Being a Big Brother or Big Sister is one of the most enjoyable things you’ll ever do. Not to mention, one of the most fulfilling. You can help shape a child’s future for the better by empowering them to achieve. And the best part is, it’s a lot of fun. You and your Little can share the kinds of activities you already like to do.
Play sports together. Go on a hike. Read books. Eat a pizza with extra anchovies. Or just give some advice and inspiration. Whatever it is you enjoy, odds are you’ll enjoy them even more with your Little—and you’ll be making a life-changing impact.
HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT BEING A BIG?
Our Bigs come from diverse backgrounds just like our Littles. You don’t need any special degrees or job skills. You just need a desire to positively impact a young person. Role models come in all shapes and sizes, and you could be a perfect fit.
Community-Based Program: Typically Matches see each other twice a month for a few hours at a time. But it’s flexible, so one outing might be on a Saturday afternoon and the next might be Tuesday after school. The overall goal is to spend about six hours a month together for at least one-two years.
School-Based Program: Matches see each other for one hour, once a week at the child’s school. Typically Matches each lunch together, then they spend time in the library or on the playground, playing a simple game or just talking and visiting.
The quality of your time is far more valuable than any amount of money you could spend on your Little. The goal of the relationship is to help your Little see the world through a different lens so you can inspire your Little to become something they never thought possible. Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Upstate partners with several local agencies and venues that offer free activities for our Matches. Click Here for More Information: Donate An Experience
Share activities that give you something to talk about. Go to the library and read a comic book together, then talk about how to write your own comic book and who would be your main characters. Go on a nature walk and see who can find the most spiders. Take a car ride with the radio on and talk about the music you like or have a singing competition. Let your Little pick the activity so you can learn more about your Little’s interests. Most important: keep it simple and have fun!
It’s important for you to spend one-on-one time with your Little without others. This allows you to get to know each other and it helps the Little feel like they have your undivided attention. However, a natural part of any friendship includes getting to know those who are important in your life. For this reason, your program specialist may decide it’s o.k. to bring a spouse or your own children with you on occasion but these instances need prior agency and parent approval and are limited in scope.
Once you are matched with your Little, a Match Support Specialist from BBBS Upstate will be in touch with you on a regular basis to help and give feedback. We must have contact with you to keep the match open, so communication is critical. We will check in once a month in the beginning, and about once every three months after you have been matched for one year. Any time you are having trouble with your Match, contact your Match Support Specialist immediately. We are here to help!
No. Littles already have a parent or guardian in their life. They need a Big to spend quality, one-on-one time with them. Someone to have fun with, someone they can confide in, someone like you!
HOW IT WORKS
Orientation: A Program Specialist will speak with you about our program, making sure you understand the minimum commitment and answering any questions you have.
Application: A Program Specialist will send you a link to our complete application for you to fill out.
Training Course: A Program Specialist will send you a link to our on-line training course for you to complete.
Interview: Set an interview with a Program Specialist so we can get to know you and find out what kind of Little you might like to work with.
References and Background Check: After the interview, our team will call your references and run a muti-layered background check to ensure child safety.
Match Introduction: A Program Specialist will contact you with information about your Little to get your approval. We make matches based on geographical location, interests, and values to help ensure compatible, long-lasting match relationships.
Match Support: CONGRATULATIONS! Once you meet your Little, your match is made and now it’s time to have fun. Your Match Support Specialist is dedicated to helping your match succeed. We will be in touch with you once a month for the first year, and once every three months after the first year to provide any support you need. You must respond to your Match Support Specialist and answer all our questions regarding the Match or your Match may be closed as a result.