There are 10 Mission boys on the waiting list for Big Brothers. Some have been waiting to be matched up for more than three years.

All these Mission kids want for Christmas is a Big Brother

There are 10 Mission boys on the waiting list, hoping for a mentor to step forward. Some have waited for more than three years.

  • Dec. 17, 2016 3:00 p.m.

For the 10 Mission boys on the wait list with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Fraser Valley, a Big Brother for Christmas is a heartfelt wish that most parents can’t fulfill.

Eleven-year-old Luca has been waiting for more than three years.

“A Big Brother would be amazing because for once I would have a male role model in my life. It would be great because we could go fishing and build stuff. My mom isn’t great at that stuff,” said Luca.

Finding a Big Brother for Luca has proven challenging.

“We have five men who just applied to be Big Brothers in Maple Ridge, and we have an Abbotsford man driving over the bridge to mentor a Mission boy,” explained mentoring coordinator Cassie Silva.

She knows the potentially long commute to work can make it challenging for Mission residents to find time to volunteer, but she knows there are men out there reading this who do have the time, but just don’t realize the growing need.

“My kids have been on the waiting list for a long time for a Big Brother,” said Luca’s Mom Kylie. “Their dad has been out of their lives for the last six years, and it’s been very hard on them. Boys need to have a man to talk to and that’s one gap that I just can’t fill for them myself.

“It will be so good for them to have someone to spend time just with them. Being a single parent means that life is busy. Finding enough time for each of my four kids to have the one-on-one time they need is impossible.

“They just need someone to hang out with them and be there for them. It takes a village, right? I know everyone is busy, and it’s hard to find time to volunteer to be a Big Brother, but the difference it makes to the kids is incredible. Just a small amount of time means so much to them.”

In 2016, just two Mission men stepped forward as in-school mentors, visiting the students they were paired with at their school once a week for just one hour during school hours. And only two men applied to be new community-based Big Brothers this year after reading an article in the Mission Record last December. The community-based program is the biggest commitment, where a volunteer spends time with his Little Brother once a week for one year.

In comparison, five community-based Mission Big Sisters have been screened and matched with Mission girls since September. Silva acknowledges that cross-gender matching is possible, but that most boys join the program seeking a male role model.

The good news is that once matches are made, they are often long-lasting. The program asks for a one-year commitment, but the average length of a match is 2.5 years and many last until “match graduation” when a Little turns 18.

There are currently 43 Mission children being mentored through Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Fraser Valley, but Silva has a big dream for 2017. Ideally it would be a mentor for every child in need, but realistically, Silva hopes to find “Bigs” for the “Littles” who have been waiting more than a year.

“No child should have to wait that long for a positive role model.”

For more information, mentoringworks.ca or contact Silva at 604-820-3337 or cassie.silva@bigbrothersbigsisters.ca.

 

Just Posted

#MeToo at work: Employers play a role in fixing culture of harassment

B.C. workplaces are getting ahead of being the next MeToo debacle, calling on experts to train staff

Number of overdose calls in Mission nearly double

From April to October of 2017, Mission had 111 incidents, compared to 61 in 2016

Woman charged with attempted murder after Mission assault

Victim in hospital in stable condition after Maple Ridge woman allegedly attacks him

If it snows, move your car

Streets in Mission that have cars parked on them, won’t get plowed this winter

Police investigate apparent impaired-driving crash

Incident took place in Abbotsford on Thursday night

VIDEO: Average Canadian food bill to rise by $348 in 2018

Atlantic Canada and B.C. will see the most increases for consumers

VIDEO: balloons and games and music at Basic for Babies in Langley

Event helps Food Banks stock supplies for infants

Kamloops RCMP warning public to stay away from unfolding domestic dispute

The public is being asked to avoid Sabiston Creek Road off of the highway

Owl found dead after eating rat poison leaves B.C. woman concerned

After finding the owl on her Surrey property, Christine Trozzo says the poison is a concern for kids

Change to CPP death benefit panned as insufficient to cover funeral costs

Funeral Services Association of Canada lobbied governments to raise the value to $3,580

B.C. woman brain injured in crash as a baby gets $1.1 million in damages

Trial heard the woman was 16 months old, being carried by her mother when they were both hit

Cycling4Diversity Food Drive in Mission on Sunday

Cyclists going door-to-door accepting donations

Court denies WestJet’s bid to toss out discrimination lawsuit of former worker

Mandalena Lewis is suing WestJet over allegations of gender-based discrimination

Mission photographers raise $6,615

Funds will be donated to Mission Christmas Bureau

Most Read