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Posted: September 24, 2018

Kids wait on Big Brothers Big Sisters waitlist

Organization says it urgently needs volunteers

A growing number of youth are currently waiting to be matched with a caring adult in Big Brothers Big Sisters programs in Cranbrook, and across the country over 4,000 young Canadians need a mentor.

Big Brothers Big Sisters officially launch a campaign throughout September to draw attention to the urgent need for more volunteers.

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. We are currently accepting application for our Adult In School Mentoring program as well as our Teen Mentoring program. For more information click here.

“Many young children in our own community struggle with societal barriers and face adversities in their young lives like detrimental living conditions and family violence, mental health and school issues as well as identity challenges,” said Jordan MacDonald, Executive Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters Cranbrook. “ Facing prolonged adversity negatively impacts the brain’s development but with the support of a mentor many risks can be reduced or even avoided. Simply having someone who listens and supports them, can transform youth into confident, happy 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% more likely to be gainfully employed as adults and they earn 13% 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 (#ImagineBBBS), 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 Cranbrook 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 than 100 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters has been changing the lives of Canada’s youth by developing and implementing a wide range of group, in-school and one-on-one mentoring programs. Big Brothers Big Sisters provides quality mentoring services for more than 40,000 youth, engaging over 21,000 mentors in 108 agencies that serve youth in over 1,100 communities across the country.

Research demonstrates that Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring programs yield positive results in mental health, employment and civic engagement, with every dollar of investment in BBBS programming returning between $18 and $23 to society through higher taxes, increased spending from higher incomes, volunteerism, and charitable donations. For more information, visit www.bigbrothersbigsisters.ca.

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