Will you come to my business, church, sorority or social club to make a presentation?
Our staff is more than happy to present our youth mentoring programs to your business, church, sorority or social club if your group’s mission and goals align with ours. To learn more about scheduling one of our staff members for a presentation, please contact Harlan Stallings, Director of Volunteer Recruitment at firstname.lastname@example.org or 904.727.9797 Ext. 1116.
How long is my commitment as a Big Brother/Sister?
We ask that all Big Brothers/Sisters commit to at least one year of mentoring to ensure stability and a dependable role model in the lives of our Little Brothers/Sisters.
How will I be matched with a child?
The application and interview process helps us to get to know your preferences and gauge which program is best suited for you. You also get to learn more about BBBSNEFL and what to expect. In making your match, we take into account your personality, likes, dislikes, age preferences, background and location. The final decision about a match is always yours.
How do parents and children find out about this program?
Often times, children and parents hear about BBBSNEFL from a teacher, a counselor, their church, or a friend who has a Big Brother or Big Sister.
Who are the Big Brothers/Sisters in the program?
Our Big Brothers/Sisters come from diverse backgrounds just like our Little Brothers/Sisters. 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. Role models come in all shapes and sizes, and you could be a perfect fit.
Who are the children in the program?
Our Little Brothers and Little Sisters come from various types of home environments and family structures, different socio-economic levels, ethnic backgrounds, and neighborhoods and schools across our entire community. Their backgrounds and personalities are unique. They all have a need and want for a positive adult role model.
When can I see my Little Brother or Little Sister?
If you are a volunteer in the Community-Based Program, you are able to visit your Little Brother/Sister outside of the classroom, doing things you both love and enjoy in the community. Permission from your Little Brother/Sister’s parent/guardian is required prior to any organized visitation.
If you are a volunteer within our School- Based Program, you are only permitted to visit your Little Brother/Sister during regular school hours at their school. Visiting your Little Brother/Sister outside of school requires permission from your assigned Area Manager.
We recommend that you keep a consistent schedule of outings and get together on a regular basis. Your assigned Match Support Specialist or Area Manager can provide additional guidance on this. Until your relationship is established, the outings will also depend on the comfort level of your Little Brother/Sister’s parents, your Little Brother/Sister, and you.
How much money should I spend?
We advise our volunteers to seek out free or low-cost, simple activities, especially at the beginning of their match relationship. Our agency frequently offers group activities that are a great way to meet and network with other volunteers and their Little Brothers/Sisters! We also offer a monthly e-newsletter with information about free or inexpensive activities in the area. Our organization also send emails about opportunities to obtain free tickets for matches to attend local cultural and sports activities. Buying gifts for your Little Brother/Sister will actually stifle your friendship because your Little Brother/Sister will have the wrong expectations of the relationship.
What are some good ideas for outings with my Little Brother/Sister?
Friendships develop through shared experiences. Start your match with something simple and casual where you can learn about each other. Play catch in the park, bake cookies, go bowling, have lunch together, take a bike ride, or visit the library. This will set your Little Brother/Sister’s expectations for the time you share. Save special outings or events (which you both agree on) until after you have built an understanding and your friendship is solid. Your Match Support Specialist can also give many suggestions.
Can I bring my spouse, a friend or family member on outings?
It’s important to spend one-to-one time hanging out with your Little Brother/Sister getting to know each other. It is good for your Little Brother/Sister to get to know the people who are important to you—this can be a great way for you to model appropriate friendship/relationship skills, but spend at least half of your outings in one-on-one activities so your Little Brother/Sister benefits from your special attention.
What kind of support can I expect from Big Brothers Big Sisters once I get matched?
Once you are matched with your Little Brother/Sister, a Match Support Specialist from the agency will be in regular contact with you to provide assistance and give feedback. If you ever feel unsure about what to do or how to handle a situation, you will have personally assigned Match Support Specialist there to help. Your Match Support Specialist will 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, Little Brothers/Sisters have a parent or guardian in their life already. What they need and want is a Big Brother/Sister to spend quality, one-to-one time with them. The Little Brothers/Sisters in our program want someone to have fun with, someone they can confide in- someone like you!
Do you have a newsletter?
Yes, we have e-newsletters to keep our Big Brothers/Sisters, Partners and Parents up to date with what is going on with BBBSNEFL! The Big Northeaster is a monthly publication that is sent to all of our Big Brothers/Sisters, Partners & supporters. The Eddy Newsletter is a quarterly publication sent to all of our Big Brothers/Sisters in School mentors. The Wavelength is a quarterly publication sent to our all of our Beyond School Walls Big Brothers/Sisters and Partners. The Community Front Newsletter is a bi-weekly sent to all of our Community-Based Big Brothers/Sisters. To have your email added to one of our e-newsletters, please contact your Match Support Specialist.