BE A BIG
We’re so glad you’re interested in becoming a big brother, big sister or big couple. It’s truly a fun, life-changing volunteer experience that gives the invaluable gift of your friendship. Here are the basic steps we need each of our volunteer applicants to complete.
One on one interview
New Volunteer Training
Meet Your Little
Build Your Relationship
Every Day With Littles at Every Age
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio empowers positive change in our community by matching Littles with Bigs to create powerful, meaningful, and life-changing friendships.
DO SOMETHING BIG
BE A BIG
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio serves children and teens who want and need a mentor in their lives. We match Littles 1st-8th grade with Bigs in one to-one, life-changing friendships. Bigs and Littles hang out 2-3 times a month for a few hours doing normal, everyday activities, like going to a movie, playing games, going out to eat, or just hanging out.
Each match is supported by a dedicated Match Support Specialist who is always there to provide resources and support specific to the Little’s age. With a BIg in their life, children and teens in the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio program are empowered to ignite their potential as they grow in their self-esteem, earn better grades, and develop a lifelong friendship with their Big.
Safety is our top priority
Bigs must be 21 year of age or older, have a valid drivers license and be willing to commit to a long-term volunteer experience (minimum of eighteen months however most friendships last much longer.)
As a Big you must:
- Complete the volunteer application process
- Participate in ongoing volunteer training
- Communicate with your Match Support Specialist throughout the life of the match relationship
- Initiate contact with your Little on a consistent basis to schedule activities
- Meet consistently with your Little
Your questions, answered
We’re here to help you every step of the way. Here’s a list of commonly asked questions
Q. How often do Bigs and Littles get together?
Bigs and Littles get together 2-3 times a month, and on average spend 3-4 hours together each time they meet up.
Q. What support is provided to our match?
Once you are matched with your Little, your Match Support Specialist will be in regular contact with you to provide assistance and give feedback. As your Little grows up , you’ll be supported by a Match Support Specialist that is an expert on what you need to know for your Little’s current stage in life. They provide ideas for activities and guidance for handling potentially difficult situations. If at anytime you are unsure about what to do or how to handle a situation, your match support specialist is here to help.
Q.DO THE PARENTS AND CHILDREN WANT TO BE IN THE PROGRAM?
Parents that enroll their children in the BBBS program want the very best for their children. They see the benefits of introducing another caring adult role model in the life of their child. Many say that their children’s Bigs are able to talk to them about issues that are just difficult for a parent to address. That is why parents often say introducing a Big into their child’s life has not only changed their son/daughter’s life but it’s impacted the entire family. BBBSCO only enrolls children who want and need the program and whose parents specifically want them to be in the program, so 100% of the children enrolled are ready and excited about being matched.
Q. HOW DO I CHOOSE MY LITTLE?
This is what is really unique and great about BBBSCO. We don’t just select the next child on our list and match them with a Big. Each Big and Little are matched based on compatibility and proximity to each other; but ultimately, Bigs and Littles choose each other. Match support specialists get to know each Big, parent and child that enrolls in the program. They get to know their interests, hobbies, what they are looking for in a Match, and much more. This is crucial because once a volunteer is accepted into the program, a match support specialist will begin searching for a few Littles that they think would make a good Match. They will then send a profile of a Little that they believe is a great match for you, and from there you ultimately decide if you think they will be the best fit
Q. What do I do with my Little?
Activities are up to each match to schedule and participate in on their own time. You don’t have to spend a lot of money- it’s about the time. Common activities include going to get ice cream or going to a movie, playing catch or a video game, attending a sporting event or concert, hanging out at home and making dinner, or running errands. We encourage Bigs to share time instead of trying to create new time. Bring your Little on activities you were already going to do. Keep it simple and focus on getting to know each other.
Q. Do we receive any training or help once we’re matched?
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio partners with several organization that provide workshops and trainings that are beneficial to our Bigs. In addition, your Match Support Specialist is there every step of the way to offer customized support.
Q. CAN I CHOOSE WHETHER I WANT A LITTLE SISTER OR A LITTLE BROTHER?
We only make same gender Matches. Big Brothers are always matched to Little Brothers. Big Sisters are matched to Little Sisters.
Q. What if it doesn’t work out?
We get it, sometimes things come up – Bigs or Littles move, situations change, or relationships just don’t work out. If this happens, your match support specialist will be there to support you every step of the way.
Q. How long can a match last?
We ask for a minimum commitment of eighteen months for each match we make. Many of our match relationships last much longer than that.