IDAHO — Having a mentor can help kids feel supported and guide them through some of the most important years of their lives.
January is National Mentoring Month and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Idaho is looking to the community, searching for volunteers to help mentor children in the Treasure Valley.
“I know the term life-changing is thrown around a lot but we see it happening every single day in our office with these relationships that come into these children lives,” Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Idaho CEO Emily Johnson said
With the recent population growth in Idaho, on top of the COVID-19 pandemic impacts, children a part of the Big Brother Big Sister of Southwest Idaho program have been waiting — some even months — for a mentor.
“We need to serve more kids and the way to do that is to have more volunteers stepping up and saying they want to be a mentor for a kid in our community, "Johnson said. "Those safe consistent adults really help any child whether they are facing adversity or not, feel more connected to their community. They feel more positive and ambitious about their educational goals, and they just feel better about themselves.”
Big brothers and sisters are paired with little ones based on compatibility and Johnson says while the program asks for commitment in helping, it should not be much of a change to your normal lifestyle.
“If you like to hike in the foothills, if you like to do arts and crafts, if you are a baker, you are just bringing a kid along on those activities you already enjoy. So it's not that big of an ask of your time, it's really committing to showing up for a child on a consistent basis,” Johnson said.
So Big Brother Big Sisters of Southern Idaho is heading into 2022 with a vision of serving more kids across the Treasure Valley.
“We know that we provide a viable solution to a lot of the problems and challenges happening in our community right now and we know the need is more than we’ve ever seen,” Johnson said.
For more information or to sign up to volunteer, click here.