The Big Brothers and Big Sisters program in Stettler is looking for mentors. (Photo submitted)

Stettler’s Big Brothers Big Sisters Club is looking for volunteers

A program operating in Stettler for over 40 years is seeking volunteers.

The Big Brothers-Big Sisters program operated out of the Heartland Youth Centre is issuing a call for volunteers during January’s Mentoring Month.

According to Christel Shuckburgh, who looks after the program, getting volunteers is getting harder; particularly men.

Shuckburgh says that there is always a large number of youth on the waiting list, around 80 per cent of which are boys. Unfortunately, the reason for the high number of boys on the list is because way more women than men volunteer to be mentors.

To help the boys on the wait-list, the Big Brothers Big Sisters program in Stettler has started a monthly boys group which is also operated by volunteers.

While training to be a big brother or big sister mentor can be intense, Shuckburgh says that volunteering can be “extremely rewarding for volunteer and child,” plus it looks good on a resume.

However, she further notes that “volunteerism is changing.”

“What people want to give is changing,” said Shuckburgh.

“Volunteers are wanting a one-off, not a long-term experience.”

Because of the change in what volunteers are willing to offer, Schuckburgh says the program has become quite flexible with volunteers to try and make things fit.

Whether a mentor can volunteer once a week, once every two weeks, or even once a month, Shuckburgh says there is an opportunity to make a difference in a youth’s life.

The Stettler Big Brothers Big Sisters program can take youth from age six to 18-years-old; but, according to Shuckburgh most of the youth currently on the wait-list are between 10 and 13.

If working directly with youth doesn’t interest someone as a potential volunteer opportunity, there are opportunities to volunteer for one-off program fundraising events.

For those wishing to volunteer with the program, contact Shuckburgh for more information at christel.shuckburgh@bigbrothersbigsisters.ca.

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