Our Program

Making The Connection



Mentoring Works

Big Brothers Big Sisters, the nation’s largest donor and volunteer supported mentoring network, holds itself accountable for children in its program to achieve measurable outcomes such as: educational success; avoidance of risky behaviors; and higher aspirations, greater confidence, and better relationships.

National research has shown that positive relationships between youth and their Big Brothers and Big Sisters have a direct and measurable impact on children’s lives.




Little Brothers & Sisters are…



More confident in their schoolwork performance

Able to get along
better with their families



0%
less likely to begin using illegal drugs

0%
less likely to begin using alcohol

0%
less likely to skip school


Community-based
Mentoring

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Elkhart County focuses on one-to-one, community-based mentoring relationships. This is the traditional Big Brothers Big Sisters relationship, where volunteer mentors (“Bigs”) and children (“Littles”) get together on their own to share fun activities they both enjoy. Matches typically meet 2-4 times a month, for 1-5 hours at a time.

Getting together is a great time for both the Big and the Little. It doesn’t require a special occasion or expensive activities; just a few hours every month to share the simple things people like you already enjoy doing.

Whatever it is the Big enjoys, odds are they will enjoy it even more with a Little- and they’ll be making a life-changing impact. Volunteering just a few hours every month with a child can start something amazing, for both the Big and the Little.


Shooting Hoops
Cooking or sharing a meal
Going to a movie
Taking a walk in the park
Hanging out and talking

Be A Big For A Little


Site-based
Mentoring

With Site-based mentoring, Bigs and Littles meet once a week during the school day. After sharing lunch, they can read together, shoot hoops, play a board game, or just talk. Just like Community-based mentoring, it’s really all about starting a friendship, providing guidance and inspiring Littles to reach their potential.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Elkhart County is planning to launch Site-based mentoring in two local schools in the fall of 2017, We are currently recruiting volunteers, so if you are interested in sharing your lunch hour one day a week with a local child who needs a friend, let us know!

Be A Volunteer

We are now accepting site-based mentoring volunteers. Please let us know of your interest in our program by clicking the button below.

I Want To Volunteer



You are a role model.


Be A Mentor


Commonly Asked Questions

The mission of Big Brothers Big Sisters is to provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one mentoring relationships that change their lives for the better, forever.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Elkhart County (BBBSEC) focuses on one-to-one, community based mentoring relationships, which help children in the program develop confidence, competency and caring.

The Little is a child in need of a consistent, supportive, positive friend in their life. The child is between the ages of 6 and 14 and comes from a household with one or no biological parent. Once a child is matched, the relationship can continue until he or she graduates high school.
The Big Brothers or Big Sister is a mature, responsible volunteer who seeks to make an impact in the life of a child by providing a caring and positive friendship. There are not any occupational, religious or educational requirements. A Big may be of any age, race, religion, sex, or marital status.

Couples wanting to volunteer together can become a Big Couple. Families can volunteer as a Big Family.

The child and volunteer generally see each other 2-4 times each month for 1-5 hours, depending on the schedule of the Big and Little and the match itself. Each volunteer is expected to commit to at least one year of volunteering.
The ordinary, everyday things that are always more fun when done with a friend! The match may have an activity in common, such as fishing, crafts, or a particular sport. They may learn together, just talk, attend some special event or even volunteer together. Matches can also enjoy something new or out of the ordinary, such as a new hobby or special experience like a concert. The agency also offers occasional group activities, such as ice skating, a Summer Picnic, a Christmas Party, camping trips, etc.
The purpose of the agency in the relationship is to provide support and guidelines to the people involved in each match. This is done by the Match Support Specialist over the length of the match. The Match Support Specialist and other agency program staff (including Enrollment Specialist, Customer Relations Specialist, etc.) are involved in the match in many ways, including: the recruitment, interview, and overall intake of new volunteers and children; matching Bigs and Littles; and offering support, guidance, and supervision to the volunteer, child, and parents.
There is no charge for parents and children to be enrolled in the program.

Overall, the agency is funded by private donations, grants and fundraising activities. The agency is a not-for-profit organization and contributions are tax deductible. Participants may be asked to help with fundraising and promotional activities.

Although many activities can be low cost or even free, there is an expectation that the Big will cover the cost of the outings. The agency offers some free match events throughout the year, and will often post calendars and activities on the BBBS website with free community events. (Reasonable unreimbursed out-of-pocket expenses incurred by the volunteer for the Little and mileage may be tax deductible.)

Any person interested in volunteering as a Big is encouraged to contact the BBBS office or find out more here.

Children enter the program by referral from parents, school, or social service agencies, and by the consent of the parent or guardian only. The parent and child must agree to interviews for social history and understand that children are matched as volunteers become available.

All information is treated in a confidential manner. Services are provided without regard to race, age, sex, religion, handicap, national origin or ancestry.



Resources




Big Orientation & Training

All potential volunteer Bigs must attend an in-person Orientation and Training session. Other interested community members are welcome to attend.

RSVP for Training

Third Wednesday of the month at 5:30PM
2606 Peddlers Village Road Ste 205
Goshen, IN 46526.

RSVP For The Next Session