There are several amazing volunteer organizations in our community, prominent among them Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colchester, which is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year.
To mark the occasion, Big Brothers Big Sisters is planning a number of activities during the next 12 months – Bowl For Kids, appreciation barbeques, summer programs, gala night and more – to thank their supporters, serve more kids and provide community awareness to what the agency is all about.
But there’s one more thing that is needed to make the next 12 months a real success. In fact, it’s probably the most important thing.
Big Brothers Big Sisters needs a few good men. About 35 would be just about perfect because that’s how many registered Little Brothers in Colchester County would benefit from having a positive male role model in their lives. A mentor who, according to the Big Brothers Big Sisters website, can ‘teach the importance of giving and giving back, of staying in school, having respect for family, peers and community and much more.
It’s a noble undertaking and one that can play a huge difference in a young boy’s life.
The problem, however, is that such men are hard to find.
Part of the reason should come as no surprise. Many men (and some women) are extremely selfish with their free time. Perhaps nowadays more than ever. They are not inclined to join community groups, especially when there is a tee-time to make or a game to watch on a large flat-screen TV.
There are some myths about becoming a Big Brother that scare away potential candidates, too, major ones concerning the time commitment, money needed to go on ‘super outings,’ a supposedly lengthy and intimidating screening process, many Littles supposedly being ‘problem kids’ and that Bigs must be young, athletic and/or ‘hero’ types.
None of these myths are true, of course, but they make for a convenient excuse not to get involved.
The real key to success is simply for a Big to include a Little in the things he already does. After that, things should easily fall into place.
Hopefully, in 2013, some more good men will realize that and come out of the woodwork.