Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri looking for volunte - KMOV.com

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri looking for volunteers

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Outside of Big Brothers Big Sisters building (Credit: KMOV) Outside of Big Brothers Big Sisters building (Credit: KMOV)
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

Every day at least a thousand kids are on the waiting list for a mentor, according to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri.

As part of National Mentoring Month, the organization is sounding the alarm. They say the need for the community to get involved is greater now more than ever before. That’s because the average wait time for matching a child to a mentor is two years.

“I can also tell you that 80 percent of the children waiting are young boys. Young men are really at risk. They need men. Most of your kids are growing up in single parent homes. Most of them are led by moms. Our boys need the men of this community,” said Becky Hatter, President and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri.              

These kids are considered “at risk,” meaning they live in a neighborhood where there is violence, are living in poverty and not performing well at school. Some of them have been victims of abuse or have parents who are incarcerated, which is why they need a caring adult in their lives. It’s also why the organization wants the community to get involved.

“It matters. It changes a life when another person walks into your life and says I love you, I care for you, I see you, I’ll be there. We’re not asking anyone to fix anyone. We’re asking the adults of this community to be there for children,” Hatter said.          

They need volunteers ages 18 and older who are willing to make a one year commitment.

After being matched with a child, volunteers are asked to spend four hours a month with them.

While the organization needs more male volunteers, it adds that their priority are more adults who are willing to step up to the plate. That includes women, married couples, even families are welcome to mentor a child.

Take the group’s vice chair of volunteer recruitment John Fechter, who also serves as a Big Brother.

In fact, he and his wife have been a couples match for a young man named Tyreze for more than six years. For him, the experience has made him a better man.

“We probably get a lot of stares as we walk around, but we really, we have a lot more in common than you think. We love basketball, we love music, we love to laugh, we’re both very competitive, and we kind of drive each other,” he said.

Hatter added relationships like that go a long way to helping make a difference.

“All of our research, all of our data says it changes the kid’s lives,” she said.

If you’d like to get involved click here.

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