31 big ones in 31 days

LIMA – Big Brothers Big Sisters is launching a campaign to get 31 Big Sisters in 31 days. The goal of the campaign is to recruit adult mentors during January.

Executive Director John Neville joined Communications Coordinator Chris Jackson to discuss the program at the Mayor’s press conference Wednesday morning.

“I get regular calls from parents who call and want to talk about their child’s problems,” Neville said. “Maybe the father isn’t in the house, or maybe they’re running with the wrong company, or they’re not interested in school and want to know if we can help. We can help, but sometimes we have to tell them that we can’t help right now because we don’t have mentors to help with their son or daughter.”

Neville and Jackson hope to change that narrative. BBBS plans to reach out to local service clubs, churches and organizations whose members may be interested in helping youth.

Mentors can participate in a school program where they can mentor a child at school, or in a community match where you do something within the community.

Neville shared his experience with his younger brother.

“I met my little brother at school,” Neville added. “I started working with him in 6th grade and worked with him throughout 8th grade. Sometimes, if the gym was open, we would throw the ball into the basket, sometimes we would go out with the soccer ball and just throw the ball, and sometimes he would need help with math.”

Neville also said that it was a wonderful experience mentoring his younger brother and he thinks it was a wonderful experience for him.

“That’s what mentoring is like, when you just put an hour of your time a week into investing in a child,” Neville said.

Jackson said Neville contacted him to become a big brother shortly after leaving the Lima fire department.

“When John approached me, I decided to stay there for a few months, and now I’ve been here for two years,” Jackson said. “Definitely a rewarding experience. Just change life. If you see the young man that I have, and just look at the expression on his face. He is a fine young man; he doesn’t have a father figure, so I was able to step into that role.”

For more information contact Chris Jackson at 419-222-8500 or email: [email protected]G.

Contact Precious Grandi at 567-242-0351.

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