Lloydminster Mayor Gerald Aalbers proclaimed September to be Big Brothers, Big Sisters month at a Governance and Priorities Committee meeting on Aug. 30. There will be a barbecue at the local office at 4301-49 St. from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m and from 5-7 p.m on Sept. 18. Look for updates on Facebook during the month including a national recruiting campaign with the tagline, Imagine Who They Will Become Because of You. GEOFF LEE LLS PHOTO
It’s back to school time in September when many young students look forward to connecting with an adult mentor through Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies across Canada.
Lloydminster Mayor Gerald Aalbers declared September as Big Brothers Big Sisters month in the Border City inside council chambers last week.
September is a national recruitment month for volunteer mentors, with 39 kids on the Big Brother Big Sister waiting list in Lloydminster for various programs.
“The most important words for all of the programs would be mentoring,” said Brenda Robinson, executive director of the Lloydminster chapter.
She said specific programs are geared to single mentors, two mentors, couples mentors, and group mentors.
Robinson said if someone wants to become a mentor, they can come into to the office at 4301 49 Ave. and someone will go over the application process with them.
She said it usually takes about a month to six weeks to move forward with a match that has tangible benefits for mentors and young persons.
“Quite often mentors get just as much out of the relationship as the child,” said Robinson.
For kids, she said it can be a pretty big part of their lives to have an adult volunteer they can rely on.
“They are a special friend, somebody that they can talk to; look up to, and somebody that’s there for them,” she said.
Studies show mentoring is linked to improved academic, social and economic benefits, and helps youngsters further their education.
Statistics show youth who have been mentored through Big Brothers Big Sisters are 17 per cent more likely to be employed and they generally earn $315,000 more over their career.
To learn more, Big Brothers Big Sisters Lloydminster is hosting a recruitment barbecue on location on Sept. 18 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3-7 p.m. with donations going toward children’s programs.
Once again, the cost of this year’s recruitment drive is being underwritten by Manulife featuring the slogan “Imagine who they will become because of you.”
The campaign gives potential volunteers and donors a glimpse of the community change they can support as a mentor.
Robinson says Manulife’s sponsorship of the recruitment drive in September is a financial godsend to agencies like Lloyd’s that don’t have the marketing expertise or the manpower to pull it off.
“Everything we need for the recruitment campaign is online; it’s new ground for us,” said Robinson.
Since 2013, Manulife has donated more the $1-million, resulting in the recruitment of more than 2,500 new mentors across Canada.