How do I become a Big?

First, get informed.

Browse our website and learn about our programs, enrollment process (below) and volunteer support. Need more information? Call 262.637.7625 and speak to our match specialists who can answer any questions or visit our FAQ. Volunteers must be at least 16 with a valid drivers license.

Second, apply.

Download our application from our Start Something Page, or call 262.637.7625 to have your questions answered and outline your next steps, including the formal application process. In order to proceed, you’ll need to provide references, a driver’s license, and proof of auto insurance. You’ll also complete paperwork, including authorization to run a background check on your driving record and criminal history. All this information is completely confidential.

Big Brothers Big Sisters staff will thoroughly review your application and references and perform multiple background checks. Because you’ll be working with a child in a one-on-one setting, it’s important to create a safe environment for both you and the child. We also want to make sure we pair you with a child who best matches your personality and interests. For these reasons, our application and screening process is very comprehensive.

Big Brothers Big Sisters does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, physical condition, marital status, religion, sexual orientation, national origin or disability.

Third, attend an orientation.

During the orientation we will answer all of your questions and provide you with detailed information about the program so that you can make an informed decision as to which one of our volunteer opportunities works for you.

Fourth, attend an interview.

When your application, background check and reference checks are complete and approved, a Big Brothers Big Sisters staff member will sit down with you and have a conversation about your life, family, interests and volunteer expectations. The interview usually takes about 90 minutes. Sometimes we will do a second interview and/or home visit. Children and families who in enroll in our programs go through the same process.

Fifth, get matched.

After orientation and careful consideration, we will contact you to talk about a child we think would be a good match with you. We’ll tell you a little about the child’s background, interests and personality. The child’s parent or guardian will learn the same things about you. If you both give the thumbs-up, we’ll schedule a time for you to meet your new Little Brother or Little Sister!

Sixth, meet your Little and start having fun!

Meeting your Little for the first time is exciting and you might be a little nervous. Your Little will probably be feeling the exact same way. A Big Brothers Big Sisters staff member will be with you to introduce you to your Little and his/her family at your Little’s home and get things rolling.

At your match meeting you will schedule your first one-on-one outing. We suggest planning low- or no-cost activities for the first few months to set appropriate expectations and put emphasis on building your relationship, not on spending money. There are lots of fun things to do that cost little or no money. We provide activity suggestions at your match meeting, as well as online in our “For Bigs” section.

Then what?

Our involvement doesn't end with making your match. You’ll receive information about all our support services and within two weeks you will receive a phone call from your Match Support Specialist, who will be regularly in contact with you, your Little and your Little’s parent/guardian for the length of your match. Always remember, we’re here to help you in any way we can.

In addition to monthly match support contacts, you’ll also receive email updates with free events, donated ticket offers, activity ideas, social opportunities and more. You and your Little can choose to participate in these opportunities or do your own thing – it’s up to you! The only requirements we have are that you get together at least once a month, follow our safety guidelines and touch base with your Match Support Specialist every 30 days during your first year (quarterly thereafter).

Now, get started!

We hope you’ll join the Big Brothers Big Sisters family as a volunteer. It’s a fun and rewarding experience that you’ll never forget. Get Started Today! If it’s not the right time for you to volunteer, you can still make a difference by making a donation to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Racine and Kenosha Counties. Donate online or call 262.637.7625 for more information.

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