EMPOWER A CHILD IN YOUR COMMUNITY
(Meet 2 to 4 times per month)
– Get out in the community doing low to no-cost activities (like bake cookies, shoot hoops, picnic in the park, cheer them on at their band concert, etc.)
– We ask that you commit to a year to build a relationship with the hope your match will last longer.
– We serve children in Benton and Washington Counties between the ages of 6-16.
This is a great opportunity to volunteer as a Big Brother, Big Sister, Big Couple, or a Big Family.
(Meet the same day/time each week at the child’s school)
– Eat lunch, play games, go to the library, tutoring, etc.
– We ask that you commit to a year to build a relationship, with the hope your match will last longer.
– Bigs and Littles only meet at school and not over school breaks like Winter or Summer.
Fayetteville – Washington Elementary, Leverett Elementary, & Owl Creek
Siloam Springs– Southside Elementary & Intermediate School
Springdale – J.O. Kelley Middle School- Dream BIG Program
Rogers – Boys and Girls Club (between 3-7 PM)
What Steps Do I Take To Become A Big?
STEP ONE: Inquire/Apply
Check out the Community-Based and Site-Based info above to see which is the right fit for you and then click the “Apply Now” button.
STEP TWO: Volunteer Orientation
After filling out the application, you’ll need to sign up to virtually attend one of our Volunteer Orientations (via Zoom) to learn more in-depth knowledge about the process and commitment of being a Big. A Volunteer Orientation lasts anywhere from 1.5-2 hours.
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
STEP THREE: Interview/Background Check
One of our Enrollment Specialists will contact you for a 2-hour long interview (interview options include in-person or via Zoom) as well as complete a background check. This is to ensure that our Littles are with a safe and trusting adult.
STEP FOUR: Meet your Little
Once you have been accepted into our programming and our BBBS committee has paired you with a Little, we will introduce you two! Along with the Little’s Guardian and your new Match Support Manager. COVID-19 precautions will be taken – all parties will be masked and social distancing will be required.
FAQs & Requirements
What is a Big Couple?
A Big Couple is a pair of willing Volunteers who are in a long-term relationship and want to be matched together to the same Little Brother or Sister. Big Couples do not have to be married, but they must be in a long-term relationship for at least one year.
This is a great option for couples that would prefer a shared experience as opposed to each of them having their own Little. We want our Bigs to integrate their Little into their lives and this often means your Little spending a lot of time with your family and friends.
The benefit of a Big Couple is now both Bigs have the option of going out one-on-one with their Little OR all three can go on outings together. Our Big Couples love the flexibility this gives their Match.
What is a Big Family?
A Big Family is exactly what it sounds like! It is a family of willing Volunteers (Parents & kids) who want to be matched together to the same Little Brother or Sister and include the whole family on the experience. The pair of Adults in a Big Family do not have to be married, but they must be in a long-term relationship for at least one year.
This is a great option for families that would prefer a shared experience and include their own kids. We want our Bigs to integrate their Little into their lives and this often means your Little spending a lot of time with your family and friends.
The benefit of a Big Family is now the whole family has the option of going on fun outings with their Little. Our Big Families love the inclusivity this gives their Match.
How often do Bigs and Littles get together?
Bigs and Littles get together 2-3 times a month, and on average spend a total of 4 hours per month together.
What support is provided to our match?
Each Match is regularly supported by a Match Support Manager on our team. Anytime you are unsure about what to do or how to handle a situation, your Match Support Manager is available to you. They’ll help you with ideas for activities, guidance for handling possible difficult situations, and feedback on how you are making a difference.
What do I do with my Little?
Anything you like! Activities are up to each Match. You don’t have to spend a lot of money; we want you to focus more on spending time with each other.
Common activities include going to get ice cream or going to a movie, going fishing, attending a sporting event or concert, making dinner together, or running errands.
Keep it simple and focus on getting to know each other. BBBSNWA also hosts great Match activities and parties that all Bigs/Littles are invited to and are free of cost.
Our Bigs are also occasionally given free tickets to different events that Match Support Managers are able to distribute to Matches.
How much money should I spend?
The quality of the time you invest with your Little is more important than the amount of money you spend. That’s why we don’t encourage spending a lot of money on your outings. The goal of the relationship is to help your Little see the world through a different lens so you can inspire your Little to become something they never thought possible. If you are going to spend money, we encourage you to seek out low-cost activities, especially in the beginning. Play a game together, or share that pizza that you were going to have for lunch anyway. Big Brothers Big Sisters of NWA offers free monthly group activities that are a great way to meet other Bigs and Littles. As a Big, you may also receive notices for free tickets to cultural and sports activities for you both to enjoy.
How long can a match last?
We ask for a minimum commitment of one year for each Match we make. That is often not the end, though — many of our friendships end up lasting a lifetime.
Will I become a replacement Parent?
No, Littles already have a parent or guardian in their life. What they need is a Big Brother, Big Sister, Big Couple, or Big Family to spend quality, one-on-one time with them. Someone to have fun with, someone they can confide in, just a friend to be their biggest cheerleader – someone like you!
Our Littles deserve the best.
Bigs must be 18 years of age or older, have a valid driver’s license, and be willing to commit to a long-term Volunteer experience (minimum one-year, however, most friendships last much longer).
They must also do the following:
- Complete Steps 1-4 listed above
- Be open and willing to be coached by your Match Support Manager
- Initiate contact with your Little on a consistent basis to schedule activities
- Meet consistently with your Little for at least 12 months
- Maintain ongoing communication with the Big Brothers Big Sisters staff