Long-standing studies show long-term, one-to-one, staff-supported volunteer mentoring works. As we mark National Mentoring Month this January, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Heart of Georgia is honoring all who make up their successful community -- parents, volunteers, staffers and donors who work together to make a mentoring match strong, enduring and successful.
Behind every successful mentoring match is a team of selfless, dedicated believers. Of course there’s the volunteer who makes time in his schedule to commit to letting a child know how special he or she is.
But there’s the parent or guardian, most often a single mom, grandmother, or a military family struggling with new obstacles dealing with short and long-term deployments. Each courageously seeks support to give their child every opportunity to succeed.
Then there’s the staff person, a professional who uses facts from interviews, references, experience and intuition to match the right child and family with the right volunteer.
And behind every relationship are the donors, whose financial resources make it possible for our mentors, mentees and parents to get the ongoing support, guidance and resources that help them establish and maintain this kind of dialogue, communication and understanding that are behind Big Brothers Big Sisters’ successful long-term, one-to-one mentoring relationships.
This month, we honor our volunteers for their service. We thank our parents and guardians for their trust and commitment to their children. We pay tribute to our staff and we show gratitude to our donors.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Heart of Georgia serves over 1,100 children who are enrolled in our programs in Central Georgia. They are youth who, because of our programs, are more likely than their peers to beat the odds. We hold ourselves accountable for helping children achieve in school, avoid risky and delinquent behaviors and have higher self-esteem and aspirations.
National Mentoring Month is a time when our office is at its busiest due to increases in inquiries from parents. We also hear from lots of potential volunteers. But to provide the staffing needed to carefully match mentors with mentees, we also need to hear from our donors.
Indeed it takes a mentoring community to make a match a successful one. For more information on how you can help, go to www.bbbsheartga.org.
Dianna L. Glymph
Big Brothers Big Sisters
Of the Heart of Georgia