More than 1,800 children have a mentor through Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast. However, during these uncertain times, their routines of walking on the beach, playing at the park, watching a movie or just hanging out have changed.
Going digital amid COVID-19 pandemic
Jeanie Baik, Vice President of Programs and Volunteer Experience for the agency, said Bigs and Littles are staying in touch. “We’re encouraging Bigs and Littles to continue to stay in touch. We are hosting virtual interviews and providing internal processing through a variety of online mechanisms. This is based on the client’s familiarity and comfort level and what type of phones they have. We have also started doing virtual match support with our families. The visual simply helps keep the connections alive even for existing matches and helps with the social isolation,” said Baik.
Getting virtual guidance
Bigs are there to guide their Littles. For children, any disruption in their life is a cause for concern. With something like this, something they have never experienced before, they’re really looking for those people in their lives right now that can provide that guidance and be that role model and mentor they need.
Instead of in-person fingerprinting, Big Brothers Big Sisters is utilizing Sterling Volunteers to run State and Federal background checks, as child safety remains number one. Virtual orientation sessions have proven successful, where the participants have signed up for a virtual interview to become a Big.
The organization is still taking applications for volunteers. There is a background check and, for now, virtual interviews. For further information or if you wish to help, please contact Rose Bloch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast
For over 50 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast has been matching youth in meaningful, enduring, professionally supported mentoring relationships with adult volunteers who defend their potential and help them achieve their biggest possible futures. Big Brothers Big Sisters’ evidence-based approach is designed to create positive youth outcomes, including educational success, avoidance of risky behaviors, higher aspirations, greater confidence, and improved relationships. This past year, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast has served over 1,800 youth across a 10 county footprint. Learn how to get involved at bbbssun.org.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast were named “Agency of the Year” last year!
Photo from BBBSSC Welcome to the family, Big Sister Emily Soper and Little Sister Mariah, Big Brothers Big Sisters first virtual match. Paige and Mariah are so happy to be matched and already have plans to FaceTime where they will be demonstrating their culinary skills.