SIDNEY — Imagine never having someone to look up to when you were a kid. Imagine not having positive role models who guided you down a responsible path in life. Where would you have ended up?
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Shelby and Darke County continues to work hard arranging mentor relationships and developing innovative programs that bring positive role models into the lives of local children. Match Day presents a great opportunity to infuse support into one of their most popular programs.
“All donations received on Giving Tuesday will be utilized for our vital after-school Big Buddies mentoring program,” said Jennifer Bruns, executive director. “Through Big Buddies, high school students are matched with elementary students throughout Shelby County and meet two times per month immediately after school to offer mentoring services to one another. Big Buddies focuses on educational and social enhancing activities, healthy eating, fitness, personal safety, and sustainability.”
For the current 2017-2018 academic year, Big Buddies is implementing a curriculum entitled “Earth Friendly Practices” which focuses on reducing waste, recycling, reducing the carbon footprint, pollution, conservation, water and air quality, and other earth-friendly sustainable practices.
The local Big Brothers Big Sisters also offers a Community-Based Program, a Couples Match Program, the X-Force Program with the Workforce Partnership of Shelby County, Lunch Buddies and Career Quest. “Littles” are typically ages 5 to 16 with a need for a positive mentoring relationship due to living in a single parent home, having poor school performance, difficulty with family or friend relationships or isolation.
Adults and couples are always needed as matches and volunteers are welcome at any time.
“Mentoring relationships are also beneficial for mentors, not just mentees,” said Bruns. “Mentors have reported more benefits than costs to being a mentor. Key benefits to mentors included a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment, recognition from others, career and job renewal, and support from their proteges.”
To contribute to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Shelby and Darke County on Match Day, gifts must be made payable to the Community Foundation of Shelby County with: Match/Bigs noted on the memo or in an accompanying note or form. Details and forms are available at the Community Foundation website at www.commfoun.com or at the organization’s office. Gifts must be received on or before Nov. 28 to be eligible for up to $5,000 in matching money.