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Big Brothers Big Sisters kick off push for volunteers

With a growing waiting list of youngsters looking for role models, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Grande Prairie and Area are looking for volunteers to lend their time.

Executive Director Corrine Patterson says the organization has a current waiting list of 30. She says now, more than ever, they need to find positive role models for the youth in the programs they offer.

Patterson says the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on the development kids need, in a number of ways.

“Obviously 2020 was trying on everybody, and as a result, we’ve had our need increase a lot,” she says.

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“They also lost a lot of time not going to school, and the school provides them with another support system, their teachers, their friends… it gets them out of a potentially toxic environment, and they’re able to get what they need.”

Patterson says she understands if a potential volunteer is hesitant about putting their name forward, but she says the little bit of time they commit can make a massive impact on a young woman or man.

“They’re worried they’re not going to be a good role model… well, just the fact you’re thinking about wanting to help a child tells me differently,” she says.

“You don’t have to change your life, you just have to include them in your life, maybe going for a walk or a bike ride, maybe go skating once a week.”

You can find out more about the programs on offer, and a link to volunteer, at the Grande Prairie and Area Big Brothers, Big Sisters website.

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