Pictured here are participants in this summer’s ‘Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds’ camp which is hosted by BBBS. Photo submitted

Pictured here are participants in this summer’s ‘Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds’ camp which is hosted by BBBS. Photo submitted

Big Brothers Big Sisters set to launch ‘40 Mentors in 40 Days’

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lacombe and District is gearing up for two major awareness-building campaigns next month.

“With September just around the corner, we are in the midst of planning a very busy month,” said Jen Harty, interim executive director.

“September marks Big Brothers Big Sister Month, and we host two campaigns to enhance awareness of the impact of mentoring and our needs for volunteers in the community.”

Partnering with parents/guardians, schools, corporations, and others in the community, youth are carefully paired with screened volunteer mentors. The organization has a 33-year-long history in the Lacombe area.

Meanwhile, coming right up is the ‘Turn the Town Teal’ campaign.

“We build kits filled with teal decorations and we deliver them to businesses around the community. These businesses then decorate (their establishments) with ‘all things teal’,” she said, pointing out that teal is BBBS’s official colour.

“It’s honestly so fun to see the creativity that everyone comes up with, and it really means a lot to see the community come together to support mentoring in that way.

“Big Brothers Big Sisters is truly so appreciative of all the businesses and organizations that participate in our Turn the Town Teal campaign.”

The kits will be delivered on Aug. 30-31. But even beyond those dates, businesses can still reach out to BBBS and join in the campaign, which wraps up at the end of September, said Harty.

“We can still get a kit ready and delivered to them.”

Harty said it’s an ideal way to promote the organization and bolster awareness about the need for mentors, which leads to the second major campaign that kicks off on Sept. 1 — ‘40 Mentors in 40 Days’ which focuses squarely on volunteer recruitment.

“We place yellow yard signs around the community for everyone to see and again, it helps to get the word out there. We do have about 30 youths on our waitlist.

“So this all helps to promote our need for mentors to help support the youth, and to help them reach their full potential,” she said.

“We cannot thank the community enough for all their support and for participating in these campaigns, it means so much to us.”

Meanwhile, BBBS just wrapped up four, two-day summer camps.

“They were both full, and it was a lot of fun to watch new friendships form, hear all the laughs, see all the smiles, and witness the youth learn new things like self-care, teamwork, and sportsmanship,” said Harty. “The camps were a huge success, and our team members Jaxson, Sydney, and Skylar did an amazing job planning and running them.”

As to mentoring, Harty said the rewards are plentiful.

“It’s a very rewarding volunteer experience,” she said. “It’s a lot of fun. They get to get out and interact in the community, and meet others across the community through our agency as well.

“It’s also a great way to feel more connected to your mentee and the community. You are making a difference in a young person’s life.”

Folks can sign up for one-to-one mentoring which can take place in a local school for one hour each week.

There is also community-based, one-to-one mentoring, which has mentors spending in the neighborhood of six to eight hours each month with their mentee.

For more information on how to get involved, call the local office at 403-782-7870 or visit lacombe.bigbrothersbigsisters.ca.