TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. — Big Brothers Big Sisters is encouraging men in California to “Man Up” to meet the rising need for Big Brothers across the state.
There are 22 boys on the waiting list in Nevada County and North Lake Tahoe for a Big Brother.
Big Brothers Big Sisters Association of California (BBBSACA) is launching its first-ever, state-wide initiative centered on the recruitment of male volunteers to become Big Brothers, which will continue through 2013. This inaugural campaign will be the first time the association of California agencies have worked together to harness their collective reach to significantly reduce the number of boys that are waiting for a Big Brother in California.
Across the state, Big Brothers Big Sisters is experiencing a critical need for men to volunteer. With an average of nearly 70 percent boys on the waiting list for mentors, and only 37 percent of new volunteers are men, boys are waiting an average of 275 days before receiving a Big Brother.
It’s time for California to “Man Up!” and provide boys a quality mentoring experience that is proven to help children who face adversity succeed in and out of school,” according ot a BBBS press release.
BBBSA is not minimizing the powerful role women play as role models to our young girls, as they comprise approximately 50 percent of the active Matches in California and represent more than 63 percent of the prospective volunteers who are ready to answer the call for Bigs.
The current need, however, is for men.
The basic requirements to volunteer are:
• Over 18 years of age
• Have a valid Social Security number with no criminal background
• Be available to volunteer for at least one year
• Men and Spanish-speaking volunteers are in high demand
If you can’t volunteer, consider donating to help sponsor a waiting boy, who will be carefully matched, with a screened volunteer and receive ongoing support and events.
Boys served by Big Brothers Big Sisters are primarily children of single, low-income or incarcerated parents or they are in military families or are coping with other challenges. Big Brothers Big Sisters programs are based on a data-proven model focused on creating and sustaining strong and long mentoring matches.
Longstanding research by Public Private Ventures, a national nonprofit research and program development organization, found after 18 months of spending time with their Bigs, the Little Brothers and Little Sisters, compared to those children not in the program are:
• 46 percent less likely to begin using illegal drugs
• 27 percent less likely to begin using alcohol
• 52 percent less likely to skip school
• 37 percent less likely to skip a class
• 33 percent less likely to hit someone