KEEPING KIDS CONNECTED

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Michigan is working remotely to help support our Littles and their families. Our team serves as a hub for hundreds of families—providing resources for those who may be affected by loss of income, food insecurity, lack of healthcare, and anxiety due to the uncertainties related to COVID-19. We're also working closely with our Bigs and our community to ensure we continue to ignite the potential of local youth by keeping kids connected to the important additional caring role models in their lives.

YOU CAN IGNITE THE POWER AND POTENTIAL OF LOCAL CHILDREN

We can't begin to fully understand how COVID-19 will impact the youngest in our community. Even with current social distancing guidelines our staff are encouraging matches to meet digitally, providing ideas and support for doing so, and connecting with families and connecting families to resources to make sure their needs are met.
 
For over 60 years, BBBS has been providing this high quality and important service to Southwest Michigan families. It continues to be critical during these uncertain times and will continue after the pandemic passes. Experience and evidence-based research tells us our programs will be even more critical once the pandemic passes.

How does Big Brothers Big Sisters help Kasaius?

Matching

When Big Brothers Big Sisters works to match a Little with a Big, we take into account the needs, personality, interests, and goals of both the child and the adult volunteer. We introduce the Little and his or her family to the Big slowly and make sure everyone is fully committed to the match before it is made official. Little Brother Kasaius is outgoing and up for anything, so he needed a Big who was creative and had a variety of interests.

Relationship Management

Children like Kasaius get the most out of their one-to-one relationship with their Big when the Big, the parent or guardian, and the child talk openly with their Match Support Specialist. Working as part of the team helping the child succeed, the Match Support Specialist can help identify problems, brainstorm solutions, and connect the family with essential services.

Activities

When Kasaius’ Big Brother saw the email from BBBS saying that there were spots open in a free acting class, he jumped at the chance to take Kasaius. BBBS affiliates across the country provide activities for Bigs and Littles and also alert Bigs to opportunities in the community. This enables Bigs to get to know other Bigs, who might be experiencing similar things and who might have great suggestions for more new activities.

Screening and Training

Child safety is Big Brothers Big Sisters’ highest priority. To achieve the highest standards possible, we work constantly to review and strengthen our background check systems as new best practices in the industry emerge. We also make sure our Bigs and our staff have the training and resources they need to help Littles on their path to success.

Guest Speaker Wade Boggs

Wade Boggs: Guest Speaker at 44th Annual Benefit Dinner

Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Wade Boggs joins the 44th Annual Benefit Dinner as guest speaker on Monday, September 27 in Gull Lake.

Pride Month Review

At Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Michigan, we recognized the LGBTQ+ community and Pride Month in June with our Celebrating Pride campaign, featuring profiles and videos of local members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Little Sister Kloie and Big Sister Laura

Match of the Month: Kloie & Laura

Little Sister Kloie and Big Sister Laura are June’s Match of the Month. This award honors a match’s dedication to each other and commitment Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Michigan’s mission: empowering the potential of youth through one-to-one mentoring.

Celebrating Pride: Avery Green

Avery Green wants LGBTQ+ youth to hear, “Be yourself, be unapologetic. It’s going to be okay, you’ll find your people and your place. Sometimes it can be hard and people may not understand you, but you are strong. Everything that makes you different or stand out- people will value those things the most.”

Portrait of Demetrias Wolverton on the right with "Celebrating Pride" in front of rainbow striped paint brush strokes. On the bottom left, the BBBS Pride logo and a white band at the very bottom with "Demetrias Wolverton" in black text.

Celebrating Pride: Demetrias Wolverton

Demetrias Wolverton wants BIPOC LGBTQ+ youth to know they shouldn’t, “… be afraid of occupying spaces as your authentic self, because queer people of color have been the pioneers of social justice and civil rights movements since the beginning of time.”