Big Brothers Big Sisters volunteer applications down 60 percent

Published: Mar. 2, 2022 at 10:16 AM CST
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - We have seen worker shortages in almost every industry and now we are seeing a shortage in volunteers.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri desperately needs volunteers. St. Louis and St. Charles are struggling for “bigs”. There’s a long list of youth in those communities waiting to be a “little”, but there aren’t enough “bigs” to match them with.

Since the pandemic, applications for big sisters and brothers has dropped 60 percent. In 2019, St. Louis and St. Charles had 1,150 volunteer applications. This past year, just 440 applications. There are 400 kids currently on the waiting list

Research shows the program works to better the community as a whole. Studies find kids with mentors are less likely to use illegal drugs, skip school, and get in a physical fight.

To become a “big” you must be older than 18, have a valid drivers license, and pass a background check.

The application process is the most time consuming part but once you get your little, they ask you just spend 4 hours a month with them.

“We have great kids on our waiting list,” said Volunteer Recruitment Manager Ericka Sanders. “Kids that like to do anything from going to the library and reading to going to the park to going to the St. Louis sites they maybe haven’t experienced before.”

To apply to be a big click here.

“Some people want to make a difference in the community and they want to show up and make an effect in the community. This is the way that you can do it,” Sanders said.