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United Way supports Big Brothers Big Sisters

United Way of Southwest Colorado collaborates with many local organizations that help families and individuals in Archuleta County. For the past 40 years, they have funded programs that promote education, self reliance and healthy lifestyles.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Colorado is fortunate to be one of the United Way partner agencies. The agency’s mission is “to provide children facing adversity with strong, enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that will change their lives for the better, forever.”

This goal is accomplished by matching children or “Littles,” with caring, mature, supportive adults called “Bigs.” The matching up of a “Big” and a “Little” enables a child and an adult to share time together each week and, hopefully, develop lifelong relationships. These matches are based on common interests and desires, so it is easy to form a friendship right from the start. A couple can even enjoy the experience of being friends with a child by being a “Big Couple.”

Oftentimes, single parents do not have the time or energy to spend playing with their children, and often are unable to take their children on outings to enjoy the wonderful outdoor opportunities here in Pagosa. These parents are doing everything they can just to put food on the table and provide a warm home and clothing for their children.

That’s where Big Brothers Big Sisters comes in. The organization provides a caring mentor/friend to spend time with a child who has been specifically matched up with that adult. The “Big” will be there to take their “Little” to do things like hiking, fishing, snowshoeing, on long walks by the river or simply for a picnic in the park. Every child deserves to be exposed to opportunities and activities and to have a good, positive role model in their lives. Big Brothers Big Sisters now has six little boys and two little girls waiting to be matched up with that special adult mentor.

Big Brothers Big Sisters needs community support on a multitude of levels:

• Volunteers to be “Bigs.”

• Tangible gifts such as office supplies or discounts from businesses/activities to help defray the cost for the “Bigs.”

• Sports equipment, such as basketballs, baseballs, Frisbees and prizes for the “Littles” to be awarded at the group outings.

• Participation in “Bowl for Kid’s Sake.”

• Any financial donation.

Bowl For Kid’s Sake is a wonderful and fun way to support the local Big Brothers Big Sisters organization. The annual event will be held at the spectacular bowling facility at Sky Ute Casino in Ignacio on Saturday, March 24, and teams are forming now. This fund-raiser is a very important fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Colorado. Anyone can form a team, either as a group of individuals or through a business, and procure pledges to support the team. For more information or to register, please go to bbig.org.

With the help of those who care enough to become a Big Brother or a Big Sister, many of Pagosa’s children will become adults who can thrive in the world around them. Someday they may even give back to the program that supported them and become Big Brothers or Sisters themselves.  These children will have grown up with the self-confidence and desire to become all they can be, thanks in part to the love and friendship of one Big Brother, Big Sister or Big Couple.

For more information contact Maggie at (970) 398-0007 today.

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