Forty youth are currently waiting to be matched with a caring adult in Big Brothers Big Sisters programs in Lacombe & County, and across the country more than 4,000 young Canadians need a mentor.
Big Brothers Big Sisters officially launched a campaign Sept. 1st to draw attention to the urgent need for more volunteers.
Organizers say that the local 40 Mentors in 40 Days campaign is off to a great start, already recruiting three new mentors in the first few days.
And more than 15 businesses in Lacombe have adopted ‘Paint It Purple’ Kits to show their support of BBBS mentoring programs throughout the month of September.
While mentors from all regions and cultural backgrounds across the gender spectrum are needed, the demand for male volunteers is especially high.
Volunteering for only one hour a week can change the course of a young life.
“Many young Canadians struggle with societal barriers and face adversities in their lives like detrimental living conditions and family violence, mental health and school issues as well as identity challenges,” said Matthew Chater, national president and CEO, BBBSC.
“Simply having someone who listens and encourages them, youth can transform into confident and motivated young people and, more importantly, break cycles of poverty and crime and curb the development of mental health issues.”
The two-way, back and forth relationship between a mentor and mentee positively impacts brain development and equips youth with the skills needed to deal with adversities and stress they face in a complicated world.
Youth who have been mentored through Big Brothers Big Sisters programming are 17 per cent more likely to be gainfully employed as adults and they earn 13 per cent more on average in those jobs, resulting in $315,000 of increased earnings over their career.
They also have stronger social networks and report being happier and more confident.
This newly launched national recruitment campaign, which features the slogan, ‘Imagine who they will become because of you’ captures the impact of Big Brothers Big Sisters programming by showcasing current mentoring relationships in Lacombe & County and across Canada.
The campaign gives potential volunteers and donors a glimpse of the community change they can support with their time and donations.
Some celebrities supporting the cause include Gord Bamford, country music star; and Sean Monahan of the Calgary Flames. More information can be found at imagineBBBS.ca.
For more about how to get involved locally, contact Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lacombe & District at 403-782-7870 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
-Submitted by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lacombe & District