A different kind of ‘Big Brother’

March 14, 2011 — by Justine Huang

For over 100 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters has been matching “Bigs,” teenage and adult volunteers and “Littles,” less fortunate youth ages 6 to 18. A mentoring and social development program, BBBS runs on volunteers and donations and aims to create a lifelong relationship between under-privileged children and trustworthy adults.

A 2009 study showed that about 90 percent “of adult Littles surveyed agree their Big made them feel better about themselves. Further, 85 percent say having been a Little helped them to have confidence in their abilities.”

Donation starters online range from $10 to $1,000 and help with everything from matching volunteers to fueling college aspirations. Donations also go toward making and supporting “Big” and “Little” matches, recruiting volunteers, and providing activities and events for the Bigs and Littles to help develop their relationships.

BBBS holds many drives and events to raise money, like the OP4G.com Membership Drive, which raises money based on the number of members in the program.

Volunteers and donations from outside sources are what fuel this beneficial organization; it is only through the generosity of others that this program can continue.

As a “Big” myself, I have seen first-hand how the Big-Little relationship helps both Big and Little. The “Big” truly does become an older sibling, and the relationship that develops is indelible. Saratoga’s High standard of living sharply contrasted with the situation that many of the Littles were in, and has helped me come to a better appreciation of my situation.

By helping underprivileged children all over the nation, Big Brothers Big Sisters helps create a better future for those individuals and allows them to have more opportunities to succeed in life.

Support Big Brothers Big Sisters online at http://www.bbbs.org/.

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