Big Brothers Big Sisters has renewed its call for men in the Metropolitan Phoenix area to be Big Brothers. Fewer men than women volunteer to be mentors so the volunteer pool for Big Brothers is smaller than the demand. Some boys in Central Phoenix, South Phoenix and West Valley are waiting more than a year to be matched.
These boys may be one decision away from making the wrong decision that will alter the course of their lives forever and that’s why the organization would like to get them matched as soon as possible.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona matches more than 1,500 youth each year with mentors. While the emphasis is on the one-to-one relationship, there is a ripple effect through their families, their schools and our community. Children who have mentors report stronger relationships with their parents, better attitudes toward school, and an increased desire to become active in their communities.
Volunteers are matched with a child in their area who shares their interests, and they meet two times each month over the course of a year to spend quality time together. Because of generous community partners, matches have access to tickets to sporting events, arcades and attractions, and enjoy discounts at restaurants and businesses throughout the valley. Volunteers also have opportunities to attend exclusive events and meet other Bigs who share their commitment to building a stronger community.
While BBBSAZ asks for a commitment of four hours per month for one year, most matches stay together for more than two years, and some Bigs and Littles remain close decades later.
“Honestly, it’s among the best things I’ve ever done and I think I get more out of it than he does,” said Big Brother Brian who has been matched to Jasani for several years.
Volunteers must be at least 18 years old, hold a valid Arizona driver’s license, and plan to live in the valley for one year. The volunteer onboarding process includes an online application, interview, training, and a background check.
Those interested in becoming a volunteer can visit www.bbbsaz.org to complete an online application and register to attend an orientation training.