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Big Brothers in need of mentors, donations

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When I tell people I head Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central New Mexico, they typically praise the organization’s volunteers and mention how fortunate are the youths who are enrolled in our program.

However, in addition to serving nearly 1,400 volunteer mentors and over 1,400 mentees, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central New Mexico serves over 1,100 parents, most of whom are single mothers and grandmothers.

This May, as the nation celebrates mothers, Big Brothers Big Sisters is introducing “All She Wants for Mother’s Day,” a fund drive that highlights mothers of more than 30,000 children, mostly boys, who are on the organization’s “waiting to be matched” lists.

More than 400 children are on Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central New Mexico’s waiting list. The moms of these children are a tangible reminder that while the demand for our program has perhaps never been greater, resources needed to meet the need for our one-to-one professionally supported mentoring services are limited.

“I have two boys ages 11 and 14. My 14-year-old son is matched with his Big Brother, but my younger son is still waiting,” says Lauren Chee, mother of two Little Brothers. “I cannot wait for my other son to be matched because I saw the difference that having a Big Brother has made for my older son. He has a better attitude about school and is a lot more active.”

“All She Wants for Mother’s Day” will feature Chee and other moms of children who are waiting to be matched as Big Brothers Big Sisters makes an appeal for donations to help the organization recruit, screen and carefully match more volunteers with youth in monitored long-term mentoring friendships.

The Mother’s Day Month campaign also includes a recruitment effort for male mentors, as two-thirds of the youths who have been waiting the longest for mentors, sometimes for more than two years, are boys.

As a mother of four children and someone who speaks daily with mothers who seek our mentoring services, I understand in a real and very personal way what it is like for a mom to do everything she can to pave the way for her sons and daughters.

By supporting Big Brothers Big Sisters, you can give a mom a mentor for her child. It is a gift with rewards proven by studies to help children improve in school, in their behavior and in their self-esteem — something that can change her child’s life for the better, forever. Learn more at BigBrothersBigSisters.org or bbbs-cnm.org.

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