Big Brothers Big Sisters Mid Michigan Searching for Mentors
"The sooner we can get a mentor matched with a child, the better that child has at success." Dan Manley Executive Director Big Brother Big Sisters Mid Michigan
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mid Michigan are scrambling to find mentors.
Big Brothers Big Sisters serves seven counties throughout Mid Michigan and since the COVID pandemic they haven’t been able to match the demand. Executive Director Dan Manley says it’s important for all kids to have a mentor.
“As we all know kids are looking for direction. They are looking for that, and if we aren’t there then who is providing that? Who are they turning to,” Manley says.
Currently over 50 kids are signed up, but are waiting for more mentors. Manley says mentors don’t need a lot of money or free time to get involved.
“It’s not about the money you spend, it’s about the time and the quality of that time that is so important,” Manley says. “We only ask for four hours a month. Four hours a month can make a difference in a child’s life like you couldn’t believe.”
“We have great success stories, but those success stories can not happen if we don’t have the volunteers to work with and spend time with those kids,” Manley explains.
According to a study, 94% of kids enrolled at Big Brother Big Sisters feel like they belong. Mentor Alan White says the feeling for belonging is important for a kid.
“Doing dumb stuff is part of being a 13-year-old and I know when I tell him about the dumb stuff that I did when I was 13 he’s a little relieved,” White laughs.
White has been a mentor for two years. He was matched with a 13-year-old whose father passed three years ago. White says there are times where he doesn’t know who gets more out of the program, him or his little.
“It’s very important to the community, it means a lot to these kids. Once you get involved in it and see how much it does for them. It’s just good for your heart,” White says.