Sisters Staff
- Communicating with your child about the training he or she receives.
Being responsive to Big Brothers Big Sisters Staff once your child is matched helps support and strengthen the match relationship. It is an essential element.
Our team will learn more about both the Big and the Little during the interview process and that will help us prepare for the matching process. Matches are made based on many factors. Our professional enrollment and matching team looks for Bigs that they think will be a good fit based on where they live, personality and interests, life experiences, academic and career interest, etc.
That is when the fun begins!
Matches will meet according to the program you have chosen for your child. In the Community Program, the parent and Big will coordinate times for outings 2-4 times a month. In the Lunch Buddy Program, the Big will coordinate visits with the school for weekly lunch visits. For the Future Readiness Program, Bigs will coordinate visits with the student and the school. You and your child will have dedicated professional staff member throughout your child’s Match that will monitor the Match and offer resources for you and your family.
We ask for a minimum commitment of 12 months for each Match we make. That is often not the end, though – many of our friendships end up lasting a lifetime.