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Big Brothers Big Sisters: A win-win situation for everyone

By Maggie Ives
Special to The SUN

Most situations do not benefit all parties involved and if they do, it is a win-win situation.

That is the best outcome that one could ask for.

By volunteering at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Colorado, you can have a win-win situation in your life and in the life of the child that you are mentoring.

We presently have children waiting for a big brother or big sister to come into their world to positively impact their lives. These innocent children are simply looking for someone to be there, to spend time with them.

There are many studies that show that mentoring benefits the mentor as much, if not more, than it does the mentee. It is rewarding to see the positive changes that take place in these children’s lives simply because a mentor is there, as well as the many health benefits from volunteering that help strengthen and prolong your own life.

You don’t need a degree, or special skills; you just have to be there and be willing to have another friend to share your life with. The volunteers or “Bigs” in our program share their knowledge and favorite pastimes with their “Littles.” No matter what your passion is, you can share it with a child who needs a caring adult in their life.

Ninety-one percent of the mentors in BBBS say they see improvements in their Little’s self confidence and 75 percent report that they see improvements in their Little’s decision-making ability.

Think about when you were little: Wouldn’t it have made a difference in your life if you had someone there just to cheer you on? To be there to answer life’s questions? To be there to listen to you? It truly matters to all of us to have that special someone in our lives.

We ask the volunteers donate two to three hours a week or eight to 12 hours a month. In a 168-hour week, that is very doable. We are not asking you to create more hours in the week, just incorporate the new activity in your life in course of things you already do. Go for a hike, walk the dog, go swimming, fishing, gardening or even hunting. We work with many businesses in the area to create low-cost and no-cost activities for you and your Little to enjoy. There are also many agency-sponsored outings that are at no cost to the volunteer.

Our volunteers have said things like, “I think we are well matched;” “I hope I can help him improve … but either way, I think our time is beneficial and fun for both of us;” “We have fishing competitions and he usually wins!”

For more information, contact BBBS at 398-0007 or Maggie@bbig.org.

Please create a win-win situation for you and an innocent child who needs you. It is heartwarming to see how easy it is to positively impact the life of another human being.

This story was posted on September 12, 2013.