The process of being matched:How will I be matched with a child?
How do children come into the program?
Who are the children in the program?
What it’s like to be a Big:When can I see my Little?
How much money should I spend?
What are some good ideas for outings with my Little?
Can I bring my spouse/friend/family member on outings?
What kind of support can I expect from BBBS once I get matched?
Donating to Big Brothers Big Sisters:How do I make a donation to Big Brothers Big Sisters?
How can I donate clothing, toys, books, household goods, a vehicle, or other items? Will Big Brothers Big Sisters pick up my donation?
Where does Big Brothers Big Sisters get its funding from?
How is my donation used? (Where does my money go?)
How do I make a donation in honor or memory of someone, and let them or their family know?
How can I get involved in helping to raise funds for the Big Brothers Big Sisters agency?
Is there a minimum donation?
Bowl for Kids' Sake:Where can I find information on a Bowl for Kids' Sake event in my area?
How can I participate as a bowler? A sponsor?
How will I be matched with a child?The enrollment and interview process helps us to get to know your preferences as well as the situation best suited for you. It also helps you get to know us and the program expectations. We take into account your personality, likes, dislikes, age preferences, background, and location. But the final decision is yours.
How do children come into the program?Children and parents may hear about BBBS from a teacher, a counselor, their church, a friend, commercials, etc. All children and their parents choose to be in our program.
Who are the children in the program?Our Littles come from many types of home environments and family structures, different social-economic levels, ethnic backgrounds, and neighborhoods and schools across all communities. Their backgrounds and personalities are unique, but they all have a need for friendship with a caring adult.
When can I see my Little?Our Bigs and Littles decide together what they want to do and they get parent approval. We recommend that you keep a consistent schedule of outings and that you see each other on a regular basis. We will provide specific guidelines on expected frequency of activities with your Little. Until your relationship is established the outings will also depend on the comfort level of your Little’s parent, your Little, and you. If your Little is younger, a shorter outing might be better.
How much money should I spend?We discourage you from spending a lot of money on your outings. The goal of the relationship is friendship. You should focus your time on getting to know each other. We encourage you to seek out free or low-cost activities, especially in the beginning. You may also receive notices for opportunities for free tickets for your match to attend a variety of cultural and sports activities.
What are some good ideas for outings with my Little?Share an activity that gives you something in common to talk about. Buy a comic book to read to each other, play a board game, or take a ride in the car with the radio on while you discuss music! You want to select activities that give each of you a chance to learn more about one another . For children, playing can be learning. Most important: have FUN!
Can I bring my spouse/friend/family member on outings?In the beginning it is important for you and your Little to get to know each other. This can happen best on a one-to-one basis. Over time it is also valuable for your Little to get to know the people who are important to you. Keep in mind that if you’re spending lots of time with others your Little may begin to feel jealous or neglected. Remember that the main focus is the friendship YOU have with your Little.
What kind of support can I expect from BBBS once I get matched?Once you are matched with your Little, a Match Support Specialist from the agency will be in regular contact with you to provide assistance and give feedback. Anytime you are unsure about what to do or how to handle a situation, you will have a Match Support Specialist there to help. You’ll receive ideas for activities, guidance for handling possible difficult situations, and feedback on how you are making a difference, just by showing up! You will be joining over 240,000 other volunteers in the BBBS family!
How do I make a donation to Big Brothers Big Sisters?It's easy to make a donation online! Simply click here to go to the donation form. To donate by mail, please send check or money order to: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago 560 W Lake St., 5th Floor Chicago, IL 60661 To donate by phone, please call 312-427-0637.
How can I donate clothing, toys, books, household goods, a vehicle, or other items? Will Big Brothers Big Sisters pick up my donation?For vehicle donations, including autos, boats, trailers, motorcycles, etc, please call AdessaImpact at this toll free number: 800-710-9145 or look at more information here. A synopsis of the process is as follows: when you call, answer the preliminary questions about the vehicle. The info is processed and arrangements are made to pick-up the donated vehicle from the owner. At this point the donor receives a receipt for the vehicle. The vehicle is transported to an auction house or salvage dealer, whichever is deemed more appropriate. Once the vehicle arrives at auction or salvage, it is processed and sold. The charity receives the amount of the car less vendor expenses (sales, fees, towing and vendor fees).
Where does Big Brothers Big Sisters get its funding from?BBBS is a non-profit organization supported by funds from generous donors including individuals, federal, state and local government, foundations and corporations.
How is my donation used? (Where does my money go?)Your donation will support the BBBS agency serving your community according to your zip code. As a professional mentoring organization, BBBS requires resources to maintain a well trained staff to screen volunteers, make matches, and support relationships between Bigs and Littles -- to achieve the kind of success that shows proven results. Click here to read more.
How do I make a donation in honor or memory of someone, and let them or their family know?Please use our online memorial and tribute gift form to make a donation in honor or memorial. You can access this form here. When you make a gift in someone's honor we will notify the person in whose honor the gift was made and notify you that your request has been fulfilled.
How can I get involved in helping to raise funds for the Big Brothers Big Sisters agency in my community?
Is there a minimum donation?The online minimum donation is $5. However, it is estimated that each "match" (between a Big and Little) costs one thousand ($1,000) dollar per year to support. Consider a donation of at least $25 to help support and defray the costs for the Bigs and Littles in your area. If you are asked to consider a donation, please keep in mind the true costs of helping. Your gift is greatly appreciated and your support is generously welcome.
Where can I find information on a Bowl for Kids' Sake event in my area?
How can I participate as a bowler? A sponsor?