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.
To help children reach their potential through professionally supported one-to-one relationships.
We have been the area's leader in establishing and supporting "one-to-one" mentoring relationships -- or friendships -- since 1981. We are currently serving over 1,000 children throughout Dauphin, Cumberland, Lebanon and Perry Counties. Our bigs (volunteers), our littles (children) and our families are as diverse as the colors of a rainbow. They come from all walks of life and hail from Harrisburg to Hershey, Shippensburg to Carlisle, Lebanon to Palmyra and West Perry to West Enola. But what they all have in common is a desire to be part of something big and to bring a little magic into their own lives or the life of a child. But it's not just children that we're reaching - our volunteers say they get as much if not more out of the friendships as do the children.
As an affiliate of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, we have both the national and local research - as well as the input from the children we serve and volunteers we work with - that proves our services work. Children who have a Big Brother or Sister do better in school, get along better with peers and adults, are less likely to skip school or initiate drug or alcohol use, and are less likely to hit others than their peers who do not have mentors.
Our program is both different and successful because Big Brothers Big Sisters provides a Match Support Specialist for each and every match in our program. Our matches are effective because professional staff ensure that the match relationships are safe, rewarding and reach their fullest potential. We know that children matched in relationships that last more than 6 months have the most positive outcomes. Our match length average is two years, well above the national average.