How to: Make a Match
You often hear of volunteers and their “Little” doing awesome things in the community. You see them working on homework in the cafeteria before school, walking in parades, touring museums… But how did they get involved?
Becoming a part of Big Brothers Big Sisters takes time, but is in no way complicated. Here is a How To guide, a way to see what goes into creating the Match of a Big and a Little through BBBS.
How to: Become a Big
1. Head to our website and let us know that you want to be a Big. This inquiry can be found under the “Get Involved” tab by selecting “Volunteer.” It’s a few questions about your contact information; simple as that!
2. Our office will look over your inquiry, contact you and send an application your way. You’ll receive this application via mail or email, whichever you prefer, all you have to do is fill it out and return it to us.
3. We will look over your application and set up a time to sit down and have an interview.
4. It’s called an interview, but it’s a lot different than your typical interview. It’s a chance for us to get to know you. We want to know your skills, interests, hobbies, and schedule in order to best match you with a Little. It’s not scary or something you should be nervous about. It will last about an hour and a half, but it will feel like a relaxed conversation.
5. After the interview, we’ll do reference and background checks to ensure the safety of everyone involved in the Match.
6. Last, our Match Specialists get to work! They look through potential Littles and make a match based on all of the things discussed in your interview.
How to: Become a Little
1. The process starts the same for Littles! Head to our website and select the “Enroll a Child” tab. While parents often fill this out, we take referrals from all people in a healthy relationship with the child, whether it be a teacher, friend or guardian. Kids of all backgrounds, family dynamics and demographics are encouraged to inquire.
2. After this is complete, a Match Specialist will reach out to set up an interview with the Little and his/her family in their home. This, again, is used as a way to get to know the Little, their family and their home environment. It’s low stress and will guarantee a Match is the best it can be.
3. The Match Specialist will then take this information back to the office and compare the interests and needs of the Little to those of the Bigs who are waiting to be matched.
Then, it happens. A Match is made. The Match Specialist coordinates a Match Meeting, where the Big is introduced to the Little and their family, and ensures everything goes smoothly. From there, the Match will get to know each other and plan activities to do when they start meeting on a weekly basis.
Every month, the Match Specialist will get in touch with the Big, Little and/or guardian to see if the match is getting along well, to learn what they’ve been up to, to suggest activities and provide any support that’s needed. This is a safety measure for all people involved in the Match, but also a way to help in any way possible.
That’s it! Not as bad as you thought, huh? While we work to make Matches happen as soon as possible, it won’t be done overnight. It takes time for the Match Specialist to look through the options and make a meaningful, impacting Match. To get technical, it takes around 12-15 hours to set up each and every match.
With that being said, we have a continuous need for Bigs. We currently have a list of over 150 kids in our region who are waiting on a Big. In particular, there are a lot of boys who need a strong male role model in their lives. Consider being a Big Brother, Big Couple, or Big Family; no matter where you are in life, there is always a way to be involved. Of course, we are always looking for Big Sisters, too!
Now’s the time to take the steps and impact lives. If you have any questions on how to get started, please contact us.