I love writing this blog! It gives me a chance to reflect on how we can best help the vulnerable youth in our community. I hope to create messages that cause you to find passion in your heart that will move you to action, whether as a charitable donor of Big Brothers Big Sisters or a caring mentor. The Big Brothers Big Sisters mission culminates with the idea of changing the lives of children for the better, forever. And, really, it's more than just an idea, it’s our promise. When a parent, grandparent, school or even a juvenile judge brings a youth to Big Brothers Big Sisters, they do so knowing - not hoping, that we will help by matching them with a passionate, trained and professionally supported mentor with the vision of making a difference.
And guess what? Our mentors are simply the best volunteers in the world. With integrity and passion they promise to be matched for one year, while spending 4 hours a month with a youth. So many of those mentors tell us how fast that one year passes and how enriched their own lives have become through volunteering. Ok, sure at the beginning of the relationship there are moments of “What do I say or what are we going to do?” And then they get an email from Big Brothers Big Sisters with free tickets to a Tigers game - yes, something to do! Or that timely phone call from our match support staff that says, “How’s it going?” And the mentor says, “I’m so glad you called, my Little is scared about visiting his dad in prison, what do I say?” Wouldn’t it be great if all relationships offered that kind of support without having to search for the latest episode of Dr. Phil?
I love that our mentors are willing to step outside of their comfort zone to help someone in need. Sure, when we match mentors with youth, we do our best to find common interests that will help with compatibility, like enjoying sports, shopping, video games, going to the park, etc, but there will be differences. And that’s ok. In fact, that is what’s exciting about mentoring. Sometimes in order to grow, both youth and adult will step out of their comfort zone and challenge preconceived notions about people who might be different from themselves based on where they live, how they grew up, the color of their skin,their religion, or their life’s challenges. But, it’s a step they are each willing to take individually at first and then together as their relationship evolves and strengthens...it’s an amazing, organic life changing experience.
If you are on the fence about mentoring read the article below about stepping out of your comfort zone, or give me a call directly at 313-309-9252 so I can put you in touch with other mentors who are volunteering. Just know that when you are a part of Big Brothers Big Sisters you are a part of something bigger than yourself!
“6 Reasons to Step Outside Your Comfort Zone”...http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/26/stepping-outside-your-comfort-zone_n_5872638.html