1) What type of commitment do you expect from volunteers?
A minimum of one hour a week for at least one year. We do hope that the friendship will continue beyond that year. *Site-based matches meet a little less than one hour.
2) Are there any specific requirements to become a Big?
We require all volunteers to be at least 16-years-old, have a valid driver’s license , a reliable vehicle and proof of auto insurance. *Site-based matches don't require a license and vehicle.
3) How do you begin the process of becoming a Big?
You may either fill out a form online and we will contact you or feel free to call the agency at any time. Once we have gathered basic information, an orientation/interview appointment will take place. During this appointment, agency information is given and questions are asked to get to know you, so we can better match you.
4) Who pays for expenses with the child?
We stress not spending a lot of money. We want the relationship built on friendship and shared interests. We encourage you to look for activities that are free or have minimum cost. We also offer Big Deals throughout the community that are for our matches. Check out the Big Deals tab.
5) Do I have a choice on the child I will be matched to?
We take your preferences and match them up with the parent/guardian and child’s preference of a volunteer. We ask you specific questions regarding a child’s age, gender, location, interests and personality. We do the best to match based upon all preferences.
6) Does the parent/child have any input on the volunteer that will be matched to?
Just as you have a choice, so does the parent/guardian and child. Everyone must mutually agree on the match.
7) What if the child doesn’t like me?
You will talk with your Match Specialist and try to find out what is happening. It may not be that the child does not like you, but is afraid to reach out. The kids in our program have often been disappointed and it might take a while for them to trust someone new.
8) What kind of activities do Big Brothers/Big Sisters do with their Little's?
There are many activities that require very little or no cost: art and historical museums, fishing, swimming, roller-skating, or building things together. The program offers Match Events every other month that are free of charge to you and the child unless stated. The idea is that spending an afternoon washing your car or fixing dinner together could be more beneficial than going to the movies or eating out.
9) What if the parent isn’t home when the volunteer drops off the child?
Parents/guardians are required to be home or have made necessary arrangements for a suitable chaperone to be there.
10) What is the overall purpose of my involvement with a child?
The mission of the program is to provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever.
11) What role would my family play in the relationship?
We need your family’s approval of your involvement. We ask you not to include them on your outings until the relationship is comfortably established. After that, you can include them on occasion.
12) To what extent do I get involved with the family or school matters?
Your primary responsibility is to your Little Brother/Sister and not to the other members of the family. Be courteous to the other family members but do not include them in your outings. You must okay all planned activities with the parent/guardian. Dealing with school issues is the parent’s responsibility. It is up to the parent/guardian to inform you of school happenings only if they choose to.