Go Big: Matching mentors for Big Brothers Big Sisters
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - If you're looking to make a difference in 2016, why not go big?!
WMC Action News 5 is teaming up with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Mid-South to provide mentors for dozens of local kids who just need a little guidance and attention to reach their full potential.
"I just want the best for them," Yvette Lang, a single mother of two, said.
Lang signed up her sons with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Mid-South: Jaylin, 12, and Je'Caryous, 9.
"I knew as a mother, I could not teach them how to be young men, and I needed some help," Lang said.
Jaylin's mentor (his big) helped him improve in reading.
"He came with all different kind of ideas that I never would have thought of," Lang said.
Je'Caryous and his big enjoy playing outdoors.
"He goes fishing with his big," Lang said. "His big teaches him how to cook barbecue."
"We always say, 'You don't have to make the time, you just have to share it,'" Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Mid-South interim director Susan George said.
George says the organization is doing a ton of good, but still has dozens of children waiting for bigs to step up and help.
"We have 136 children who are waiting to become littles in a positive mentoring relationship," George said.
More than 90 percent on the waiting list are boys.
"We need, we really need male role models to step up and be mentors to these children," George said.
It only takes three steps to volunteer and become a big: Orientation, background check, meeting your little.
"Prior to the third step, we would give you a call and give you all the info we can about the child we've paired you with to see if that is a relationship you would like to move forward with," George said.
It takes a team to match a big with a little.
Big Brothers Big Sisters have to gather information on the littles and bigs. That information is then stored in a secure central database, and a computer then takes over and works to match bigs and littles together based on their interests.
After the computer gives its suggestions, a group of leaders within Big Brothers Big Sisters meet to make sure the mentor match will work.
"It really does take a village--like our mom use to say back in our day--to raise a child," Lang said. "And it's really helping with my boys."
If there's room in your heart to go big for a child this year, click here to figure out how to get started.
Remember, there are more than 130 children waiting for a chance to have a mentor and a friend.
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