Who are the Bigs in the program?
Our Bigs come from diverse backgrounds just like our Littles. They are regular people, just like you. You don’t need any special degrees or job skills. You just have to want to positively impact a young person in your community. Role models come in all shapes and sizes, and you could be a perfect fit.
When can I see my Little?
As a Big/Little team, you decide together what you want to do and then you and your Little get approval from their parent or guardian. We recommend that you keep a consistent schedule of outings and get togethers on a regular basis. We ask for a commitment of at least 1 hour a week for a 12-month time period. More information will be provided during orientation. The outings will also depend on the comfort level of your Little’s parent or guardian, your Little, and you.
How much money should I spend?
The quality of the time you invest with your Little is more important than the amount of money you spend. That’s why we don’t encourage spending a lot of money on your outings. The goal of the relationship is to help your Little see the world through a different lens so you can inspire your Little to become something they never thought possible. If you are going to spend money, we encourage you to seek out low-cost activities, especially in the beginning. Play a game together or share that pizza that you were going to have for lunch anyway. At times offers of donor-supported group activities are a great way to meet other Bigs and Littles. As a Big, you may also receive notices for free tickets to cultural and sporting activities for you both to enjoy.
What are some good ideas for outings with my Little?
Share an activity that gives you something in common to talk about. Go to the library and check out a book to read together, buy a comic book to read together, play a board game, go on a nature walk, or even hit a bucket of golf balls at the local driving range. You could even take a ride in the car with the radio on and talk about the music you both like. As a Big, you want to select or suggest activities that give each of you a chance to learn more about one another. For youth, playing can be learning. Most important: keep it simple and enjoy yourselves!
Can I bring my spouse, a friend, or a family member on outings?
In the beginning it’s most important for you and your Little to get to know each other. This can happen best on a one-to-one basis. However, over time it’s also valuable for your Little to get to know the people who are important to you. Just keep in mind that if you’re spending lots of time with others, your Little may begin to feel jealous or neglected. The main focus is the friendship you develop with your Little. All others that may participate in your outings with your Little must be pre-approved by the Little’s parent or guardian.
What kind of support can I expect from Big Brothers Big Sisters once I get matched?
Once you are matched with your Little, a Match Support Specialist from the agency will be in regular contact with you to provide assistance and give feedback. Any time you are unsure about what to do or how to handle a situation, you will have a Match Support Specialist there to help. They’ll help you with ideas for activities, guidance for handling possible difficult situations, and feedback on how you are making a difference.
Will I become a replacement parent?
No, Littles have a parent or guardian in their life already. What they need is a Big to spend quality, one-on-one time with them. Someone to have fun with, someone they can confide in, someone to provide a little extra support, someone like you to be a Defender of Potential!