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

Mission’s new mayor, Pam Alexis, says she feels terrific

The people have spoken and elected Pam Alexis as Mission’s new mayor

VIDEO: Randy Hawes says ‘retirement doesn’t look that bad’

The 71 year old, former mayor of Mission planning to golf and holiday more

VIDEO: Jag Gill receives most votes for Mission council

Four newcomers and two incumbents make up the new council in Mission

New Mission school board has a familiar look

Four of the five trustees are incumbents

Who won and who didn’t in the Lower Mainland votes

A look at the region’s mayoral races, starting with Doug McCallum coming back to win in Surrey

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

Fraser Valley man dead after head on crash in Okanagan

Accident occurred at about 7:35 a.m.

Newly-elected Lower Mainland mayor won’t drink his city’s tap water

White Rock’s Darryl Walker is concerned about its quality

Kennedy Stewart challenged with building bridges as mayor of Vancouver: expert

The former NDP MP, who ran as an Independent, will lead 10 councillors divided across four parties

B.C. Youtuber to seal himself ‘in a jar’ to demonstrate impacts of climate change

Kurtis Baute wants to see how long he can last in a 1,000 cubic foot, air-tight greenhouse

One of Taiwan’s fastest trains derails, killing at least 18

The train was carrying more than 360 people

Scheer marks one-year countdown to federal election with campaign-style speech

Conservative Leader insists that it will be Justin Trudeau who ‘makes it personal’

Canada Post union announces rotating strikes in four Canadian cities

Mail will still be delivered but it will be delayed

Vancouver drag queens receive royal treatment during Kootenay Pride

Vancouver drag queens discuss the importance of Pride and growing acceptance of LGBTQ community

Most Read