By President & CEO, Denise Barkhurst
When we reopen our offices on June 8th, Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Texas will have been closed for 85 days. That’s nearly a quarter of the year! A quarter of the year that we have been unable to provide over half of our services. We are excited to get back to work, but a little worried about what the new normal looks like. In the month of April we received only 18 inquires from potential volunteers (which is down from our monthly average of 100).
Our program depends on volunteers for our mentoring services. There are over 1,200 mentors currently matched with youth in our program, but there are also hundreds more in the queue to receive a mentor. We have worked really hard over the past 2 years to decrease the time a child waits before being matched to a Big Brother or Big Sister, and we don’t want the pandemic to impact this wait time any more than it has already.
We just launched a campaign to recruit 100 mentors from the military ranks over the 100 days of summer. Information on that campaign can be found here. A big thanks goes out to retired Air Force 4 star General ED Rice for his help on that campaign. A video message from the general can be found in the link.
We recruit Bigs from all walks of life, though, so you don’t have to be in the military to mentor. Please help us spread the word that we need volunteers now more than ever! The pandemic has given us all a reminder of how much we need human connections, and the Big Brothers Big Sisters program is all about facilitating relationships for kids who need support and guidance to navigate all the challenges life throws at them.
This is a link to the Big brothers Big Sisters training calendar – we have both virtual and in-person information sessions happening weekly where anyone can learn more about being a mentor. Take a look.