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Mentors for kids sought in Charles City and surrounding areas

Little Sister Erin Big Sister Genna Flaherty
Little Sister Erin Big Sister Genna Flaherty
CHARLES CITY – Want to help a kid stay on the right path? Mentors are now being sought in Charles City and the surrounding area.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Iowa (BBBSNEIA) has issued a call for 100 Bigs in 100 Days, urging men and women in the communities of Black Hawk, Bremer, Butler, Floyd, Buchanan & Fayette Counties to volunteer their time and become a Big Brother or Big Sister to one of over 100 children currently ready and waiting for a mentor to come into their life. Options to meet with the child at their school during the day or in the community, flexible to the mentor’s schedule, are both available.

BBBSNEIA is dedicated to enriching the lives of children, especially those in need of consistent role models, through one-on-one friendships between youth ages 5-18+ and adult mentors, ages 18 to senior. The one-to-one “matches” meet a few hours each month and establish connections through simple activities and outings.

The agency’s goal is to enroll 530 youth in their six county service area this year to fill a significant need; connecting children without consistent role models in their lives to a positive mentor. Adults often feel uncertain of their ability to mentor a youth, what to do during their time with a child, and how they could fit mentoring into their schedule. However, BBBSNEIA takes care of these concerns by making volunteering flexible and just a couple of hours a month and matches each mentor with just the right child for them and supports each pair every step of the way.

“Mentors tell us they get more out of the experience than they ever thought possible, and the impact of spending time with these kids who don’t have a consistent adult role model in their lives has proven to contribute to healthier families, better schools, stronger communities and brighter futures for all,” said Katie Orlando, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Iowa. “Our goal is to surpass 100 new matches in Northeast Iowa so youth are matched during the first few months of a new year at school, a time when many youth can be vulnerable, and in time for the winter holidays. I urge everyone to strongly consider this opportunity.”

Being a “Big” is as simple as spending a couple hours with your “Little” a few times a month, enjoying all different kinds of no-cost/low-cost activities, including:

A trip to a park for catch, riding bikes, a walk or shooting hoops
Meeting at the Littles’ school and reading together
Cooking, crafting or baking together
Learning something new like guitar, tennis, geocaching, knitting or skateboarding
Exploring new places like museums, restaurants, and new neighborhoods
Playing video games or sharing favorite movies together

Not only is being a mentor fun, but it is also an opportunity to help shape a child’s future for the better by empowering them to achieve success. In 2015-16, 99% of the youth enrolled in BBBSNEIA’s one-to-one mentoring program avoided the judicial system, 90% who did not believe they would finish high school before meeting their Big now believe they can and will, and 72% improved their scholastic confidence.

With over 53 years of experience fostering professionally supported, one-on-one friendships between young people and adults, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Iowa is helping to strengthen the communities in Iowa by providing youth with invested, caring adult mentors. Start the process of becoming a Big Brother or Big Sister today by visiting or contacting BBBSNEIA at or 319-235-9397.

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