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Community Spotlight: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Harrisonburg-Rockingham County

Published: Dec. 6, 2021 at 7:11 AM EST
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - In this week’s Community Spotlight, we’re shining the spotlight on a non-profit that works to match mentors to youth in the area facing challenges.

In 2022, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Harrisonburg-Rockingham County will be celebrating 45 years of creating positive, supportive relationships among “bigs” and “littles” ages 6 through 18.

These relationships make long-lasting impacts through just spending time together.

“I think all of us can think back to having mentors in our life that helped lift us up, encourage us to make good decisions, believe in us and help us believe in ourselves,” Lindsey Douglas, Executive Director of BBBS of Harrisonburg-Rockingham County, said.

The organization aims to provide those things to youth in the area who may not have that in their life.

“We know that a relationship is going to be built just by spending time together, but we do try to provide a ton of no-cost or low-cost activities,” Douglas said.

Those activities include things like going to sporting events, roller skating, playing games and even bowling.

For the 34th year, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Harrisonburg-Rockingham County hosted the annual Bowl for Kids Sake in October.

The event raised over $50,000, which help make these relationships possible.

“Most of our services are delivered through staff time, so the screening of our volunteers is a really thorough process. Enrolling families so that we get know the youth, as well as the families, their expectations, their goals, their hopes, the challenges that they’re facing,” Douglas explained. “Each match has a staff member assigned to them, kind of like a case worker, that supports the family, the youth and the volunteer through the length of that match. So, regular communications, delivery of surveys, again connecting with community resources, helping them when they might be facing challenges of what to do.”

All of this, going toward making a real difference in kids’ lives.

“Youth matched with a mentor do better in school, they have higher aspirations for the future, they have healthier relationships with their friends and family, they feel better about themselves,” Douglas said.

If you would like to support Big Brothers Big Sisters of Harrisonburg-Rockingham County, volunteer or enroll your child, you can go to their website bbbshr.org. You can also call them at (540) 433-8886 of find them on Facebook.

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