Written by: Jennifer Sweezey - Board Member
Superheroes are able to confidently navigate challenges that come their way with a sense of competence and personal power. They have a positive outlook on life, they conduct themselves with integrity, they approach others with empathy, they are inquisitive and driven.
National Children’s Day is today, November 20th. This special day recognizes our country’s commitment to upholding the rights of children. This year’s theme is “for every child, every right”. Children have the right to feel believed in, to have relationships that ignite their power and potential. Children have the right to feel like superheroes.
For over 100 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters has been championing the health and wellbeing of youth. Their mentoring programs strive to reach young people who face adversity and who are in need of an additional supportive relationship.
It is imperative children learn that the challenging circumstances they face have nothing to do with the value of who they are or the potential of who they can become. Research suggests that young people are more likely to flourish when they have relationships with adults who provide acceptance, guidance, and support.
These friendships can help to spark trust and self-confidence, both of which are necessary elements to foster healthy decision making and relationship building for children. With the support of a mentor, youth can reach their full potential, and in turn grow to become productive and engaged citizens.
Within Sault Ste. Marie, Big Brothers Big Sisters currently has 25 children who are waiting to be matched with a mentor.
There are several ways to become involved, each with varying levels of commitment, but all with significant beneficial impact.
One-to-One matching and Couples for Kids are programs in which the agency strives to match a “Little” whose needs correspond with the abilities, interests, and preferences of a “Big” or a couple. After a match has been made, the caseworker offers ongoing support, match check-ins, and guidance.
The Big Bunch and Friends for a Day programs provide opportunities for Littles on the waitlist to have enjoyable experiences with volunteers who wish to share their time, but who are unable to commit to a traditional match.
If time isn’t something you feel you can offer just now, a donation of any amount is always appreciated and can help build further programming opportunities for the children who could use it.
Should you be interested in learning more about how you can help change the trajectory of a young person’s life within our very own community, you are encouraged to reach out to the Big Brothers Big Sisters office at 705-945-7717 or check out their website at ssm.bigbrothersbigsisters.ca.
Sault Ste. Marie has so many beautiful people with good intentions and loving hearts. A little time, effort, and compassion can go such a long way.
Please remember, you don’t have to be a superhero to help a child feel like one.