Big Brothers Big Sisters of Brownwood will match its first three “Bigs” and “Littles” today — not quite a year since the idea of bringing the national mentoring organization to the area was introduced.
Brian Moore, Cheryl Van der Pol and Holly Jones will each meet the “Little” they have been matched with in a sort of celebratory event at 5 p.m. at the BBBS local office located in the Family Services Center.
The goal of the newly founded chapter is to have matched 50 “Bigs” and “Littles” by the end of 2008, and right now, there have actually been more adults volunteer to be big brothers and sisters than there have been children seeking an adult mentor.
Applications are available for children seeking a big brother or sister mentor at the local organization’s office, which is up one flight of stairs from the front entrance in the FSC. The phone number at the office is 643-5600.
According to Janet Ardoyno, vice president of agency development for the area BBBS, the process for matching “Bigs” with “Littles” is to first take the applications for the children seeking big brother or sister mentors, let the agency run the screens and family checks, then take applications for the adults who will be mentors, and run those background checks.
Children seeking a match must be school-aged (at least 5 and in kindergarten). For initial matches, the maximum age is 15, though Ardoyno said it is typical for Bigs and Littles to have a friendship start in the primary grades and continue through high school.
Both boys and girls are encouraged to apply to be a little brother or sister, and right now very few little girls have applied to be little sisters, Ardoyno said, but a number of adult females have applied to be big sisters.
“The mission of BBBS is to professionally match children one-to-one with adult mentors,” Ardoyno said.
“We’ve had a huge response from Brownwood in setting up a Big Brothers Big Sisters organization here,” said Ardoyno.
The local office also now has an “official” regional executive director. Amber Moore has accepted the duty. Moore lives in Brownwood but had been teaching school in Brady. She finished out the term and then accepted the position. In the months leading up to Moore’s hiring, Amy Hubbard had served as the interim regional executive director.