Written by Alyssa Wilson, University of Lynchburg Bonner Intern
For some children, a stable home with caring guardians is a luxury. However, mentorship programs like Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Central Virginia seek to match children ages 6 - 16 with caring mentors who are a part of the Lynchburg community and beyond.
The organization has two primary programs that serve the students of the Greater Lynchburg area: Community-based and site-based mentoring.
Currently there are 20 to 30 students ages 6 - 16 who are waiting to be matched with a mentor.
The community based program is perfect for mentors who may have a busy work week, but are able to take out their “little” for weekend outings in the community.
For example, a mentor could take their little out to see a movie, go fishing or engage in any of the student’s interests.
This program requires a minimum of eight hours of service per month, easily achieved on the weekends.
Jonah Henderson, who is a big in the community based program says, "Our match has shown me how vital relationship is. And our relationship is all because BBBS saw a need, a need not only in my little’s life, but in my own life."
(Photograph above features Jonah and his little, Dayquan)
Do you have an hour of your week that you can dedicate to having lunch with a local student at school?
The site-based program offers an opportunity for mentors to take an hour out of each week to join a student for lunch and provide loving support and care during the school day. The position requires four hours of service per month, or one hour per week for one month.
There is also an option for local high school and college students to volunteer and become mentors to younger students through Big Brothers, Big Sisters’ site based programming.
High school volunteer mentors will visit after school facilities such as Jubilee Family Development Center and the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Lynchburg to spend quality time with their little after school.
“It's a privilege to be able to lead and help a child grow and develop into who they will become,” says Lilly Tipton, Big Sister in the site-based mentoring program.
Community members interested in either community or site based programming can visit the organization’s SHARE Greater Lynchburg profile here to learn more about how to get involved.
Events and Wishlist
Big Brothers, Big Sisters is kicking off their annual Bowl for Kid’s Sake fundraiser on March 23.
Community members collect pledges to help support the mentoring programs and in turn receive two hours of free bowling, free shoe rental, a free t-shirt and a chance to win some amazing raffle prizes.
At SHARE Greater Lynchburg, partners have the opportunity to purchase items from a wishlist that the organization created, so community members know they are giving the organization what they need.
Big Brothers Big Sisters is currently asking for people to donate Walmart gift cards on their wishlist.
Learn more about this organization by visiting their SHARE Greater Lynchburg profile.
To see The Mike Show interview with Bailey Mauney with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Virginia, click here.