Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) has been matching caring adults with kids for more than 115 years. It’s the only thing they do and they do it really well. An adult (Big) is professionally matched with a child (Little). Once they are matched they begin a relationship, typically meeting once per week.
I am the co-chair for the Big Brothers Big Sisters Mountain Region Los Alamos/Rio Arriba Board of Directors, currently serving 115 children – 56 in Los Alamos and 59 in Rio Arriba. However, we always have a waiting list of Littles and need Bigs to match them with.
In our region we have two programs:
- 1. School based program where the Big has lunch with their Little once a week at the Little’s school throughout the school year. This may sound trivial but it has a tremendously positive impact on both the Little and the Big; and
- 2. In the community based program the Big and Little meet a minimum of 4-6 hours per month engaging in activities they both enjoy .
Bigs are screened to the fullest extent of the law. Background checks and finger printing are done every two years. In addition, BBBS provides a match support specialist, who has advanced degrees and experience in counseling/social work. This person interviews Bigs and Littles, matches them and continues to support them throughout the year.
Making and supporting each match costs about $1,200/year. BBBS relies on fundraisers to raise much of the money to off-set these costs. One of our biggest fundraising event is our Annual Drive for Matches Golf Tournament. This year the golf tournament will be held on Saturday, July 15 beginning at 1 pm. Every dollar raised in our tournament stays in our community to make more life-changing, long-lasting friendships for local youth.
It’s easy to register online at www.bbbsmountainregion.org/laragolf. If you can’t make it, please consider making a donation or becoming a sponsor.
Matches in the Community Based Program engage in a wide range of activities. In fact, some of the local businesses in Los Alamos, Santa Fe, Espanola and Albuquerque offer special discounts just for matches! We have Bigs who have taught their Littles how to change the oil in a car, install a sink faucet, build a shed, drive a car, ski, golf, and cook. One Big even taught his Little how to shave. We have a match in Española that has been together for 11 years! We have one Los Alamos match where the Big was a Little 30 years ago and recently he introduced his Little to his Big, whom he has had a relationship with all these years.
These one-to-one matches help children build confidence and we have tons of data to prove they also help diminish negative behavior, improve grades, and foster healthy, happy, productive citizens.
Please consider registering for our golf tournament or becoming a Big yourself. Our regional director is Glenda Sanchez and she can be reached at: email@example.com for more information.