Snapshot of Big Brothers Big Sisters at Child and Family Services, New Bedford

This guest post is courtesy of Deanna Bodeau, program coordinator at Big Brothers Big Sisters at Child and Family Services in New Bedford. Deanna is providing a quick highlight of her program and one of their National Mentoring Month events.

My name is Deanna Bodeau and I am the program coordinator for Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) at Child and Family Services. BBBS provides friendships and role models to Greater New Bedford boys and girls ages 7 to 14. Our volunteers have to commit to four hours a month for one year.

Growing up is never easy, but that's why having a mentor helps. A mentor takes the time to listen, give advice and lets the child know what they have to say is meaningful. The most gratifying things about being a mentor are the intangibles. A smile, a shared joke, and the pride of watching a child accomplish something only you could have helped him with. This is what makes mentoring such a powerful too in building self-esteem. Mentors give the gift of time well spent!

To say "thanks" to our mentors and celebrate National Mentoring Month, BBBS planned an Open House and Mentor Appreciation night on Jan. 26. The night included opportunities for people to mingle with current Bigs and Littles and hear testimonials. They enjoyed refreshments and had a chance to win a door prize. Our attending mentors all received Certificates of Appreciation, a thank- you card, and their choice of a gift card to a local venue.

Our event was successful. People were able to mingle and hear about the mentoring experience. The Littles who attended really enjoyed the night, too. We hope to get more community members attending in the future!

To learn more about our program, contact me at 508-990-0894 ext. 126 or dbodeau@cfservices.org. You can also visit our website at child-familyservices.org.