We're always looking for people eager to positively impact a child and improve their community at the same time. Right now is no different. Big Brothers and Big Sisters are in high demand, so Start Something!
Three Hours is All it Takes
Matches meet twice a month for 3-5 hours where you can get to know a wonderful kid, make a difference, and have fun as you learn together.
Want to Do Lunch?
Just one lunch a week can make a difference in a child's life. Please contact us to see if there is a school-based mentoring program near you.
A Special Call To Men
Disproportionately the children we serve and those ready and waiting to be matched are African-American and Hispanic boys. Their parents seek our support, knowing a Big Brother can recognize their son's potential and model positive choices that put him on the path for success in and out of school.
Changing lives - one story at a time
The impact a Big Brothers Big Sisters relationship can have is real. We hope these Little stories inspire you to start something by becoming a donor, volunteer or enrolling a child.
When I was younger, I always thought of school as something that was never needed for me to succeed in life. Then one day John took me to Skid row. Riding down in that depressing atmosphere, looking at all the drug addicts and homeless people, I asked John ‘Is this what you think of me?’ He said ‘absolutely not, but the road you’re heading down - this is where you could end up if you don’t make a change in your work ethic.’ It tore me apart thinking that I could end up like this. That very same day, knowing that I wanted to be a professional football player John introduced me to Clarence who was a professional football player in Canada. Clarence told me without grades, there is no football. It was that day that I knew everything had to change. It is because of that experience that I went from a straight F student, to a current straight A student.
Patrick & Leo
After Leo graduated high school, he joined the Police Cadet Academy where he was presented with interview opportunities. One day he asked me what a suit consisted of, how much money he should save to get one, and if I had time to show him some when he was able to save enough. So I said ‘of course I'll take you’ and told him he should save about one hundred dollars. He then replied ‘I will call you in two weeks.’ Leo called me two weeks later and we went suit shopping. We bought a new black suit, dress shoes, white shirt, black tie, black belt, socks and even dropped it off to my tailor to get it hemmed to perfection. As expected, we went slightly over budget which I gladly covered as his Big Brother. This was so special because it was his first suit and he saved up to purchase it. I think this event has really defined my role as a Big Brother in our relationship. As a Big Brother, I am responsible for encouraging him to push his boundaries and to always do his best. And, whatever he may lack in, I will always do my best to cover.
Sabin & Lawrence
We have been matched for 3 years now but just a couple of months back, we were hiking Runyon Canyon and he said, ‘I just wanted to say thank you.’ I said, ‘Thank me? For what?’ He said, ‘Because I don’t know where I’d be if you had not been here for me.’ That felt like something I have never felt before. I mean, he communicates all the time but he is not particularly emotional when he talks, but when he said that, I just wanted to give him even more.
Mya & Brit
Mya loves every Disney princess, but Rapunzel is her favorite. Before being a Little, Mya was, in some sense, Rapunzel with short hair. She was never exposed to the great outdoors as a child; she had never explored the heat of the desert, felt the waves of the ocean or ever touched snow. I was there to see her eyes light up the first time she breathed in the desert’s heat, took her first step in the ocean water and skied down her first slope. Those memories will never leave my mind. It gave me a sense of true purpose in life.
Michael & Hassan
Once, Hassan mentioned in passing that he was going to be in a theatre performance at school. He said, ‘No big deal, but you can come if you want.’ I had a busy week at work, but couldn’t stop myself from watching him perform. It was an experience I will never forget. When he came out on that stage, I saw his eyes begin to scan the auditorium, seat by seat, row by row, until at last he saw me, realized that I had cared enough to be there for him, and he smiled. I didn’t appreciate that it could mean the world to him. And it wasn’t until the performance ended that I realized that each and every other child there had someone clapping for them, waiting for them afterwards to say, ‘great job!’ And as we walked out of the auditorium together, I found that I was that person - and I thought, how would he be feeling right now had I not been there?
Josh & Joey
The best thing about Joey is when out of the blue he'll put his arms around me and say 'Thank You' during an outing or 'I'm glad I have a big bro' or the time he whispered in my ear at dinner 'When I have a girlfriend will you help me with it?’ I love his openness, honesty, and willingness to share.
