Local Nonprofit Big Brothers Big Sisters is Looking for Mentors

Cassidy Wagoner, Staff Writer

Bridgewater, Va.- Big Brothers Big Sisters is a nonprofit that focuses on one-to-one mentoring for underprivileged children in Harrisonburg and the Rockingham County area. 

The organization goes beyond Rockingham County’s borders with locations in all 50 states and 12 countries. The organization started off as a Big Brothers campaign in 1904 then joined forces with Catholic Big Sisters in 1977. 

The organization pays close attention to detail when it comes to accepting a mentor into the program. Big Brothers Big Sisters have match specialists that can ensure the children are placed with the best fit possible. Once a child and a mentor are matched they use the names “Big” and “Little” to differentiate the relationship between the two.

The “Big” is the mentor whose job is to build and maintain a relationship with their little. In most cases, the little does not come from a home that has much stability, so the job of the mentor is to take their little out to activities they normally do not have access to. 

Activities can include: taking their little to the county fair, helping with homework, going to the park, and even supporting their little at school plays or activities. The amount of money spent on the little is not the point of mentoring, it is the relationship that is created between the two, which shows them a different perspective of life. 

Big Brothers Big Sisters is specifically looking for males, but females are encouraged to apply as well. 

Development Director Baker Garber said that the female to male ratio is “70% female and 30% male because for most females it can be a requirement for an education major.” 

Most of the mentors at Big Brothers Big Sisters are students at James Madison University, but the organization is looking to expand beyond that. 

Garber asked that those who are interested in becoming a Big visit http://www.bbbshr.org/bigfaq/ to start the process of “changing a child’s life.”