The Big Brothers Big Sisters’ mission is: Provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever.
The word “enduring” is a very important part of our mission. We know, due to national research, that a key to helping children “change their lives for the better, forever” is providing them with consistent, caring mentoring friendships that last for at least a year. Bu
t what combination of factors come together to help a Big and Little form a long-lasting friendship? Which mentors are more likely to engage in long matches?
Earlier this year, a group from Stryker assisted us in answering those questions. The Stryker group performed a data analysis on 2,730 Big/Little matches that closed between 2012 and early 2018. The results of their research show that for community-based matches, the age of a Big is the top indicator as to the long-term success of a match. As you can see on the following chart, the older the mentor, the longer the Big/Little match tends to last.
Prospective Bigs age 50 and older have often said to me. “I’m too old to be a Big.” This research proves that you are never too old to be a Big. In fact, older Bigs bring a lot of positive qualities to the mentoring friendship. Stability, life experience, and wisdom are just a few of the traits that older people can pass along to the younger generation. And we find that the children matched with these older Bigs get as much out of their match as kids paired with younger Bigs.
So, if you’re an older adult, please do not hesitate to call 269-382-6800 to become a Big. You have a lot to offer a local child!