What type of children do you serve?
The children are from 7-14 years old and live in single-parent homes throughout San Antonio and surrounding areas. Whether it's from death or divorce, many of these kids are lacking the adult role modeling they need. These children are not "placed" with us. Their parents hear about the program the same way volunteers do and come to us on a voluntary basis. Likewise, children cannot enter into the program unless they want a Big Brother or Sister.
Children from single-parent homes often grow up feeling hopeless and angry and may resort to high risk behaviors that often sets them on a course of self-destruction. One in four children are growing up in single-parent homes, often lonely and depressed, without adequate opportunities to be engaged by adults in positive activities and social relationships.
The volunteer is not there to take the place of the missing parent. The role of the Big Brother or Big Sister is to be an adult friend on a one-to-one basis. The volunteer is also not a disciplinarian. A Big Brother or Sister should never feel like he or she must "change" the child or "take on" the whole family. Instead, the "Big" is there to show a kid that someone cares, and that it's O.K. to trust. By simply spending quality time with a kid doing normal everyday things, a child can learn.
There are currently over 200 kids on a waiting list and about 90% of them are boys who have no father or male role models in their lives. Boys typically wait 1-2 years before they get a Big Brother because we have a shortage of male volunteers. Girls don't wait as long as boys because there are not as many of them placed in the program by parents.
The goal for the volunteer is to simply be a positive and consistent figure in a child's life. Volunteers shouldn't feel like they have to create extra hours on their schedules, but look at what they are already doing, and see how they can include that child into their day. For example, many volunteers run errands on Saturdays, wash the car together, or participate in sports or hobbies. It's amazing how much they gain by getting out of the house and doing something different.
|How would a parent get their child involved in the program?|
To begin the intake process a parent needs to contact the agency (225-6322) to pick up an application for both the parent and child to complete.
The process begins by filling out an application. You can call us at (225-6322) to have one sent to you or click here to fill out a request form over the internet. Once completed, you must attend an information meeting where we discuss the program in detail. From that point, you will be assigned a case manager who will begin to match you to a child you are compatible with based on personality, preferences, and location in the city. This process can take anywhere from 1-3 months, depending on many variables.
Through private contributions, United Way, the City of San Antonio, and three fund-raisers: Fall Auction, Bowl for Kids' Sake, and Holiday Golf Classic. In fact, over 60% of our operating budget is raised through comminity-wide support of special events.
Volunteer for a fund-raising committee, help with volunteer recruitment efforts, or come in and work in the office for a few hours a week.
Absolutely! We depend on them. Donations to the agency are tax deductible and may be mailed directly to us at 202 Baltimore, San Antonio Texas 78215.
The staff is composed of professional case managers and supervisors as well as those involved in bringing necessary resources into the agency. All case managers have a minimum of a Bachelor's Degree in social services, with three licensed Masters level social workers on staff.