A BIG Need: Volunteer Recruitment
We know mentors make a difference. Kids do better with the presence of a reliable, supportive and caring adult in their lives. Participants in Big Brothers Big Sisters’ program graduate from high school, avoid risky behaviors, have better social and emotional skills, and stay out of the juvenile justice system at rates that are higher than the national average for their peers.
Unfortunately, here in Central Texas many children lack positive role models who can provide that kind of support and encouragement.
“Here at BBBS, the number 500 is more important to us than ever,” says Diana Hernandez, Match Support Supervisor. “We have 500 kids on the waitlist who are waiting to have a one-to-one relationship with a mentor of their own.”
Diana also emphasized that of the 500 kids who are currently waiting, 400 are boys. And of these 400, 85% are African American or Hispanic.
“We need more volunteers overall,” says Diana. “But we especially need more men, more men of color and more bilingual Bigs!”
Nationwide, there are more than 33,000 youth in need of a mentor.
“These young people need an ally, someone they can count on,” said Pam Iorio, president and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBBSA). “Every new Big who volunteers their time will help a young person realize their full potential.”
To address this urgent need, BBBSA recently launched a national Volunteer Recruitment Campaign that includes radio, television, print and social media messaging to encourage volunteer enrollment.
BBBSA has also established a partnership with the National Football League’s Inspire Change initiative that is focused on creating messaging and materials aimed at recruiting more male volunteers.
Locally, we’re working hard to spread the word about our important need for volunteer mentors as well. Public service announcements have been distributed to area television and radio stations and we’ll soon be launching a social media campaign to spread the message to an even wider audience.
We’re also enlisting the help of community partners and local businesses by providing promotional posters and flyers with powerful visuals and convenient QR codes to enable potential volunteers to learn more about BBBS in an instant using their mobile devices.
In addition, we recently hosted a Recruitment Kick-off event at the Bennett-Rathgeber Mentoring Center. Visitors met BBBS team members, toured the facility, learned more about our work, viewed our Mission Video, and listened to current Bigs’ testimonials about why they mentor, what they value most about the experience, and the impact of becoming a volunteer.
We’re also looking forward to a special event coming up on Saturday, November 16 at Treaty Oak Brewery in Dripping Springs. In partnership with Skinny’s Barber Shop, Treaty Oak will be hosting a volunteer recruitment event for those who would like to learn more about becoming a Big Brother or Big Sister. Attendees will be able to enjoy a drink, network with current and former Bigs, BBBS staff and agency supporters, and find out more about what it means to be a volunteer mentor.
Finally, we’re looking at additional ways to engage our current Bigs in getting the word out. New applicants often tell us that they were motivated to get involved after hearing the personal story of a current or former volunteer!
You can help us spread the word in several ways too!
- Be sure to Like, Follow and Share our social media posts at facebook.com/bigmentoring/ , www.twitter.com/bigmentoring/ and www.instagram.com/bigmentoring/
- Let us know if we can provide promotional materials or information for you to share at your place of work or in your organization’s internal newsletter.
- Contact us if you would like to help us distribute flyers or posters.
- Invite us to come and talk to your organization, company or church about our need for more volunteer mentors.
One of the greatest predictors of a child’s future success is the presence of a consistent, supportive adult in their life.
Working together with BBBSA, community partners, local businesses, current and former Bigs, and you, we can make an even bigger difference for more children in our community. Let’s get the word out about our need for Big Brothers and Big Sisters and help more kids in Central Texas get matched with the caring adult mentors they need and deserve!
Brent Fields, CEO of BBBS of Central Texas says it well: “We can only realize our vision of helping children achieve success in life because of the service of our volunteer mentors – our Big Brothers and Big Sisters. Their contribution is critical to everything we do.”
Learn more about becoming a Big Brother or Big Sister here
See our new volunteer recruitment public service announcement here