Helping provide youth with adult role models, and adults with a fun volunteer opportunity, Cowichan Valley Big Brothers Big Sisters hopes to attract more volunteers within the Cowichan Lake area.
An under-focused upon area of the Cowichan Valley, Big Brothers Big Sisters volunteer Erin Generous said that there are a few kids currently on the wait list for adult role models; mainly boys.
“Sometimes they don’t have positive role models with other males,” Generous said, adding that finding male role models is their current top-most priority, as they are the most difficult to find.
On top of that, boys are the most commonly in need of adult mentors.
“It’s a chance for the volunteer to kick back and be a kid again,” Generous encouraged. “We are looking for volunteers. There are children in need that could benefit from a mentor.”
“It’s needed,” Cowichan Lake Community Services counsellor Amanda Sawatzky said, of the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.
Community Services had invited the group to a recent meeting, where the need for more volunteers was established.
Volunteers must be 19 years of age or older, and pass through an interview and screening process.
Some people think that they’re too old to bother taking part in the program, Generous said, adding that this idea should be dismissed.
“19-plus is wide open, and there’s lots to offer,” she said.
“We match on common interests and personalities,” Generous said, adding that volunteers go on to spend an average of two to four hours per week with the kid, aged between six and 19, they’re matched up with.
“We’re not stuck on it,” Generous said, of these suggested hours. “It’s just getting together to work on that relationship.”
In addition to getting the word out that adult volunteers – mainly men – are being sought, parents of children that may benefit from the program are also being sought.
“We’re looking at any child that can benefit from a mentor,” Generous said, adding that there’s no “type” of kid they’re looking for, in particular.
Youth coming from a single parent household are the most common, as a second adult mentor is most often sought in that situation.
Although Cowichan Lake Community Services plans on helping Big Brothers Big Sisters kick up the pace in the Cowichan Lake area, the best source of information as to how to become a volunteer, or to seek a mentor, is by contacting the organization itself, at 250-748-2447.
Big Brothers Big Sisters volunteers will also be on hand to answer questions throughout Lake Days, Saturday, June 11, to Sunday, June 12.
They can be found facilitating children’s games.