The Prince Albert chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) is hoping to attract more volunteers to help mentor kids in the Prince Albert community.
The agency held an open house on Wednesday to celebrate Big Brothers Big Sisters Day and to share with the community what it is they do.
“We are sharing the message that we are bigger together and that people can be connected to something bigger than themselves by reaching out and being matched with a young person in the community,” said development coordinator Natasha Thompson.
BBBS partners young people with adult role models to help the kids build social and emotional skills, improve their mental health, engage more readily with school and prepare for the workforce. The local chapter is one of 102 agencies across Canada. It has been matching kids with mentors for over 40 years.
Children served by the agency go up to age 16. The average age for a child mentee is 12 or 13.
‘When we form a developmental relationship between a child and a volunteer, it helps them to unlock their potential,” Thompson said.
‘it’s the simplest acts that create the biggest impacts. We get a lot of positive feedback about just how fulfilling and rewarding it is to get involved.”
While young people certainly benefit from their mentors, volunteers also find the experience rewarding.
“Mentors get involved because they want to find a way to give back to their community hat’s meaningful for them,” she said.
‘We find that’s very much what happens. Over and over again they say ‘ I can’t believe how rewarding this is.’ Our number one source of new volunteers is current or former volunteers recommending it to family and friends.”
There is always a need for more volunteers in Prince Albert, Thompson said.
Just over the summer, the agency signed up 18 more kids who are now waiting to be matched with a mentor.
“We’re trying to get the message out to the community to get in touch with us and find out more. Even if people just want to ask questions, we’re here to help them.”
BBBS Prince Albert is also hosting a fundraising barbecue at the Brick Saturday. People can come by and purchase a burger to help support the organization, or to ask any questions they might have.
For more information about the organization, visit https://princealbert.bigbrothersbigsisters.ca/.