HED:Focus: Big Brothers/Big Sisters
By Eileen Bailey
This is the fourth in a daily series of profiles of the United Way of Greater Lee County's 30 agencies.
Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Greater Lee County
- Year organized: 1990; United Way agency since 1990.
- People served: Lee County residents ages 6 to 16.
- Annual budget: $105,000
- United Way Contribution: $44,720.
- Director: Brenda Bridges.
- Purpose: "Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Greater Lee County is an organization of staff and volunteers which exists to meet the unique needs of at-risk youth from single-parent homes by providing positive adult role models through individually matched relationships that foster an improved sense of well-being.
"The children served are from Lee County and are between the ages of 6 and 16. Through the mentoring relationship, the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program happens within the child's natural environment - home, school and community - and then moves the child into expanded life experiences focusing on enhanced academics, relationship building and personal growth and development.
"The carefully screened volunteer meets with his/her 'match' on a regular basis, either in a community or school-based setting. Match commitments are made for a year's time and can be renewed. Matches are monitored and supported by agency staff.
"An individual case plan is developed and implemented for each child. Big Brothers/Big Sisters also offers a variety of workshops for volunteers and works with area organizations to provide activities free of charge for matches."