Little Sister Desi and Big Sister Betsy Featured in Allegan County Community Foundation’s Spotlight

Image of Big Sister Betsy and Little Sister Desiree from Allegan County receiving an award from Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Over 200 kids are waiting to be matched with a mentor, and that mentor could be you. With COVID-19 creating so much uncertainty for the youth in Allegan County, they need someone in their corner now more than ever before.

You can make a difference in a child’s life right from your couch with Big Brothers Big Sisters’ virtual mentoring program. If you’re concerned about your technology skills, this program is perfect for you because it keeps things simple.

For one of our current mentors, Big Sister Betsy, who is also a retired teacher, connecting with her Little Sister, Desi, is easier than ever. “Using technology is an opportunity for both of us to catch up,” Betsy explains. “I know that there are people who will be there to help me through any technology I’m not familiar with, so I’m not nervous.”

The entire Big Brothers Big Sisters team is here to support you. As a potential Big, you will learn about the process, expectations, and eligibility requirements. If you become a Big in Allegan county you have the option of participating in a virtual only program. You will be matched with a Little Brother or Sister from Plainwell Middle School based on your interests and personalities. As you navigate your new mentoring friendship, your assigned Mentoring Relationship Specialist will provide the support and resources you need to help grow the bond with your Little.

Over the past three years, Betsy and Desi have created a strong friendship built on trust and finding joy in everyday activities. Some of their favorite memories include cooking in the kitchen at school and working on arts and crafts- activities they look forward to doing together virtually.

“Betsy has taught me to always think of the positive, that nothing is ever permanent, that things will be better, and that no matter how hard life gets, you will always have someone there for you,” says Little Sister Desi. “She also taught me that being different is a good thing and to be a light in a world full of darkness.”

In the past, one of the barriers to making new matches in Allegan has been finding volunteers who are available to meet during school hours. With the flexibility of virtual mentoring, matches can now meet during an agreed upon time that works best for everyone. Matches will meet via Zoom for 30-45 minutes, every other week, on a day/time set with the parent/guardian.  On the weeks they aren’t meeting virtually, matches will be allowed to contact one another via The App, a website platform that allows chat-like communication overseen by the agency.   Make a difference in a child’s life today. Visit ThinkBigToday.org to schedule your virtual meeting with one of our staff members and find out how you can ignite the power and promise of youth in your community.

You can read about other amazing nonprofits in the Allegan County Community Foundation‘s Spotlight here.

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