FAQs

The process of being matched: What it's like to be a Big: Donating to Big Brothers Big Sisters:


How will I be matched with a child?
It begins with an enrollment and interview process. We need to get to know you—your likes, dislikes, your personality, background, where you live and work. This helps us get a feel for you and figure out what situation and what child would best suit you. Would you prefer a Community-Based Mentoring or School-Based Mentoring, for example. This also gives you the chance to know us and our program. The final decision to join BBBS is yours.

How do children come into the program?
Children and their parents or guardians may hear about BBBS from a teacher, a counselor, their church, another parent, a friend, commercials, etc. All children and their parents choose to be in our program and we strive to reach the children who can benefit from a positive role model in their life.

Who are the children in the program?
Our Littles come from many types of home environments and family structures, different social-economic levels, ethnic backgrounds and neighborhoods and schools across all communities. We have boys and girls in our program. Male volunteers is currently our greatest need. Our Littles’ backgrounds and personalities are unique, but the thing they all share in common is a need for friendship with a caring adult.

Who are the Bigs in the program?
Our Bigs come from diverse backgrounds just like our Littles. They are regular people, just like you. You don’t need any special degrees or special skills. You just have to want to have a positive impact on a young person in need. What you have or haven’t accomplished isn’t an issue. Role models come in all shapes and sizes, and you could be a perfect fit!

When can I see my Little?
Our Bigs and Littles decide together what they want to do and they get parent approval. We recommend that you keep a consistent schedule of outings and that you see each other on a regular basis. Until your relationship is established the outings will also depend on the comfort level of your Little’s parents, your Little and you.

How much money should I spend?
We don’t encourage spending a lot of money on your outings. The goal of the relationship is friendship. You should focus your time on getting to know each other. We encourage you to seek out free or low-cost activities, especially in the beginning. Shoot hoops at local park, play a game together, or share that pizza that you were going to have for lunch anyway. The agency will sometimes offer group activities that are a great way to meet other Bigs and Littles. You may also receive notices for opportunities for free tickets for your match to attend a variety of cultural and sports activities.

What are some good ideas for outings with my Little?
Share an activity that gives you something in common to talk about. Buy a comic book to read to each other. Play a board game. Hit a bucket of balls at the local driving range. Take a ride in the car with the radio on and talk about the music you like. You want to select activities that give each of you a chance to learn more about one another. For children, playing can be learning. Most important: keep it simple and enjoy yourselves!

Can I bring my spouse/friend/family member on outings?
In the beginning it is important for you and your Little to get to know each other. This can happen best on a one-to-one basis. Over time it is also valuable for your Little to get to know the people who are important to you. Keep in mind that if you’re spending lots of time with others your Little may begin to feel jealous or neglected. Remember that the main focus is the friendship YOU have with your Little.

What kind of support can I expect from BBBS once I get matched?
Once you are matched with your Little, a Match Support Specialist from the agency will be in regular contact with you to provide assistance and give feedback. Anytime you are unsure about what to do or how to handle a situation, you will have a Match Support Specialist there to help. You’ll receive ideas for activities, guidance for handling possible difficult situations, and feedback on how you are making a difference, just by showing up! You will be joining over 240,000 other volunteers in the BBBS family!

How do I make a donation to Big Brothers Big Sisters?
It's easy to make a donation online! Simply visit our donation tab on this website. To donate by mail, please send check or money order to:

Big Brothers Big Sisters of North Central Ohio
380 N. Mulberry St.
Mansfield, OH 44902

Where does Big Brothers Big Sisters get its funding from?
BBBS is a non-profit organization supported by funds from generous donors including The United Way, individuals, federal, state and local government, foundations, and corporations.

How is my donation used? (Where does my money go?)
Your donation will support the BBBS agency serving your community. As a professional mentoring organization, BBBS requires resources to maintain a well trained staff to screen volunteers, make matches, and support relationships between Bigs and Littles -- to achieve the kind of success that shows proven results.

How do I make a donation in honor or memory of someone, and let them or their family know?
Please use our online memorial and tribute gift form to make a donation in honor or memorial. You can access this form by visiting our donation tab on this site. When you make a gift in someone's honor we will notify the person in whose honor the gift was made and notify you that your request has been fulfilled.

Is there a minimum donation?
The online minimum donation is $5. However, it is estimated that each "match" (between a Big and Little) costs one thousand ($1,000) dollar per year to support. Consider a donation of at least $25 to help support and defray the costs for the Bigs and Littles in your area. If you are asked to consider a donation, please keep in mind the true costs of helping. Your gift is greatly appreciated and your support is generously welcome.