IGNITE THE POWER AND POTENTIAL OF LOCAL CHILDREN

You know the feeling of being heard? Of really being understood and seen?

This is the gift our mentors, Bigs, give our mentees, our Littles. This is the gift you give youth in our community when you support Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Little Brother Kevin (pictured above) says, “If I were to need anything… [my Big] would be the first person I would talk to.” One of 5 siblings, Kevin has a many people in his life to turn to, but he chooses his Big Brother, Alex.

But what if his Big weren’t there? Your gift makes it possible for Littles like Kevin to have a Big like Alex. Your gift also sustains these matches ensuring kids in your community have support from additional caring adult role models. Mentoring matters because it opens the door to a child’s brightest possible future.

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.

Blake and Daniel, in separate images, smile at the camera. Blake is in the upper left hand corner, Daniel is in the lower right hand corner. There is a green square background behind them, and it says "Blake & Daniel" at the bottom and "Match of the Month" across the top

Match of the Month: Blake and Daniel

Congratulations to Little Brother Blake and Big Brother Daniel, our November 2021 Match of the Month. These chatterboxes love connecting!

On the left: A black and white photo of Mike and Wesley from when they were matched in the '90s. They are both wearing paper crowns and smiling. On the right, a black and white photo of Mike and Wesley, present day. They are both smiling.

A Lifetime of Connection: Mike & Wesley

Mike and Wesley have been a part of each other’s life since they were matched in the 1990s. Their lifetime connection is just one in our region, thanks to supporters like you.

A gray background with white headline text on the left reading "Mentor Orientation." Below the header, text reads "About our agency." On the right a pre-teen girl's portrait is cropped close. She is looking directly at the camera.

Mentor Orientation: About Our Agency

Curious about our philosophy on mentoring, what “Bigs” and “Littles” mean, or how long we’ve been igniting potential in Southwest Michigan? Check out this 2 minute video featuring CEO and Big Sister, Amy Kuchta.

Jesse T. Heron on the right, smiling and wearing a black suit jacket and a blue. On the left, a banner that says, "Celebrating Black Heroes" on top of the BBBS Logo, with "Jesse T. Herron" underneath

Celebrating Local Black Heroes: Jesse T. Herron

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Michigan is proud to celebrate Local Black Heroes throughout the year. Sign…

Shanaya and Megan take a picture together selfie-style in the car.

Match of the Month: Shanaya and Megan

Congratulations to Little Sister Shanaya and Big Sister Megan! Shanaya and Megan are our October 2021 Match…