We all have that one special person that has affected our lives in more ways than one. Someone who acts as a guide through difficult times, teaches us valuable lessons, and is always your shoulder to lean on.
Initially kicking off in the area in 2017, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Twin Tiers works to ensure youth in our community have the necessary guidance and direction throughout their developing years. Their community-based program matches volunteers with a child aged 6-14 of the same gender.
The process to become a Big or Little sibling is unique in that it was created to best match people’s personalities and interests. When each perspective sibling applies to the program, they are asked a series of questions to create the most compatible pairs. Once the Big has gone through the interviewing and safety screening process, they are then paired up with their Little sibling. “They are so excited to meet each other for the first time.” Says Nikki Restino, Community Based Program Director with the program.
Once having met, the pair meets together 2-4 times per month, for at least one year. They can remain in the program up until the Little brother or sister graduates high school. “The goal is to create lasting relationships,” Nikki says. The duos can do various activities with their time together, including getting ice-cream, going to the park, mini-golfing, cooking, and so much more!
Becky, a Big sister in the program, has been matched with her Little sister since February. With the onset of Coronavirus not much after their initial meeting, the program as a whole went virtual. Without missing a beat, Becky and her Little continued to build their relationship until they could meet again in person in June.
When asked about her favorite part of the program, Becky says it’s all about the small things. “We painted pumpkins for Halloween. I probably haven’t done that in 20 years. I was excited because she was so excited!”
The community-based mentoring program is always seeking volunteers. Are you interested in becoming a Big sister or brother? Learn more about how to apply on their website.
Do you want to support programs like Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Twin Tiers? Donate to the 2020-2021 Community Campaign, and see your dollars make a difference.