Agency celebrates 60 years, seeks more mentors

Six-year-old Myquez loves singing, dancing and fashion (he takes pride in color coding his outfits each day). One day, he dreams of becoming a police officer. Noah would like an additional adult in his life who will spend time with him playing board games and shooting hoops.

Mijanay is a talkative 9-year-old looking for a Big Sister who will play dress up and sing and dance with her. Mijanay wants to be a doctor when she grows up.

Noah, Khaliyah, and hundreds of local other children all have one thing in common: because of factors out of their control, they may have a more difficult time succeeding in life than their peers. These children would benefit from having a mentor – an additional caring, consistent adult in their lives.

In response to the large number of local children who need a mentor and to celebrate the agency’s 60th anniversary, Big Brothers Big Sisters, A Community of Caring has set an ambitious goal of serving an additional 300 Kalamazoo County children in 2018. Mentors can be Big Brothers, Big Sisters, Big Couples, or Big Families; however, Big Brothers are especially needed because there are always more boys than girls waiting for Bigs.

Research shows that a mentor improves a child’s chances of succeeding in life. The most recent data available from surveys of children served by our agency show that after having a Big for just one year:

  • 95 percent have improved self-confidence;
  • 89 percent are less likely to engage in risky activities that could limit their future success;
  • 92 percent perform better in school.

Increasing a child’s odds of staying in school to prepare them for further education or entry into the workforce is key to breaking the cycle that limits their future possibilities.

If you can spare as little as four hours a month and commit to this for at least a year, we need you! Bigs spend time with their Littles two or more times a month, usually for a couple of hours at a time. Don’t want to take away time from your own family? Then volunteer together as a Big Family or Big Couple!

Call 269-382-6800 or visit our volunteer page today to learn more about getting involved – you will be helping a local child change their life for the better, forever.

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