FAQs

What is Big Brothers Big Sisters?
Big Brothers Big Sisters is a non-profit agency that matches children with adults who help by simply being a friend.
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What is a “Big?”
A Big is a mature adult, age 18 years and up, who is interested in being a part of a child’s life at least three times a month for a minimum of one year. A Big may also be a junior or senior in selected high schools who want to be a friend to a child in elementary school.
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What is a “Little?”
A Little Brother or Little Sister is a child in our program between ages 6-16. Our Littles come from all different backgrounds and socio-economic groups.
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How do the children and parents get into the BBBS program?
All of the children and their families join Big Brothers Big Sisters because they are wanting to get involved with a positive program that works. They usually hear about us through word of mouth, from their friends, relatives, schools, and other Bigs and Littles.
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What is a “Match?”
A match is the pairing of a Big Brother to a Little Brother, a Big Sister to a Little Brother/ Little Sister, or a Big Couple/Big Family to a Little Brother/Little Sister. Big Brothers Big Sisters matches volunteers with children who have similar interests in order to make the best possible match.
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What is the benefit of Big Brothers Big Sisters?
The individualized attention and companionship our children receive as a result of being matched has proven to help keep them away from drugs and alcohol, keep them in school and greatly reduce the likelihood they will have delinquent or aggressive behaviors.
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Does being a Big Brother or Big Sister require experience?
You do not need any special skills or experience to be a Big. Just spending time and caring about your Little makes a difference in the life of a child. We were all kids once, it does not take special skills to be a friend.
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Why should I become a Big Brother or Big Sister?
Many Bigs describe their experiences with their match by saying, “I get to be a kid again.” Imagine a child’s eyes lighting up the first time he or she walks into a baseball stadium or sees the ocean. Not only can you be there when it happens, but you can be the reason behind the wide eyes and smile!
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Does being a Big Brother or Big Sister take a lot of time?
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Portland has many flexible volunteer opportunities to fit anyone’s busy schedule. As a Big Brother or Big Sister you see your Little Brother or Little Sister about three times per month and do things that you already do. The average outing is anywhere from one to four hours. Bigs in Schools go into the Little’s school and spend about 45 minutes to one hour a week. They join their Little for Lunch, visit after school or to play games and do homework.
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What do Bigs and Littles do together?
Bigs and Littles enjoy playing sports, seeing movies, cooking, going over school work, visiting museums, washing the car, taking walks, volunteering in their communities or just hanging out. Most everything that Bigs and Littles do together is fun and beneficial to both the adult and child.
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Does it cost a lot of money to be a volunteer?
The idea is not to spend a lot of money, but instead to spend fun, quality time with a child. You can take a hike, go jogging in the park or just talk. It does not have to cost anything. Also, Big Brothers Big Sisters has a discount program that includes many local restaurants, entertainment and recreational businesses. Additionally, Big Brothers Big Sisters offers many free agency outings such as the Fall Harvest, Family Picnic, and the Rama Ranch pot luck. Big Brothers Big Sisters also offers free tickets to many sporting and cultural events.
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As a Big, what kind of support will I get from Big Brothers Big Sisters?
Each match has a professional Match Support Specialist who is there to support the child, parent and volunteer. The Match Support Specialist helps with any problem solving, feedback and information to help the match along.
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What is the enrollment process like to become a Big Brother or Sister?
Just call us or complete the attached application. If you are ready, we’ll schedule a personal confidential interview. We submit a criminal background check, driving record check, and call your personal and professional references. Training is also provided.