Big Brothers Big Sisters of St. Lucie County | home
Kids today face problems we never dreamed of when we were younger. But, hard as it is for some kids, there is help! A Big Brother or Big Sister can act as a mentor and a role model. A "Big" can show a child that, no matter how difficult things get, there is a caring adult friend there for them--someone who will listen with an uncritical ear, who will give advice if asked, encouragement when needed, and who will help put things into perspective. Ultimately, the guidance of a Big Brother or Big Sister can help a child grow into a confident, compentent, and caring individual.
A child's self-confidence increases when an adult friend genuinely cares. His or her future is broadened by a role model who can be another guide to life's opportunities and around life's obstacles. For our children, those obstacles are very real. At the same time, it gives the volunteer a chance to reconnect with young people, to make a good life even better, and to have a sense of giving something back. The joys of growing and learning together are shared by the child and the volunteer. As one mentor put it, "I joined to make a difference in a child's life, but sometimes I think I get more out of it than he does!"
A Big Brother or Big Sister can have a major impact on a child's life, and yet it's a truly simple process. It just takes some time, a love of life and a concern for children. A Big Brother or Big Sister is not a substitute parent or a babysitter. Activities are those any friends might share: going to the beach, a picnic, bicycling in the park, sitting and talking, watching movies, or even just running errands. One volunteer said, "Some of our best times are just talking when we are in the car." The focus is not on spending money, but on just spending time with the child. Your time can make a positive difference in a child's life.
Our service matches children from primarily one-parent households, with adult volunteers. The mentors and the children come from all walks of life. Prospective volunteers, who usually commit to a few hours a week for abut a year, are carefully evaluated by agency staff. Each match is based on the needs of the child and the interests of both the child and the volunteer. Once a match is made, professional caseworkers are there to provide advice and support to help the match grow.