To keep the lines of communication open between Big Brothers and Big Sisters and their youth during the COVID-19 pandemic, the local organization is encouraging virtual mentoring.
“With our community matches, we have definitely asked them to be virtually mentoring their ‘littles’, so they are happy to do that,” said Christel Shuckburgh, mentoring coordinator for Big Brothers, Big Sisters. “There are a few different platforms that they can use as well.
“We’ve also been putting challenges out to them, such as to play a game online. One of them did a scavenger hunt in their own home. They had to then take pictures of the hunt and show them to each other,” she added with a laugh.
“There was another one who found a Pictionary game online. Basically, you draw a picture, send it to the other person and they have to guess what it is. So there is world of things that they can do; there are so many resources. That’s a positive thing,” she said, adding that Big Brothers, Big Sisters is also posting ideas for activities the pairs.
At the local office, Shuckburgh said staff are shuffling timetables so they can work partly at home and partly at the office.
They are keeping in touch with Heartland Youth Centre families these days as well. “We are also keeping in touch with our volunteers and our kids.”
Shuckburgh said that Coca-Cola has also recently donated $1 million to spread amongst the Boys and Girls clubs, which will help greatly to sustain various programs across the organizations.
“It’s hard, because our Awesome Auction was going to be on May 30th – and that would be our major fundraiser for the year for the Heartland Youth Centre,” she said, adding that the event has been postponed to a different date which will be announced in the coming weeks. “We are still going with the same theme which is ‘The Roaring 20s’.”
The event includes a raffle for a brand new 2020 GMC Terrain. Tickets are still available for the sleek and shiny new vehicle which has been provided by Stettler GM. The raffle was officially launched last September.
“People are able to e-transfer us if they would like to buy a ticket. They can just go to our Facebook page and find out all of the information if they would like to do that,” she explained.
There are also four adult train tickets for the Alberta Prairie Railways up for grabs.
Shuckburgh said each donation of $50 via the ticket sales really does go a long way to helping out at the Youth Centre.
For example, $50 will cover a family membership for one year; two days of snacks, one week’s worth of program materials, staff/volunteer development for one day, two days of fun for a child in the summer or two children’s program fees for a year.