Right now, there are kids all across the Ozarks patiently waiting for a certain jolly fella to arrive. No, it’s not just Santa Claus. They hope it’s their new Big Brother. But, for most of these kids, Christmas will come not once but twice before that will happen.
More kids and families in the Ozarks are turning to Big Brothers Big Sister for help than has been seen historically. This year alone, the agency has experienced a 70% increase in Little Brothers hoping to get a Big Brother. In the spring of this year, BBBSO was forced to shut down their interview list and create a separate list: the Waiting to Wait List. Almost 90 kids sit on that list, and another 40 have already been accepted into the program and are hoping to get matched some day.
Some of these kids are good at waiting. Over a quarter of all the kids BBBSO serves have at least one parent that’s incarcerated. A child with an incarcerated parent is 7 times more likely to end up in jail or prison themselves. Having a positive adult role model can impact that statistic.
In an effort to close the year and bring in as many male volunteers as possible, BBBSO is launching the #ChristmasWish campaign. Big Brothers and Big Sisters in the Community based program share one activity a week on average with their Littles doing something they would want to be doing already. The agency stresses that these activities should be low cost/no cost because the money you spend on kids does not change their lives. Applicants hoping to make a Little’s Christmas Wish come true can sign up for an info/training session at www.bigbro.com/orientation.
If time isn’t something you can give, BBBSO is also accepting financial donations (check, cash, card, or online) or your used clothing through their purple bins at most Price Cutter locations.
BBBSO is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and United Way partner agency that believes that every child can succeed and even thrive in life. Most children served by Big Brothers Big Sisters are in single-parent and low-income families or households where a parent is incarcerated. As the nation’s largest donor and volunteer supported mentoring network, Big Brothers Big Sisters supports life changing friendships between professionally screened adult volunteers (Bigs) and children (Littles).
Big Brothers Big Sisters provides a system of ongoing evaluation and support, which independent studies prove helps Littles perform better in school, avoid risky behaviors, and grow up to be productive, engaged citizens