The 2018 hurricane season has been extraordinarily active in parts of the U.S., with Hurricane Florence currently impacting millions in the Carolinas. As this natural disaster unfolds, the staff here at VolunteerMatch is doing its part to ensure that, if you are in an affected community, you are prepared and safe. And if you are looking to help with disaster relief efforts, you know about the most effective ways to contribute.
Big Brothers Big Sisters provides opportunities for volunteers of all ages to be friends to children who need extra time and attention to succeed in school and with family and peers. Volunteers can participate in our community based program where they take the child out for one hour a week and spend time with them encouraging success in life. Volunteers are also needed to be school-based mentors to children whose teachers have referred them for individualized one-on-one concentrated time. Typically, an hour each week talking about what is on the child's mind, reading the newspaper together or puzzling over a class assignment, has a positive impact on the child's attitude about school and academic achievement, while putting a little fun and extra meaning into the volunteer's day and week. Volunteers enroll through Big Brothers Big Sisters at www.bbbsshoals.org and following an interview, references and a background check, are oriented to their local school and introduced to a little brother or little sister by BBBS staff. Regular support is available to assure that the relationship builds over time, and any logistical problems are resolved. Teachers report that children with Bigs have an improved attitude about school, better relationships with peer and adults, and improved academic performance.
Following an orientation and screening, you will meet on a consistent basis with one child at a school near your home or place of work. BBBS staff will introduce you to your Little and provide advice and support to ensure that the relationship takes off. Ongoing staff support will be available and you will have an opportunity to meet other like-minded individuals for peer interaction and support. At the end of the school year, you will have the opportunity to stay in touch by phone and email, and/or be reconnected in the Fall semester with a child.