• 79°
The Madison Record

Big Brothers Big Sisters ‘matches’ enjoy fulfilling times

MADISON COUNTY – To observe National Mentoring Month, the Big Brothers Big Sisters or BBBS organization is planning times for fellowship for ‘matches’ and recruiting adults to volunteer.

A participant’s title is ‘Big’ for adults and ‘Little’ for youth. “Being a Big doesn’t take a lot of time or talent. The idea is to provide a role model or personal cheerleader for any child who needs or wants a mentor,” Michelle Linville said. Linville is CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Tennessee Valley.

For National Mentoring Month, “BBBS is celebrated by media spots and proclamations from multiple governmental entities. Honoring Our Mentors is a celebration on Jan. 27 at Early Works for our Bigs and those who go above and beyond for their organizations or companies,” Linville said.

Linville learned about BBBS early from her mother. “Mom took me and my sister to fundraisers with her coworkers, like ‘Bowl for Kids’ Sake’ in Indianapolis,” Linville said. In college, Michelle Linville interned at a Girls Club.

She learned that all children did not have all their needs met or have both parents at home. Years later, Linville participated in an advisory committee to expand BBBS in Kentucky, served on the board and worked for the agency. She worked at another agency before accepting the job in Huntsville.

’Bigs’ must be at least 18 years old. In a school-based program, minimum age is 16. Potential Bigs are vetted through background and reference checks and trained for child safety and child development. Bigs should commit to one hour weekly for at least one year.

Men are less likely to volunteer, which is a national problem. Men are concerned about work commitments, family time and finding activities with Littles. They often misunderstand the commitment’s scope.” We take all suggestions on how to recruit Bigs, especially men,” Linville said.

Linville has no doubt about BBBS’ effectiveness. “We can prove the Littles who go through our program are more likely to graduate from high school and less likely to get involved in juvenile crime. (These) children face adversity, (but) with guidance of Bigs and guardians, become productive citizens and often volunteer themselves,” she said.

Each Little has a goal plan, usually discussed during teachable moments, that focuses on social, educational and behavioral skills. “They’re exposed to life experiences that most of us take for granted, like going to the movies or visiting companies with future job opportunities,” Linville said.

“We’re constantly in need of Bigs, especially men, and funds to support matches. While the Bigs volunteer, the vetting, training and ongoing support by professional staff have costs,” Linville said. “We’ve secured dollars from Huntsville and Madison to recruit ‘Bigs in Blue’ and are using assistance of existing Bigs and Precinct Captains to share our mission in front of officers,” Linville said.

BBBS’ address is 303 Williams Ave. SW, Suite 123 in Huntsville. For more information, call 256-880-2123 or visit bbbsna.org or Facebook/Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Tennessee Valley.

Bob Jones High School

Top teacher honors go to CMSgt. Ellis Clark at Bob Jones

Huntsville

Madison County encourages customers to conserve water

Madison

MCSO: Three early morning drug raids net numerous drugs, arrests

Madison

Huntsville Museum of Art offers free admission on Sunday, July 3

Huntsville Museum of Art offers free admission on Sunday, July 3

Business

Aerobotix and ASA partner to deploy robotic systems for hypersonic missile manufacturing

Madison

MPD seeks help identifying theft suspect

MPD seeks help identifying theft suspect

Madison

Madison couple killed in motorcycle crash

Huntsville

Thrive Alabama to host community health fair on Saturday

Madison

Coroner: Man found dead in Falkville suspect in Ohio slayings

Liberty Middle School

DeYoung honored as Liberty’s ‘Teacher of the Year’

Madison

Marcia Coons’ books satisfy a child’s whimsy, nurture reading

Lifestyles

Tomato Hornworm: a wolf in sheep’s clothing

Madison

FDA: Currently marketed JUUL products must be removed from the US market

Huntsville

Theatre Huntsville to present “Noises Off” by Michael Frayn

Madison

St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church members in Puerto Rico for mission trip

St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church members in Puerto Rico for mission trip

Madison

Atlanta Braves to stop in Madison today as part of their “World Champions Trophy Tour”

Madison

Madison Police involved in stand-off on Harborview Dr.

Madison

Madison man faces manslaughter charge in child pool death

Digital Version

Digital version of The Madison Record – June 22, 2022

Madison

Fire in Limestone County involving 24 vehicles contained

Madison

Home Place Park awaits ribbon cutting on Thursday

Madison

Public invited to Quarterly Music Meetup at The Orion Amphitheater

Madison

EDITORIAL: Tonight’s community meeting about changing Madison’s city structure is very important

Madison

Crawfish Festival coming to Toyota Field July 2

x