THEY HAVE THE POTENTIAL
TO CHANGE THE WORLD
And we are standing together to defend it.
Here are the basic steps we need each of our volunteer applicants to complete.
CREATING FRIENDSHIPS, CHANGING FUTURES
In the Community-Based program, Bigs meet with their Littles (ages 5-18) for 4-10 hours per month and share low-cost or no-cost activities together in the community. The time Big/Little matches spend together is flexible to the needs of the Big, Little and family. Matches enjoy activities like visits to the park, museums and plays, crafting and baking, hiking and bike riding. An 18 month commitment is required for Bigs, as well as a valid driver’s license and car insurance. Being a Community-Based Big is about sharing simple, magical, everyday moments with a child in the community.
School-Based Bigs meet at their Little’s school for 30-60 minutes per week for an 18 month commitment. Youth in this program are in grades K-12. Activities shared may consist of reading together, playing board games, doing school projects or conversation during lunch. Meeting with a Little at their school further instills the importance of an education while also creating a long-lasting friendship. Both of these outcomes help a child go far in life.
READ TO SUCCEED
For children grades K-3, the School-Based or Community-Based match is considered Read to Succeed if Big and Little agree to spend half of their time together engaging in activities that specifically promote literacy. This includes reading to each other, journaling, story writing, playing educational games and activities, and researching interesting topics online together. The time commitment is the same.
Your Questions, Answered
We’re here to help you every step of the way. View a full list of commonly asked questions to get the information you need.
HOW OFTEN DO BIGS AND LITTLES GET TOGETHER?
We offer two mentoring options: Community or School Based mentoring. Community Based Bigs will meet with their Little 4-10 hours a month out in the community. School Based Bigs will meet with their Little 30-60 minutes once a week at the Littles school.
What training will I receive before my match?
We require that new Bigs attend an Orientation session at our office. Your Enrollment Specialist will walk you through crucial information regarding the program option you chose, policies/rules, ongoing support from our agency, and much more!
Who chooses my Little?
Our Enrollment team spends a lot of time getting to know each Big, Little, and Parent that enrolls into our program. We get to know your interests, hobbies, what you hope to have in a match and more. They go through a process of matching, where staff look through crucial information to determine the best possible fit. They will then complete a Match Presentation where they share detailed information about your potential Little and Parent. You have a choice to either accept or decline the match. If you accept the match, we will proceed in scheduling a Match Meeting. If you decline the match, we will go back to our matching process and find the profile of another Little who met your preferences.
What do I do with my Little?
Activities that you enjoy but now with a friend! Each Match sets up their meeting schedule and what activities they would like to do during their time. We encourage Matches to choose things that are free or low-cost. What really matters is the time that you spend together! Matches enjoy going for a walk, making dinner, playing a sport, attending a musical, or having a craft night. BBBSNEIA hosts Match activities and events each month that all Bigs and Littles are invited to.
What is Match Support?
Match Support is a requirement of any Big, Little, and Parent who enters our program. A conversation (typically over the phone) takes place so that we can monitor, coach, and guide your match to be successful and safe. We will help you come up with ideas for activities, guidance for handling difficulties that may arise, and feedback from your Little and their parent.
What is a Big Duo?
A Big Duo is a pair of Bigs who want to be matched together to the same Little Brother. Big Couples can be a couple or close friends. This is a great option for Bigs who would like to have a shared experience with someone close to them. One of the benefits of being in a Big Duo match is that each Big can have one-on-one time with their Little or all three can go on outings.
What if it doesn’t work out?
We try our best to help a Match overcome any challenges that come their way. We understand that sometimes we are unable to find a solution, Bigs or Littles move, life circumstances change, or something doesn’t work out. Your Match Support Specialist will try to mediate but if it doesn’t work out, we will end the Match. Your Match Support Specialist will help to guide you through closure including a final visit with your Little if possible.
How long can my match last?
We ask for a minimum commitment of 18 months for each Match we make. Many matches decide to continue meeting long after the commitment and last many years in our program.