Big Brothers and Big Sisters are caring individuals willing to spend a few hours each month with a child. Our volunteers come from every background, race, religion and ethnicity. We have volunteers that are high school or college students, out in the working world and retirees. Our volunteers have varied interests. Whether it’s sports, crafts, cooking or programming a computer, we have a Little Brother or Sister that may share this interest or is looking to open their eyes to some of life’s new experiences.
We realize that every volunteer’s life and commitments are different. That is why we offer two options for getting involved as a Big Brother or Big Sister. To provide a relationship that will be beneficial to the well-being and personal growth of our Little Brothers and Sisters, both opportunities require a minimum of a 1 year commitment from the date you are matched.
Community-Based Mentoring – You can make a BIG difference by sharing time with a child doing things together in our community. Bigs & Littles are encouraged to share simple, everyday activities that focus on building a friendship and having fun while developing interests, skills and feelings of self-accomplishment for the Little. Time together can involve activities as simple as cooking dinner together, tinkering with an old car, planting a garden, walking and caring for a pet, visiting local places of interest or attending a school or sporting event the child is involved in. Big Brothers Big Sisters also offers a number of group activities and freebies, like tickets to local events provided by generous donors, for you & your Little to enjoy!
The Community-Based opportunity is flexible since you & your Little set your own schedule. However, we ask that you commit to consistently seeing your Little Brother or Sister at least 2-3 times per month, for a few hours each time. This could be an afternoon or evening during the week or on the weekend. You and your Little decide. Additionally, the agency will provide a Case Manager that will make all of the initial introductions and continue to provide support during your friendship to help your relationship grow.
Although age does not matter in friendship (our oldest Big is 85!), you must be at least 18 years old to participate in the Community-Based Program. Additionally, volunteers in this program must have reliable transportation to transport themselves and the child to and from activities. To sign up to learn more, click now.
Site-Based Mentoring Program -Site-Based Mentoring is one-to-one mentoring that takes place in a structured setting at a local school or community center. You & your Little will participate in a variety of educational, recreational and cultural activities planned by a Big Brothers Big Sisters Site Coordinator and designed to help your friendship grow, create conversation, broaden horizons and just have fun! Big & Little match activities might include creating craft projects, an interactive presentation with a community speaker, participating in a group activity or simply playing a board game or coloring while talking about their day.
You’ll volunteer as a Big in this program weekly or bi-weekly, depending on the site you select. Programs operate, year round, Monday – Thursday between 3:30 pm – 5:30 pm or 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm. We have Site-Based Mentoring Programs located in schools and community centers in Buffalo and Kenmore. In addition to adult volunteers, this program also accepts high school students that have completed tenth grade. To sign up to learn more, click now.
Other Ways to Help:
Not sure about becoming a mentor but you want to know how else you can support our program? Click to learn more about other opportunities!