Big Brothers Big Sisters kicked off its “60 Men in 60 Days” campaign last Friday at its 14th Annual Big For A Day and 3rd Annual Take Your Little to Work Day events.
From Aug. 5 through Oct. 4, the agency hopes to recruit at least 60 men to serve as Big Brothers to the boys who are on the agency’s waiting list.
“When it comes to male volunteers, unfortunately we have a void,” said Shawan Gabriel, president/CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters. “Our boys wait up to two years for a Big Brother, but less than three out of ten interested volunteers are male. Our hope is that this campaign will bring awareness to our need for more male volunteers, and bring us more female volunteers, as well.”
The agency’s annual Big For A Day is a popular event. Each year, community leaders and company representatives are invited to become a Big Brother or Big Sister for a day to experience firsthand what it is like. Their “Littles” accompany them at their workplace for half a day. The Littles who take part are all on the waiting list for a longterm Big Brother or Big Sister, so they get to experience what having an adult mentor is like and observe the important jobs and companies that make up the community.
“I met my Little Brother the first year I participated in Big For A Day. I thought that I was just showing him the job that I have with the City of Winston-Salem Parks and Recreation Department,” said Big Brother, Todd Barr. “He seemed interested to learn about all the city does to maintain the local parks for the community. I enjoyed just hanging out with him so much that morning, I signed up to be his Big Brother. Now, each year we participate in the Annual Take your Little to Work Day.”
Trae Cotton, vice chancellor at Winston-Salem State University and Big Brothers Big Sisters Board member, said getting involved in shaping the life of a young person is a worthwhile venture.
“Many people are looking for a way to get involved and make a difference,” he said. “There is no better way than by becoming a Big Brother or Big Sister.”