2013 is Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada’s Centennial year, and today is Big Brothers Big Sisters Day officially marking their 100th birthday! Big Brothers Big Sisters goal for 100 years has been a simple one:To help children reach their potential. They create opportunities for children and youth to maximize their potential through adult and youth based mentoring services and programs that foster caring, self-esteem, life skills and friendships.
Back in December of 2011 I did my 30 Deeds in 30 Days and one of those deeds was out assisting with the Game On! Program …
That session was called Dealing With Stress led by Tiago (yup, a good Portuguese boy) and Jordan …
The group of 6 Grade 7 and 8 boys along with Tiago, Jordan and I talked about different types of stress to discover healthy ways to cope. We discussed situations that made us angry, frustrated, worried and positive ways to cope. We explored how to alleviate stress through food choices and physical activity. The physical activity? Yoga. That’s right, the downward dog and cobra. Thankfully there’s no video of me doing that.
I led the section on better drink choices. We talked about how soft drinks are not a healthy choice and are loaded with sugar (did you know a 591mL bottle of pop has 17 ADDED teaspoons of sugar in it?) and what some better options might be. It was simple and all the info was laid out for me to present to the boys.
Sadly, that was the only Game On! program running back in 2011. Why? There weren’t enough male volunteers available to become mentors in the program. There is a Go Girls! program that Big Brothers Big Sisters Waterloo Region runs, and at that time they had 6 to 10 on the go. That’s where you come in. Big Brothers Big Sisters Waterloo Region cannot accommodate the number of sessions that schools want to run each year due to a lack of male volunteers. Out of 83 eligible schools in Waterloo Region, they were only able to serve 11 in the 2011/2012 school year. Yes, two years later, they’re still in need of volunteers.
Are you, or do you know someone 18 or older – preferably a younger adult – to mentor in this program? It’s once a week, during the day, 2 hours for 7 weeks and there is training to get you ready.
I played a very small part in the lives of those boys that day in December 2011, but what I got out of it was big. Through my journey of 30 Deeds In 30 Days – along with creating awareness of some community organizations, and volunteer opportunities – I hoped to find some that spoke to me personally. I did that day. Maybe you’re looking for that too and it’s very simple: You can change a child’s life today by becoming a mentor.