Mentors needed for Big Brothers Big Sisters

With more and more youths being added to the waiting list, Ponoka’s Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) organization

With more and more youths being added to the waiting list, Ponoka’s Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) organization is trying to boost its recruitment drive for September.

“September is national Big Brothers Big Sisters month,” said program director Morgen Chernick.

Ponoka BBBS currently has 60 youths with a mentor. There are 15 on a waiting list from last year and Chernick says another 15 to 20 are expected as the school year progresses.

As the mentoring program is being promoted across town, the organization is focusing on businesses allowing employees to mentor for the one hour per week requirement. “We’re really encouraging businesses,” said Chernick.

She says companies who allow employees to mentor will reap benefits in the workplace.

“There’s an increased job performance in the workplace. Eighty-five per cent saw an increase in company recognition and it improves company corporate image as well,” said Chernick, using BBBS National Office statistics.

“It’s a small commitment with a huge change in a child’s life,” she added.

For BBBS month, Ponoka’s branch has usually held a fundraiser barbeque and a flag raising ceremony. “What we’re doing this month is something brand new,” said Chernick.

On Sept. 17, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the fire hall, BBBS is holding a shrimp boil and people can purchase shrimp, sausage, corn, potatoes, garlic bread and a drink for $7.

For those who don’t have the time to sit down and eat, take-out orders are also available. “In addition to that we still have our West Jet raffle tickets,” said Chernick.

For those who wish to mentor or want more information on the program, Chernick can be reached at 40-783-3112.