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.
Home Visit &
EVERY DAY WITH LITTLES AT EVERY AGE
BBBSKC offers children who want and need a mentor a one-to-one, long-term friendship with a caring adult. Bigs serve as friends, mentors and role models, helping children and teens gain greater self-confidence.
DO SOMETHING BIG
BE A BIG
Big Brothers Big Sisters Kansas City serves children and teens who want and need a mentor in their lives. BBBSKC matches Littles in 2nd-11th grade with Bigs in a one-to-one, life-changing friendship. Bigs and Littles hang out 2-3 times a month for a few hours doing normal, everyday activities, like going to see 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 BBBSKC 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.
OUR LITTLES DESERVE THE BEST
Bigs must be 21 years of age or older, have a valid driver’s license and be willing to commit to a long-term volunteer experience (minimum one-year, however, most friendships last much longer).
They must also do the following:
- Participate in a Volunteer Information Session
- Complete the Volunteer Acceptance Process
- Work with a match support specialist to select a Little Brother or Little Sister
- Initiate contact with your Little on a consistent basis to schedule activities
- Meet consistently with your Little for at least 12 months
- Maintain ongoing communication with the Big Brothers Big Sisters staff
OUTSIDE OF THE
FIND A LOCAL AFFILIATE
YOUR QUESTIONS, ANSWERED
We’re here to help you every step of the way. View a full list of commonly asked questions to get the information you need.
Q1. 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.
Q2. 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. Each Match is supported by a match support specialist specific to the Little’s grade in school. Match support specialists are broken down into three groups: 2nd—7th grade, 8th—10th grade, and 11th and up. As your Little grows up, you’ll always 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! Anytime you are unsure about what to do or how to handle a situation, your match support specialist is here to help. They’ll help you with ideas for activities, guidance for handling possible difficult situations, and feedback on how you are making a difference.
Q3. 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. BBBSKC 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.
Q4. HOW DO I CHOOSE MY LITTLE?
This is what is really unique and great about BBBSKC. 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
Q5. WHAT DO I DO WITH MY LITTLE?
Anything you like! 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. BBBSKC also hosts great Match activities and parties that all Bigs/Littles are invited to. Our Bigs are also occasionally given free tickets to events that match support specialists are able to distribute to Matches.
Q6. DO BIGS RECEIVE ANY TRAINING OR HELP ONCE WE’RE MATCHED?
Yes, your Home Visit will serve as an in-person training and will walk you through situational scenarios to help prepare you for your Match. In addition, your match support specialist will be there every step of the way to offer customized support as your Match progresses. We also partner with several organizations that provide workshops and trainings that are beneficial to all parties.
Q7. 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 and Big Couples are matched to Little Brothers.
Q8. WHAT IS A BIG COUPLE?
A Big Couple is a pair of Bigs who are in a long-term relationship and want to be matched together to the same Little. Big Couples do not have to be married, but must be in a long-term relationship for at least one year. This a great option for couples that would prefer a shared experience as opposed to each of them having their own Little. We want our Bigs to integrate their Little into their lives and this often means your Little spending a lot of time with your family and friends. The benefit of a Big Couple is now both Bigs have the option of going out one-on-one with their Little OR all three can go on outings together. Our Big Couples love the flexibility this gives their Match.
Q9. WHAT IF IT DOESN’T WORK OUT?
We do everything in our power to make a Match that we think will last. However, we realize that sometimes things come up — Bigs or Littles move, situations change, or something doesn’t work out. We will attempt to mediate the situation, but if it doesn’t work out, we will end the Match. If this happens, your match support specialist will be there to support you every step of the way and handle it in the best way possible.
Q10. HOW LONG CAN A MATCH LAST?
We ask for a minimum commitment of one year for each Match we make. That is often not the end, though — many of our friendships end up lasting a lifetime.