September is National Big Brothers Big Sisters Month, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ponoka (BBBS) is again celebrating mentorship by asking local businesses to “Turn the Town Teal.”
Interested businesses can contact BBBS Ponoka at the Ponoka Youth Centre to receive a decorating kit, complete with teal-coloured balloons. Take a photo and post it on social media, and your business will be entered into a draw to receive a free coffee delivery from BBBS Ponoka.
“It’s a way to raise awareness of our programs, what we offer and just the need for mentors,” said Morgen Chernick, fundraising coordinator.
BBBS Ponoka has also been holding pop-up information booths around town throughout the month to encourage people to volunteer for mentoring.
Since BBBS Ponoka is celebrating its 33rd year of operating, the 33rd person to approach them and ask about mentoring during each of their pop-ups, will win a prize.
All Alberta Health Services protocols are being followed during the pop-ups.
BBBS Ponoka was at the Boston Pizza on Thursday, Sept. 16, and has been hosted by the Dollar Tree, The Bird Drug Co., Ponoka License and Registry as well.
BBBS wants to make sure matching mentors and mentees continues to happen and says they will follow all COVID-19 protocols to ensure the safety of mentees and mentors.
The intake process for volunteers is flexible. It can be done virtually, over the phone, or in person, following all guidelines.
Although mentors are always needed, their is a particular need right now for male mentors.
In-school mentoring takes place from September to June. Mentors are matched with a child between the ages of six and 17. Matches meet for one hour per week, and make crafts play games or do other activities together.
Community-based mentoring will continue as possible, while following all current COVID-19 guidelines.
From their stats, 93 per cent of mentees in Ponoka indicated feeling more confident because of having a mentor, and 100 per cent said they feel safe and supported by their mentor.
BBBS says anyone can be a mentor. All is takes is a commitment to be a caring friend to a young person.
The following businesses have “Turn the Town Teal” kits:
Battle River Insurance
The Raspberry Patch
Busted Ladies Lingerie
Daisy Dots Quilting and Crafts
Ponoka Elementary School
Mission Thrift Store
The Tin Chicken
Ponoka License and Registry