Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast Goes Digital Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Coconut Telegraph

More than 1,800 children have a mentor through Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast. However, during these uncertain times, their routines of walking on the beach, playing at the park, watching a movie or just hanging out have changed. Jeanie Baik, Vice President of Programs and Volunteer Experience for the agency, said Bigs and Littles are staying in touch. "We're encouraging Bigs and Littles to continue to stay in touch. We are hosting virtual interviews and providing internal processing through a variety of online mechanisms based on the client’s familiarity and comfort level and what type of phones they have. We have also started doing virtual match support with our families-the visual simply helps keep the connections alive even for existing matches and helps with the social isolation,” said Baik. Bigs are there to guide their Littles. For children, any disruption in their life is a cause for concern. With something like this, something they have never experienced before, they’re really looking for those people in their lives right now that can provide that guidance and be that role model and mentor they need. Instead of in-person fingerprinting Big Brothers Big Sisters is utilizing Sterling Volunteers to run State and Federal background checks, as child safety remains number one. Virtual orientation sessions have proven successful, where the participants have signed up for a virtual interview to become a Big. The organization is still taking applications for volunteers. There is a background check and, for now, virtual interviews. For further information or if you wish to help, please contact Rose Bloch at rbloch@bbbssun.org.

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