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About Our Organization

What does Big Brothers Big Sisters Do?

As the nation's largest donor and volunteer supported mentoring network, Big Brothers Big Sisters makes meaningful, monitored matches between adult volunteers ('Bigs') and children ('Littles'), ages 5 through 18, in communities across the country. We develop positive relationships that have a direct and lasting effect on the lives of young people. Professionally trained Big Brothers Big Sisters staff members work with our partners in the education and juvenile justice communities to find children facing adversity and assess how our programs can have the greatest impact. Big Brothers Big Sisters targets the children who need us most, including those living in single parent homes, growing up in poverty and coping with parental incarceration.

Heart of Illinois Big Brothers Big Sisters serves the counties of Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford, Knox, Fulton, Marshall and Stark. We currently serve 425 children and have 80 children on the waiting list.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Illinois serves the counties of Champaign, DeWitt, Ford, Livingston, Macon, McLean and Piatt. We currently serve 800 children and have 145 children on the waiting list.

How an adult becomes a Big—and a child becomes a Little.

Before we make a match, we do our homework. After someone expresses an interest in becoming a Big, they go through a background check and careful interview process. Then we match Bigs and Littles based on location, personalities and preferences. And we provide full support from the start, so matches can grow into lasting, impactful friendships. The entire matching process is made possible through donations—we can't do what we do best without them!

What do a Big and Little do?

Each match is unique. Getting together doesn't require a special occasion or expensive activity—just a few hours every month doing things the Little and Big already enjoy. For example:

  • Playing catch
  • Reading books
  • Going to a museum
  • Providing advice and inspiration

Some Bigs meet their Littles on the weekends. Others get together with their Littles in the evenings. Each match develops a schedule that works for them.

Sometimes the best place for enjoying activities together is at the child's school. And, the best part is, it can be a great learning experience, in or out of the classroom.

Find out about becoming a Big Brother or Big Sister at an agency near you.

How can you help?

When you participate in Bowl for Kids' Sake, you have the power to Start Something for a child today. We depend on the money raised from Bowl for Kids' Sake to carry out the work of carefully matching children with caring adult mentors and providing ongoing support to the child, volunteer mentor and child's family. Today you can Register or Donate to our efforts to change the life of a child forever!

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