What is a Big?
A Big Brother or Big Sister is anybody who wants to make a difference in the life of a child. They are volunteer mentors from the community who are matched up with kids in need so that they can provide them with necessary guidance and support. Anyone can become a Big and getting started is as easy as filling out a quick online form.
We require background checks and references for all of our Bigs.
Volunteers are required to carry adequate limits of liability for their motor vehicles, with a minimum of $100,000 for property damage and $300,000 for bodily injury. A copy of the declaration page of your personal automobile insurance policy must be provided to Big Brothers Big Sisters of York & Adams Counties annually at your renewal date.
What do Bigs do with Littles?
In the Community Mentoring Program, Bigs meet with their Littles about 2-4 times a month for a few hours at each meeting. The matches decide what they do together, with activities possibly including bowling, fishing, laser tag, and trips to local attractions. In our School Mentoring Program, Bigs meet with their Littles at the children's schools during the school year, communicate with them over the summer, and spend time with them during Big Brothers Big Sisters-sponsored events.
Is being a Big expensive?
We ask that Bigs do not spend large amounts of money on their Littles; mentors' time is far more valuable than anything they could buy. Simply showing a child that someone cares about them and wants them to succeed is priceless. We are always on the lookout for free and low-cost activities for our matches and host free match activities, such as trips to local baseball games and holiday parties, about every month for all of our Bigs and Littles. To see events in the area, check out the events page.
Can you suggest things to do with my Little?
Can I bring other people on my outings with my Little?
We emphasize the one-to-one relationships in our matches, but recognize that matches will be around other people as well. In the beginning of the match, we expect Bigs and Littles to meet by themselves so they can create a strong connection. As the match progresses, it is acceptable if they include others in their activities, but the one-to-one relationship should always be the focus of the match.
Will Big Brothers Big Sisters stay in contact with me after I am matched?
We like our matches so we will stay in touch with everybody involved in the match throughout its lifespan. This way, we can make sure everybody in the match is healthy, happy, and safe. We also tell all of our matches about upcoming events and provide support when needed. Our staff are essentially your one stop shop for anything related to your match!
Will I have to change my Little or be his parent/social worker/teacher/etc.?
No, first and foremost, Bigs are FRIENDS to their Littles. The strong feeling of friendship that is formed between Bigs and Littles allows the Bigs to positively influence the Littles in ways they are in danger of missing. We ask that you be yourself, treat your Little as an individual, and give them the guidance they so desperately need.