Kate & Cambria
I taught her how to take the perfect selfie, she teaches me more than she'll ever know.
Jovan and Zamiere
This one time I saw him peeping through the fence, waiting for me as my car drove by, and then he said ‘I love you’ as I was leaving. That just changed my life.
What Big Brothers Big Sisters does better than any other mentoring organization is the extensive vetting process and the attention that goes into matching the right child with the right volunteer. We conduct a lengthy interview process to find a strong and safe match for each child based on where they live, personality, interests and background so the process can take anywhere from a few months to more than a year. Please know we want and need you as a Big! But the amount of time it takes to schedule your interview can vary greatly depending on who and where the kids on our waiting list are. Currently, our waiting list is more than 90% boys, many who have been waiting for a Big Brother for a year.
No, Littles have a parent or guardian in their life already. What they need is a Big to spend quality, one-on-one time with them. Someone to have fun with, someone they can confide in, someone like you!
Once you are matched with your Little, a Match Support Specialist from the agency will be in regular contact with you to provide assistance and give feedback. Any time you are unsure about what to do or how to handle a situation, you will have a Match Support Specialist there to help. They’ll help you with ideas for activities, guidance for handling possible difficult situations, and feedback on how you are making a difference.
In the beginning it’s important for you and your Little Brother to get to know each other. This can happen best on a one-to-one basis. However, over time it’s also valuable for your Little to get to know the people who are important to you. Just keep in mind that if you’re spending lots of time with others, your Little may begin to feel jealous or neglected. The main focus is the friendship you develop with your Little and the impact you have on his life.
Share an activity that gives you something in common to talk about. Buy a comic book to read together. Play a board game. Hit a bucket of golf balls at the local driving range. Take a ride in the car with the radio on and talk about the music you like. You want to select activities that give each of you a chance to learn more about one another. For children, playing can be learning. Most important: keep it simple and enjoy yourselves!
The quality of time invested with your Little is more important than the amount of money you spend. That’s why we don’t encourage spending a lot of money on your outings. The goal of the relationship is to help him see the world through a different lens so you can inspire him to become something he never thought possible. If you are going to spend money, we encourage you to seek out low-cost activities, especially in the beginning. Shoot hoops at a local park, play a game together, or share that pizza that you were going to have for lunch anyway. Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies offer donor-supported group activities that are a great way to meet other Bigs and Littles. As a Big Brother or Big Sister, you may also receive notices for free tickets to cultural and sports activities for you both to enjoy.
As a Big Brother/Little Brother (or Big Sister/Little Sister) team, you decide together what you want to do and then your Little gets parent approval. We recommend that you keep a consistent schedule of outings and get together on a regular basis. Your local agency will provide more guidance on this. Until your relationship is established the outings will also depend on the comfort level of your Little’s parents, your Little and you.
Our Big Brothers & Big Sisters come from diverse backgrounds just like our Littles. They are regular people, just like you. You don’t need any special degrees or job skills. You just have to want to positively impact a young person. Role models come in all shapes and sizes, and you could be a perfect fit!
Still Have Some Questions?
Please get in touch if you want more information. We want to talk to you!
What Big Brothers Big Sisters does better than any other mentoring organization is the extensive vetting process and the attention that goes into matching the right child with the right volunteer. The process can take anywhere from a few months to more than a year. Please know we want and need you as a Big. But the amount of time it takes to schedule your interview can vary greatly depending on who and where the kids on our waiting list are. Currently, our waiting list is more than 95% boys, many who have been waiting a year. Note: Prior to submitting this application, there will be a non-refundable $25 application processing fee.
Big Brothers Big Sisters requires all volunteers meet the following requirements:
Be at least 18 years old
Be willing and able to make at least a one-year commitment to the program
Be willing and able to meet with your Little Brother/Little Sister for the required time commitment
Possess a valid driver's license and current car insurance
Have a safe driving record (no DUIs within the past three years; no more than two moving violations in the past year)
Never been convicted of a felony
No illegal drug use currently or within the last twelve months (this includes marijuana)