Some 'Littles' from Big Brothers and Sisters in the Fraser Valley recently came together to promote the need for more mentors for the kids on the wait list.

Some 'Littles' from Big Brothers and Sisters in the Fraser Valley recently came together to promote the need for more mentors for the kids on the wait list.

Big Brothers, Sisters needed in Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows

Wait for girls is not as long as it is for boys.

Big Brothers Big Sisters is looking for volunteers in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows to help shorten its wait list.

“We currently have nine boys on the wait list for a Big Brother in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows so the need for male volunteers is especially great,” said Cassie Silva, Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring coordinator.

Big Sisters are also always in demand, but the wait for girls is not as long as it is for boys.

“I would love to hear from any potential volunteers, male or female, to discuss our waiting kids and how the program can work around your schedule,” Silva said.

Kids on the wait lists are often from single parent homes, she added, and all of them would benefit from another supportive adult in their life to spend time with.

“We have lots of little boys who live with mom and sisters, who are dying for some ‘guy time’ – to get away from the girls and just go kick a ball around or watch a movie.”

Some really would benefit from the opportunity to see what a healthy male relationship can look like.

An 11-year-old boy on the wait list lives with his mom who has a life-threatening illness. They have no family in the area, so the boy stays with friends when his mother is in the hospital.

“He has nobody. He needs a male influence who can be active with him, talk to him, and give him the things I can’t,” said his mother.

He would enjoy playing sports, driving remote control cars, going for hikes or watching movie.

Silva said the benefits of volunteering are not just to the child. Volunteering can increase self-confidence, provide a sense of purpose, and increase physical and emotional health.

“Being a Big Brother or Big Sister can also provide you the opportunity to get in touch with your inner child by playing at a playground, doing a science experiment, making crafts, or having someone to go see Disney movies with,” Silva added.

Big Brothers and Big Sisters can be any age (19 and older) and opportunities exist for students in grades 10-12, as well.

Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows families are served by the Mission office.

• Visit www.mentoringworks.ca to explore the different volunteer programs. Contact Silva at 604-820-3337 or cassie.silva@bigbrothersbigsisters.ca.