January is National Mentoring Month, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida (BBBSNWFL) is celebrating those who are already volunteering as mentors and recruiting more mentors, also known as Bigs.
Every January, people all over the world make a New Year Resolution. This year, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida is challenging people to do something important and impactful within their community: becoming a Big Brother or Big Sister.
For 32 years, BBBSNWFL has been there to help children achieve their full potential through innovative and transformative programs. BBBSNWFL matches caring, adult mentors with children ages 5 through 18 and beyond who come primarily from single-parent homes.
BBBSNWFL is facing a critical need for mentors across Northwest Florida. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the number of new Big Brothers and Big Sisters has dropped significantly, and the number of children placed on the waitlist has kept growing.
“One in three children will grow up without a mentor,” says President & CEO of BBBSNWFL Paula Shell. “That’s over 56,000 kids in Northwest Florida who will not have that consistent person in their life.”
A common misunderstanding is that becoming a Big Brother or Big Sister is a time constraint and big commitment. BBBSNWFL requires that Bigs have weekly contact with their Little, at a minimum of two times in person per month. Bigs do not have to give up their time to be with their Little, rather, they can share their time with their Little. Big Brothers and Big Sisters currently in the program take their Little with them to engage in everyday activities, such as shopping, playing basketball, or visiting the library.
Anyone interested in becoming a Big Brother or Big Sister can visit the BBBSNWFL website at bbbsnwfl.org
or by calling 850-433-5437 for Escambia/Santa Rosa/Okaloosa/Walton Counties or 850-763-5437 for Bay County.