This blog post is sponsored by Inmar for #InmarIdeasThatMatter.
As some of you may know, I’m a Big Sister in the Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) program. I applied to be a Big at the end of 2019 but was not matched with a Little Sister until May 2020. It took about half a year to find a Little, but luckily, I found one who has similar interests to mine.
Big Thanks by Big Brothers Big Sisters
A few weeks ago, I was selected by my BBBS specialist as an Outstanding Big and was invited to Big Thanks, a quarterly event hosted by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona.
I didn’t really know what to expect when going to the event. The Big Thanks event was a way for the organization to give back to the Bigs. Each BBBS specialist gave a speech about the Big they nominated. The speech also included a note from the Little and their parents.
The Bigs were encouraged to give a speech after their BBBS specialist’s speech. I might have teared up a bit when my BBBS specialist gave her speech, so I decided to pass.
The event really touched my heart as sometimes it can feel a bit overwhelming and confusing. I have a troubled time figuring out where to draw the line between mentoring and parenting. It was nice to hear that my Little and her mom said I’ve been a positive influence on my Little. It’s hard to know if I’m doing the right thing at times, so it was a reassurance to hear that I am doing a good job.
Whenever I hear someone expressing interest in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, I always encourage them to explore more. I think the program has taught me to not only be patient but also be firm and assertive.
Partners for Change
I’ve partnered with Inmar in encouraging others to partner with a local group, government, school, etc. to affect change in your community. If you’re interested in becoming a Big, I previously wrote a post on the Big Brothers Big Sisters Big application process.
While the program’s minimum length is a year, being matched with a Little is a lifetime commitment. I know for me, I’ll be my Little’s Big until she no longer needs me. Even if she no longer needs me, I still hope to keep in touch with her for many years to come.
Other Organizations to Volunteer With
I love volunteering and mentoring others but can understand the long-term commitment might be too much to ask for. There are so many other organizations you can work with that don’t require a one-year commitment.
Another Phoenix-based organization I volunteer with is Skate After School. Skate After School is a non-profit program that gives students in multiple schools extracurricular activities with skateboarding.
You can also check out VolunteerMatch for other opportunities in your area!
Thank you Inmar for sponsoring this post and their donation to Big Brothers Big Sisters #InmarIdeasThatMatter.