Frequently Asked Questions

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 special friend. If you’re looking for a fun and exciting way to make a big difference in the life of a child, big brothers and big sisters may be just what you are looking for. Every child deserves to have a person in his or her life to count on and to be there sharing childhood successes and struggles… someone who will take the time to listen, to help develop a positive self-image, enhance their sense of well being and provide hope and encouragement.

What is a “big?”

A big is a mature individual, age 16 years and up, who is interested in being a part of a child’s life at least once a week for a minimum of one year.

What is a “little?”
A little brother or little sister is a child in our program between ages 6-18. A little could be your niece, nephew, the child next door, from your church and etc. our littles come from all different backgrounds and socio-economic groups.

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 to a little brother/little sister. Big Brothers Big Sisters matches bigs with littles who have similar interests in order to make the best possible match.

What type of child will I be paired with?
We strive to follow your preferences closely. During the application process, we learn specifics concerning the child, the parent and yourself which will help  us make a match. These specifics include age, religion, personality, family backgrounds and ethnicity. After information is exchanged regarding a potential little, you will have the final say as to whether or not this is the right fit for you.

What sort of support will I receive from the agency?
You, the parent and child will have monthly contact with your Match Support Specialist to make sure things are going well with you and your little brother or little sister. If you should ever have a question, concern or need advice, and your Match Specialist isn’t available, you may speak with any Program Staff at the office. Our staff is always available to encourage your relationship in any way we can.

Does being a big brother or big sister take a lot of time?
Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Fox Valley Region 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 once a week for as little as an hour and do things that you both enjoy doing. Please refer to the program descriptions for more details.

Will this cost me anything?
BBBS offers a discount list and frequent free activities throughout the year.

Is the program safe for my child?
Our enrollment staff are comprised of experienced professionals that thoroughly and completely screen every volunteer. Volunteer and child friendships are monitored monthly. This process helps ensure the most successful match between your child and a qualified volunteer mentor. Big Brothers Big Sisters aims to make a quality match that is best for your child and for the volunteer.

Will this cost me anything?
No. Our services are free to you and your child. The idea is not to spend a lot of money, but instead for the match to spend fun, quality time together. Also, Big Brothers Big Sisters has a discount program for matches that includes many local restaurants, entertainment and recreational businesses. Additionally, Big Brothers Big Sisters offers many free agency outings such as the summer picnic held at the Timber Rattlers.

Do I get to choose the big?
Your input is key to our success. Our matching services teams will interview the volunteers, parents, and children involved. From the information gathered in those interviews, a member of the Match Specialist team will decide which volunteer is best for your child. We will then discuss the selected volunteer with you and get your permission to proceed with the matching process.