Volunteers Change Lives.
The change is usually small at first. Summoning the courage to order their own meal at a restaurant or learning how to take deep breaths when they’re upset. But that change grows with the child. It becomes confidence and hope. It becomes improved grades in school and a high school diploma. It becomes an unwillingness to dabble in negative behaviours like drugs, alcohol, and bullying. And one day, that child becomes a successful, thriving adult.
Being a volunteer isn’t about finding time to spend with a child; it’s about inviting a child into the life you’re already living!
Boys & Girls Clubs Big Brothers Big Sisters (BGCBigs) is so fortunate to have the help of over 3,000 caring volunteer. Without volunteers, children and youth simply wouldn’t have the tools and supports they need to become successful. For us, those tools and supports come from our mentoring and after school programs. Using those, we’re able to provide kids with the healthy relationships and enriching experiences they need to understand their full potential and go out there and grab it. Our volunteers dedicate their time and efforts to spending time with a single child or with a group of kids or volunteering with us behind the scenes.
Kids With A Mentor Are…
More Likely to Graduate
Less Likely to Rely on Social Services
More Likely to Have Improved Relationships
Impact of Mentoring:
- Kids have increased confidence, self-esteem & sense of hope
- Kids get better academic grades
- Kids have improved school attendance
- Kids experience more positive interactions with peers, parents, & teachers
- Kids have better social and communication skills
- Kids are more likely to finish high school
- Kids are less likely to get involved with criminal activities
Ways To Volunteer
We’ve got 3 main ways for you to get involved!
- Volunteer with a child or youth. You can make a difference in a young person’s life in their school one hour a week or out in the community at your shared convenience. Specialized programs involving kids in care, LGTBQ youth and kids from diverse cultural backgrounds are also available. Just you or with your partner, spouse or colleagues.
- Volunteer with a group of kids. Whether it’s in one of our 9 neighborhood clubs or our 5 school based after school programs, volunteering in a group setting is fast paced and fun. Get to know a great group of kids and build them up at the same time, sharing your interests and experiences. Days of caring are also a great way to get your colleagues involved and doing something good for the community.
- Volunteer behind the scenes. Fundraising events, events for kids and families, volunteer recruitment, speaking engagements or putting your administrative or planning skills to work in one of our offices, are great ways to get involved occasionally or as your time permits.
Click the buttons below to learn more about each program – location, commitment duration, outcomes, etc.
WITH A CHILD OR YOUTH
WITH A GROUP OF KIDS
BEHIND THE SCENES
Details to come! In the meantime you can still apply to help us out behind the scenes by choosing “Agency Volunteer” on the application form.
Step 1 – Application Form: Click here to submit your online application form. Please note we require three references so have those hand before you start.
Step 2 – Online Training: Click here. to complete your online training through the Alberta Mentoring Partnership.
Step 3 – In-Person Interview: We’ll contact you to set up an in-person interview where we’ll get to know you, learn why you want to mentor, and make sure you’re in the program that’s the best fit for your goals, skills, and lifestyle. The interview typically takes 2 hours. (Interviews are 1 hour for Behind the Scenes Volunteers)
Step 4 – In-Person Training: We’ll will contact you to set up your in-person training. Training typically takes 2 hours and we have multiple sessions available each week to fit your schedule. (This is not necessary for Behind The Scenes Volunteers)
Step 5 -Background Checks: After you come in for your interview/training, we’ll provide you with the paperwork to complete a Police Information Check and a Child & Family Services Check.
Step 5 – References: We’ll contact your references by phone or email.
Step 6 – Matching: We’ll contact you and let you know that you’re accepted! With our Bigs in the Community program it can take some time to match you to a child as we take care to make sure you’ll get along and have lots in common.
***It’s important to note that it can take up to 8 weeks to go through our application process and be matched with a child.**
What To Expect
- Ensure the safety of our children and youth and our volunteers.
- Work with you to match you with a young person or program where your interests and availability are considered.
- Assign a direct contact person to provide support and establish expectations and follow up requirements.
- Provide orientation and training so you know what to expect.
- Help you be successful!
- Build a special friendship with a young person and have fun together.
- Talk, listen, support, guide, encourage – believe in them and help them believe in themselves.
- Keep others informed about what you’re doing.
- Keep in touch with your staff contact person and ask questions as they arise. We also really like hearing about your experiences!
- Provide a safe, responsible environment for the child in your care.
- Be a mentor, a role model to a child