In the News



One in three children grow up without a mentor in their life. In honor of the organization’s 55th Anniversary in 2018, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Iowa (BBBSNEIA) has issued a call for 55 Big Brothers, urging men in Black Hawk, Bremer, Butler, Buchanan, Fayette and Floyd Counties to volunteer their time and become a mentor to a Little Brother currently ready and waiting for a mentor to come into their life. Options to meet with the child at their school during the day or in the community, flexible to the mentor’s schedule, are both available.

BBBSNEIA is dedicated to enriching the lives of children, especially those in need of consistent role models, through one-on-one friendships between youth ages 5-18+ and adult mentors, ages 18 to senior. The one-to-one "matches" meet a few hours each month and establish connections through simple activities and outings.

With over 400 youth currently being mentored through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Iowa there still remains a significant need. Several older Little Brothers have been waiting for a mentor for over 2 years.

Danny is 14 years old and has been waiting for a Big Brother for 2 years. Moving foster home to foster home, he is shy, quiet, and spends most of his time watching TV. His ideal Big Brother would be someone who likes music, is patient, and can help him develop his social skills. He is looking forward to learning how to play or sport or go out outdoor adventures with his Big Brother.

Mondre is 14 years old and has been waiting for a Big Brother for 2 years. His father isn’t in the picture and his mom works two jobs to provide for his six siblings. Mondre likes sports, especially basketball and football. He needs a Big Brother who can give him the one-to-one attention he craves and can teach him about respecting people and making good choices.

Jason is 12 years old and has been waiting for a Big Brother for almost 2 years. He lives with his grandmother and is outgoing, kind, and high energy. Jason is involved in the Boy Scouts and loves hands on and outdoor activities. He will benefit from a Big Brother who can help him improve his social skills and role model healthy relationships.

Sam is 13 years old and has been waiting for a Big Brother for 2 years. He has grown up fast; his dad lost his battle to cancer last year and his mom is now dealing with health concerns. Sam is an active young boy who enjoys sports, especially baseball and football, and plays the piano and guitar. He would benefit from a Big Brother who is outgoing and will give him the space to be a kid again.

Recruiting men to mentor boys facing adversity is not just challenging in Northeast Iowa, it is a challenge for mentor organizations nationwide. “Men often feel uncertain of their ability to mentor a youth, what to do during their time with a child, and how they could fit mentoring into their schedule. We take care of these concerns by making volunteering flexible and just a couple of hours a month and we match each mentor with just the right child for them and supports each pair every step of the way,” states Katie Orlando, BBBSNEIA CEO.

Being a Big Brother is as simple as spending a couple hours with your "Little" a few times a month, enjoying all different kinds of no-cost/low-cost activities, including:

· A trip to a park for catch, riding bikes, a walk or shooting hoops

· Meeting at the Littles’ school and reading together

· Cooking or sharing a meal together

· Learning something new like guitar, tennis, geocaching or skateboarding

· Exploring new places like museums, restaurants, and new neighborhoods

· Playing video games or sharing favorite movies together

Not only is being a Big Brother fun, it is also an opportunity to help shape a young boy’s future for the better by empowering them to achieve success. During the 2016-17 school year, 99% of the Little Brothers enrolled in BBBSNEIA’s one-to-one mentoring program avoided the judicial system, 97% who did not believe they would finish high school now believe they can and will, 83% decreased the days they were absent from school, and 69% improved their grades.

With 55 years of experience fostering professionally supported, one-on-one friendships between young people and adults, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Iowa is helping to strengthen the communities in Iowa by providing youth with invested, caring adult mentors. Start the process of becoming a Big Brother or Big Sister today by visiting or by contacting BBBSNEIA at or 319-235-9397.

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© 2011 Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Iowa, 2530 University Avenue, Waterloo, Iowa 50701, 319-235-9397