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Guest Column

Being 'Big' in a child's life is a magical gift

Published January 9, 2007


Do you remember the first time you let go of the handlebars? Do you remember who was running behind you, just in case? Each of our lives has been touched by someone who shared the magic of the little moments in life that inhabit our memories, shape our thoughts and color our perceptions.

At Big Brothers Big Sisters, we are proud to say that for the past 40 years we have helped change the lives of thousands of children in our community, and their lives continue to be enriched every day through the experiences and little moments of magic that are shared with their Big Brother, Big Sister or Big Couple.

At Big Brothers Big Sisters, our mission is to help children reach their potential through professionally supported one-to-one mentor relationships, giving them a chance to spend quality time with someone who sincerely cares.

But as the number of children enrolling in our mentoring programs increases, so does our need for volunteers. January is National Mentoring Month and it is the perfect time to make that New Year's resolution to give more of yourself to helping others, especially our future generation. Now is the time to join Big Brothers Big Sisters as a mentor and bring a little magic into a child's life.

Big Brothers Big Sisters has been around nationally for more than 100 years because our programs work. An independent study conducted by Public/Private Ventures confirms that our programs help children improve school performance and behavior, keep them off drugs and alcohol and out of the juvenile justice system.

The impact of our life-changing mission is demonstrated again and again in the stories of "Big" and "Little" matches made years, even decades, ago, which created friendships that thrive today.

Not surprising is that the mentor's life, not just the child's, is enriched as a result of the relationship. We have received positive feedback from those involved in our organization, from families who publicly recognize the Big that had made such a difference in the life of their child, to the Littles who became Bigs themselves because of the impact their mentor had on them.

Right now there are more than 200 children on our waiting list for a Big Brother, Big Sister or Big Couple to bring positive change, offer encouragement and be a friend. Let's celebrate National Mentoring Month together. Be a friend. Be a mentor. Just be there.

Please call your local Big Brothers Big Sisters office today to discover how through your time, talent or treasure, you can help us celebrate 40 years of changing the lives ... one child at a time!

Editor's note: This public service information was provided by Susan Rolston, chief executive officer for Big Brothers Big Sisters, serving Pinellas, Hernando and Citrus counties. If you can help, call or visit the local office, 701 White Blvd., Inverness (344-0400).



[Last modified January 9, 2007, 06:41:36]

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