The Community Program pairs a child or teen with a volunteer Big Brother or Sister. Big and Little Brothers and Sisters get together about twice a month, typically on weekends. Some catch up over ice cream at J.P. Licks, stroll Blue Hill Reservation, cheer on the Sox or some other activity they mutually enjoy, subject to parental approval.
There is no cost to the family for participation in Big Brother/Big Sister outings, and Big Brothers and Sisters typically provide transportation.
For more, see these FAQs or contact our Programs team.
Community Program FAQs
Big and Little Brothers and Sisters have interests as diverse as they are. What they do when they get together all depends on their hobbies and interests (and, of course, mom/dad/guardian’s ok). Sports fanatics play sports. Arts enthusiasts make crafts and visit museums.
For the child/teen (and his or her family) absolutely nothing. And to off-set costs to volunteer, we organize monthly match activities and run our Pick of the Month Program.
Yes! We have deep, proud ties to the area Jewish community – and we’re also a fully inclusive agency. Our children, families, volunteers, donors, staff and board members hail from a huge variety of religious affiliations – and, some, none at all.
Then we’ll try. Sometimes children, families and volunteers tell us they’re choosing us precisely because we’re Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters. If that’s the case, we attempt to honor your preferences.
Very typically, yes. Occasionally, we also match Big Sisters to Little Brothers under the age of 10 if a parent/guardian requests one.
Here, match-making is about the number of children and volunteers in our pipeline, surely, but it’s also and more importantly about fit. We take into account things like geography, a child/volunteer’s preference for a match with a certain background or experience or one who shares a favorite hobby. And we evaluate how the personalities of prospective Big and Little Brothers and Sisters mesh. On average, the process takes a few months (sometimes more, sometimes less). Your social worker will check in with you from time to time if you’re awaiting a match.
You bet. A mentor is a real gift to a child – even one with supportive parents. The mentor is another caring, supportive grown-up eager to lend a voice to yours and encourage your child to realize his/her fullest potential.
We ask all volunteers to commit to at least a year with the same Little Brother or Sister. That said, it’s a pretty great program so Big and Little Brothers and Sisters tend to stay matched for some time. It’s not universally the case, sure, but lots of mentoring-friendships that start here last. (Our average length of match is 41 months.) In fact some of our Big and Little Brothers and Sisters stick together until the Little Brother/Sister ages out of the program, remaining in touch as the child grows up, pursues college and career and beyond.
Our dedicated Programs team – especially the social worker assigned to the match – is always available to help troubleshoot challenges and address concerns as they arise. (S)he’s even available to confer with either Big or Little Brother or Sister if – however rarely – a match isn’t a right fit or one or the other realizes they need to end the match.