By BRETT MERROW
Big Brother’s Big Sister’s has been a continuous exercise in positive influence on our youth all throughout Homer. It provides a safe, solid environment for children to learn and grow through mentoring with a caring friend, or Big, who can give them the nurture and encouragement they need to dream big and go far.
Homer High recently offered F.O.L’s for students wanting to participate or even be a big brother or sister to a child. Community-based mentoring is easy, and can change children’s lives through simple, enjoyable activities. These can be anything from sharing a pizza with your “Little,” or taking a walk in the park. As well as being a wonderful experience for the Little’s, this also counts as volunteer hours at Homer High School, of which 40 are required to graduate by district policy. This means it is beneficial to everyone involved in the program.
The University of Colorado at Boulder has named BBBS a “BluePrint for Violence Prevention,” which is a program developed for identifying organizations with the most violence-preventing potential. Forbes has also named Big Brothers Big Sisters as one of the top ten most efficient charities for focusing its resources on its mission.
According to the Big Brothers Big Sisters website, their goal as an organization is to provide a way for at-risk youth to achieve: “Higher aspirations, greater confidence and better relationships; to increase avoidance of risky or ill-willed behaviors, and to promote educational success.”
The organization has been helping children across America since 1901, when it started as the first New York Children’s Court. It has always aimed towards the youth of our country; providing them the help they need.
Anyone wanting to get involved with Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Alaska has plenty of opportunities. You can be a big, volunteer, or donate. Even something as simple as $1 will help; this is a non-profit program. In fact, one easy way to help is by donating clothes. There is a BBBS donation bin located in the parking lot of Safeway and Ulmers. Any and all help will have a positive impact, and the smallest gift will go towards someone great.