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Mentoring: It’s easy to make a difference

Children are our future. They hold the world in their hands, and the decisions they make determine what that world will look like for them and for us.

Unfortunately, many children in America and here in Pagosa do not have a good, stable foundation from which to create their own world.

That is where Big Brothers Big Sisters steps in to help.

Our vision is that all children achieve success in life. We accomplish this by matching these children with caring, positive adult role models who change their lives for the better forever.

That is where you can come in.

There are presently six children waiting for a big brother or big sister to enrich their lives. You don’t have to change your life to impact the life of a child. You just have to be there and be consistent.

We ask volunteers to give at least two to three hours a week or eight to 12 hours a month. We know that not every week is possible. Out of a 168-hour week, a volunteer gives only two hours to help a child — a small price to pay for our future.

You are just a friend to a child, not a parent, a babysitter, a checkbook or transportation. You are simply their friend in a one-on-one relationship. This relationship is not one-sided; you will benefit greatly from sharing yourself with a child. It is a wonderful feeling to give back.

We match caring adults with children of similar interests, desires and goals, so you will have something in common with the “little” with whom you are matched.

We provide sponsored activities at no cost to the volunteers and we partner with many businesses in the community to create low-cost and no-cost activities to share with your little.

Let me tell you something about the children who are waiting in BBBS. Their names have been changed.

Jeremy — will be 12 in a couple of weeks and is very active. He had a previous match where he spent a lot of time in the forest and loves the outdoors — rafting, fishing, camping, hiking — and he is ready to go! He comes from a single-parent household and his brother is in the program as well.

Billy — is 9 and loves to play. He enjoys fishing, throwing the baseball, skiing and, this summer, he tried rafting and his model rocket flew the highest at the summer picnic. He enjoys indoor activities as well. Billy has been waiting for over a year for a big brother.

Jake — is 11 and in Special Olympics and loves one-on-one attention. He especially loves to build things with Legos. He is looking for a patient man willing to take him to the park, walk the dogs and teach him guy stuff. He would love to take walks along the river and go to the library for Lego day. He has been waiting for a big brother for almost two years.

Please consider changing the life of a child for the better forever. Mentoring works.

Next week, I will tell you about the girls who are waiting for a big sister to come into their lives.

If you are interested in helping a child, contact Maggie Ives at 398-0007 or at Maggie@bbig.org.

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