NEWPORT — Big Brothers Big Sisters of Vermont (BBBSVT) has issued an urgent call to action to find 60 Bigs in 60 Days, urging adults throughout Vermont to volunteer their time and become a Big to one of over 60 children currently ready and waiting for a mentor.
Mentoring is fun, flexible, and a powerful way to make a real difference in one’s community by providing guidance and support to a young person, igniting their potential for a bright future.
BBBSVT is dedicated to defending the potential of children and youth through one-to-one mentoring, an evidence-based method of prevention that keeps kids engaged, builds resilience, and helps to mitigate the negative effects of trauma.
Youth “Littles” are between the ages of 6 and 18. Mentor “Bigs” are all ages from college students to retirees. The one-to-one “matches” meet 2-3 times a month and establish connections through simple activities and outings. Community-based and school-based options are available.
“Adults 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,” says Kimberley Diemond, Executive Director of the Vermont-based nonprofit. “However, this volunteer opportunity is flexible for people with busy schedules and some employers will even grant paid time off during the workday while employees volunteer. You can enjoy all sorts of activities together including hiking, biking, group sports, reading, crafting, visiting a farm or museum, sharing a meal together or other activities that you already participate in and would like to share with a young person” says Diemond.
BBBSVT also provides training and ongoing support from professional staff who pair each Big with a compatible Little who is just right for them.
Bigs sign on for one year, but can remain matched with their Little for a longer period of time if all parties wish to continue in the program.
The goal of this campaign is to recruit 60 mentors by October 31st and end the wait for so many young people who have been patiently waiting to be matched with a Big and support them through the transition back to in-person learning.
Evidence shows that youth matched in a Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring program are 46% less likely to use illegal substances, 27% less likely to use alcohol, 52% less likely to skip school. Littles also show improved self-esteem and feelings that they matter within their communities.
Individuals, businesses and organizations who are interested in getting involved with the 60 Bigs in 60 Days call to action campaign may contact Kimberley Diemond, Executive Director at [email protected] or 802-689-0092.
More information can also be found at www.bbbsvt.org.