WARSAW — Big Brother Big Sisters of Northeast Indiana helps match at-risk children with a one-to-one mentor, who can help them succeed in every aspect of life.
“Children who sign up and receive a mentor are 27 percent more likely to receive a degree and 67 percent agree that their mentoring played a role in their decision to attend college,” said Match Support Specialist Brittany Halferty. “And now, we have programs that extend even farther, going in to college. So you could have a seven-year old start with us and have a mentor until he is through college.”
A BBBS mentor meets with a child twice a month for about four hours to help with homework and do fun activities together. Every “little” brother or sister is paired with a “big” to help provide moral support and encouragement, which might not be there otherwise.
“Making a match between a big and a little costs around $1,000 for the first year,” Halferty noted. “We pay our involvement team to ensure every match is correct, we pay for background checks, driving history and even counseling checks.”
Any way a person decides to give helps, whether by volunteering or giving a monetary donation.
“The easiest way to donate is through our website, bbbsnei.org, by clicking the donate button. However, we also have certain events for donations and sponsorship,” Halferty said.
In March, BBBS is hosting an annual Bowl for Kids’ Sake event, where participants can form bowling teams to help donate. Each individual is encouraged to raise over $100, and enjoy a free game of bowling with their friends. Last year, nine firefighter teams joined Bowl for Kids’ Sake and each team made a significant difference.