anuary is the perfect time to start something good, something fun, something that will have a positive impact on your life, on another’s life and on the community. January is a great time to start something big by becoming a Big Brother, Big Sister or a Big Couple.
You’re probably thinking “I don’t know what we’d do.” Well, do you like fishing, woodworking, building things, boating, kayaking, skiing, baking, gardening, going to garage sales, hiking, riding bikes, walking on the beach, ice skating, flying kites?
Do you enjoy arts and crafts, movies, board games, walking your dog, talking and going to restaurants?
If you answered yes to a few of these, then you’d have lots to do plus you can discover what fun it is to see the world through the eyes of a child while sharing these activities.
Now you’re probably asking “Do I have the time to do this?”
Yes you do. It doesn’t take a lot of time.
For the school-based program, you spend an hour once a week during the school year at your Little’s school during lunch and recess. What a great way to spend your lunchtime. In the summer you stay in contact by phone or email.
For the community-based program, you and your Little meet 2-4 times a month for a couple of hours at a time that fits both of your schedules.
If you decide to become a Big, you aren’t on your own in this adventure. The staff at Big Brothers Big Sisters will match you with a child whose interests and personality are a good fit with your own. Then they’ll help you develop a friendship and work through any challenges you might encounter.
If being a Big is not for you at this time in your life, you can still start something big and support mentoring by helping us in other ways. Office donations are always appreciated. Donate adult and children’s clothing including hats, purses, boots, shoes, gloves as well as towels, sheets, curtains and blankets. Put the items in the big red collection bins in the Safeway or Lakeside Mall parking lots. Pick-up service is available by calling 235-8397. Support also can be a donation from your permanent fund dividend through Pick.Click.Give.
Form a team for Bowl For Kids Sake happening March 2. It’s not about how great a bowler you are. It’s about collecting pledges and then celebrating and having fun with free bowling, free pizza and great raffle prizes. The money raised will help make more matches of Big and Littles.
To celebrate National Mentoring month we will be giving a presentation at the Jan. 14 Homer City Council meeting. Come and show your support. Join us Jan. 17 at 6 p.m. for a free family friendly movie at the Homer Theater.
Starting something bIg with Big Brothers Big Sisters really does make a difference. In January 2012 Big Brothers Big Sisters of America released the Youth Outcomes Survey Report substantiating that our mentoring programs have proven, positive academic, socio-emotional and behavioral outcomes for youth in areas linked to high school graduation, avoidance of juvenile delinquency and college or job readiness.
Still not sure about supporting mentoring in one or more of the ways mentioned? Maybe this will help you decide.
Think back to your own childhood. Who were your role models? Those people who pushed you to succeed, taught you new skills, opened up doors to new thoughts and experiences, helped you from making a poor decision, talked with you or maybe just listened and spent time with you.
You may not remember their names or know where they are now, but you carry their wisdom with you throughout your life. Supporting mentoring or being a mentor is giving a precious gift to the next generation that will last a lifetime.
Susan Kirn is the community director for Big Brothers Big Sisters in Homer.