When compared with their peers, Little Brothers and Sisters are:
52% less likely to skip a day of school
33% less likely to engage in violence with their peers
46% less likely to start using drugs
27% less likely to start drinking
more trusting of parents and other adults, and less likely to lie to them.
-Public Private Ventures (P/PV) Study, 1995
I work at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay. Each time I see someone volunteer to become a Big it makes me realize just how valuable the whole experience is, for the adult Big and especially for the Little. Bigs come from all walks of life with all sorts of backgrounds. What they have in common is a generous spirit and the ability to become a friend to a child in need. Littles generally come from families where one parent is not actively involved in the child’s life.
All it takes to be a Big Brother or Big Sister with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mass Bay is a willingness to spend a couple of hours or so a couple of times a month for a year. It can make a huge difference in the life of a child. Those few hours can be spent doing whatever the Big and Little want to do – as simple as running errands, as routine as playing ball or flying a kite or as exciting as attending sports events. Most Bigs say it’s perhaps the most rewarding thing they’ve ever done, and it’s a lot of fun too. There’s a professional team of Match Advocates to provide support, advice and tickets or suggestions for enjoyable things to do.
Although our agency alone served over 3500 children last year, this is only a small fraction of the number who would benefit from having a Big. Would you consider becoming a Big? Or do you know someone who would? Feel free to forward this to your network of friends so we can get the word out.
Now Spring is finally in sight it is a great time to strike up a new friendship. I would be happy to put you in touch with one of my colleagues who could tell you all about it – or simply go to the web www.bbbsmb.org to learn more. If you’re here in Greater Boston, just call us at 617.956.0281. And if you live outside Greater Boston, go to bigbrothersbigsisters.org where there’s a zip code sorter that will connect you to your local Big Brothers Big Sisters affiliate.
For more than 100 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters has been recognized as one of the most effective youth development programs in the United States. Independent research shows that a Little Brother or Little Sister (a.k.a. a “Little”) who is matched for one year or more in a one-to-one friendship is more likely to graduate from high school, to attend college, and to show more respect to adults. Littles are also more likely to avoid alcohol, drugs and violence.