As the nation's largest donor and volunteer supported mentoring network, Big Brothers Big Sisters makes meaningful, monitored matches between dedicated, caring volunteers (Bigs) and children (Littles), ages 6 through 18. Through intentional matching and ongoing professional support from our staff, Big/Little mentor/mentee matches grow to be positive friendships that have a direct and lasting effect on the lives of young people. Locally, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Michigan ignites the power and promise of youth in Kalamazoo, Allegan, Calhoun, and Van Buren counties.
When you participate in Bowl for Kids' Sake, you have the power to ignite children's potential. We depend on the money raised through Bowl for Kids' Sake, to carry out the work of carefully matching children with dedicated, caring mentors and providing ongoing support to the child, volunteer mentor, and child's family. Today you can Register or Donate to our efforts to change the life of a child forever!
Before we make a match, we do our homework. After someone expresses an interest in becoming a mentor/Big, they go through orientation, a background check and a careful interview process. Then, we match Bigs and Littles based on location, personalities and preferences. And we provide full support from the start, so matches can grow into lasting, impactful friendships. The entire matching and match support process is made possible through donations—we can't do what we do best without you!
Each match is unique. And COVID-19 has affected how we all connect, but being a Big doesn't require a special occasion or expensive activity. Mentors commit to at least two hours twice a month doing things the Little and Big already enjoy. Matches can meet virtually or in person depending on state/local COVID-19 guidelines and individual comfort level.
Bigs receive a monthly newsletter containing outdoor, socially distant and virtual activities they can enjoy with their Little. Bigs provide advice and inspiration, as do Littles!
Bigs and Littles can connect over the phone, text, or video chat. Some Bigs meet their Littles on the weekends. Others get together with their Littles in the evenings. Each match develops a schedule that works for them.
Find out about becoming a Big Brother or Big Sister by visiting our website.