Big Brothers Big Sisters of America

Rating: 4.87 stars   23 reviews

Issues: Children & Youth

Location: 230 N 13th Street Philadelphia PA 19107 USA

Mission: Provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever.
Results: The organization holds itself accountable for children in the program to achieve measurable outcomes, such as higher aspirations; greater confidence and better relationships; educational success; and avoidance of delinquency and other risky behaviors.
Target demographics: Most children served by Big Brothers Big Sisters are in single-parent and low-income families or households where a parent is incarcerated. Headquartered in Philadelphia with a network of about 370 agencies across the country, Big Brothers Big Sisters serves nearly 250,000 children.
2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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More Info

EIN 23-1365190
(215) 567-7000
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

I'm a big with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Twin Cities. I've been matched with 'little' for about a year and half. It's been amazing. Not only do I see a boost in his confidence and grades, but a better relationship with his family, and becoming a leader amongst his friends. We've come a long way in our relationship and have a long way to go! Thanks to BBBS this relationship has been facilitated and lives are being changed. Thing is, I don' t know if mine has changed more or his! Thanks BBBS!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

so many ways! Not only is our relationship great, but so are the people that work there. They are so supportive and helpful whenever I have questions. Makes the relationship very seamless!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

maybe retool it more specifically towards boys and men. Women seem to be plentiful, but men volunteers not so much. I wish there were more men to match the need for the overflow of boys in need.

Would you volunteer for this group again?


For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?


Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?


What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

Not much really. It's up to me to build the relationship.

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

Big time! I don't have younger siblings so I never hang out with people who are so dependent. I think everyone should go through this organization before even thinking about having children of their own. Very eye opening!

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Rating: 5 stars  

I had long wanted to be a "Big" with Big Brothers Big Sisters; however, I felt that my lifestyle of moving around every few years would not be conducive to the kind of commitment I wanted to give to a child. Thus, when I finally settled down 3 years ago, I made the call to the local chapter.
I have thoroughly enjoyed mentoring my Little, who was 8 at the time of our pairing. She is now 11. My plan, so long as I am in the area, is to stick by her side through high school (and beyond if she wishes). If I should ever have to move out of the area, my plan would be to maintain contact.
I have enjoyed getting to know a young girl who had lost her mother. I have enjoyed seeing her grow into the young lady she is today. The activities we do each week vary. We've read books together, played games and done puzzles. We've gone out to the park or the lake. We've simply walked the dog. We've been to the Humane Society often to volunteer by playing with thecats and walking their dogs. Mostly though, it's been about building a trusting relationship and allowing my Little to have a chance to have a female someone to turn to and ask questions. I know that the questions are going to get increasingly harder and likely more personal. I also know that I am making a difference in the life of a child. I take that responsibility very seriously. That's why I plan to stick with her through graduation.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've seen a young girl grow more confident and trusting.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would make it so they had enough Bigs out there for every Little who needs one!

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Rating: 5 stars  

I first became involved in our local Big Brothers Big Sisters program in Homer, Alaska as a volunteer member of their Advisory Council. I assisted with the monthly newsletter and organizing monthly group activities for Bigs & Littles. I also helped with their annual fund raising campaigns. It was very rewarding to hear the laughter of the adults and kids during the group activities and bowling tournaments and it only took four hours or less a month of my time. I am now lucky enough to work for our local program. On my wall I have pictures of all of our current matches - kids and adults with huge smiles. When new Littles enroll in our program, they immediately gravitate to that wall of pictures. BBBS does not charge for its services and all of our Bigs are volunteers. Each BBBS program is supported through state and federal grants, and also by their local communities. So many of the businesses and individuals in our little town have donated graciously to keep our program up and running - either donating money, services or materials such as office supplies or equipment. Our budget is as small as our office - but we make it work due to all the great volunteers and community support. It costs about $2000 to match one child and maintain their match each year. Every little donation helps! We have been able to match more than 200 Bigs & Littles in our own small community and average now about 40 current (open) matches a year. It is a great program to support and the rewards last lifetimes.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

"Littles" (children) in our program have improved in areas of self esteem and confidence, school performance, social skills, and problem solving. Bigs (adults) in our program report great feelings of satisfaction and enjoyment through spending time with a Little and being apart of their lives.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Provide more opportunities for state and federal grants in areas of mentoring. I've recently attended presentations on brain development in teenagers. The research strongly supports the need for positive mentors in teen's lives as their brains go through a dramatic and challenging growth spurt.

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