New program combines mentoring opportunities and physical distancing, keeping kids connected

Abilene, TX – August 17, 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted life, business and service as we all know it. But that hasn’t stopped Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) from continuing to work toward their mission of seeing every child achieve success with a mentor by their side…or at least on the other side of their screen or phone line in times of physical distancing.

“When everything shut down in March, we immediately took steps to take our work completely online so that children, families and volunteers could still engage in this important mission,” says Megan Woodard, BBBS’ Director of Recruitment.

BBBS matches children, known as Littles, with a Big Brother or Big Sister in one-to-one mentoring relationships based on common interests, personality and experiences. Bigs help their Littles see the possibilities for their life, right now, and in the future.

The one-to-one nature of BBBS’ work means that for each child enrolled, one volunteer is needed to serve as their mentor. “Through this pandemic, the only thing that hasn’t slowed down is the rate at which parents are signing their child up for a mentor. Meanwhile, we’ve seen a dramatic decrease in the number of volunteers signing up to be a Big in the program,” states Woodard.

“The health and safety of our children and volunteers has been and remains our number one priority. That’s why we are excited to announce a new mentoring opportunity called ‘e-mentoring’!” shares Mark Rogers, BBBS’ Market President.

BBBS’ E-Mentoring program will serve as a replacement opportunity this school-year for the traditional in-person, on-campus Lunch Buddies program. An E-Mentoring Big will be matched with a Little age 7-14 for one year and will communicate with their Little 3-4 times a month via the BBBS App and video calling technology. “Our existing matches have been spending time together virtually during this pandemic and we’re excited to offer the same opportunity to new Big and Little matches now!” says Woodard.

Volunteers and children may still enroll in BBBS’ regular Community-Based program in which matches spend time together 2-4 times a month in-person in the community and plan their own outings like going to the park, doing a project or doing some other fun activity they choose together.

If you are interested in volunteering as a Big, visit our website here or to enroll a child as a Little, visit here. For more information, visit www.bbbstx.org or contact Megan Woodard at mwoodard@bbbstx.org or 325-674-3139.