SANTA CRUZ COUNTY > Big Brothers Big Sisters celebrates 30 years
In 1982, just 40 “littles” were matched with “bigs” in Santa Cruz County. Now, currently celebrating its 30th anniversary, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Santa Cruz County (BBBS) has placed more than 4,500 youths (called “littles”) in positive mentoring relationships with adult volunteers (called “bigs”).
The organization turned 30 on Thursday, June 14 and celebrated with an event that showcased the relationships created over the years. Julie Munnerlyn, coordinator of the 30th anniversary event, says the goal of BBBS is to create lasting, caring relationships that have a positive influence on both the big and the little involved.
“The main purpose of the agency is to provide a child in need with a carefully screened adult who can offer an opportunity to build a lasting friendship that contributes to improving that youth’s self esteem,” says Munnerlyn. “Bigs and littles spend time together sharing hobbies, enjoying special events, reviewing school work, and supporting personal life issues.”
Jack Sparks, who has been volunteering with the BBBS for more than 20 years, comments on his reasons for teaming up with littles: “I get a real sense of giving something back to my community,” he says. “Knowing that this great young person will have his best chance to become a good friend, a good citizen, and maybe someday a good father is the best justification for my investment of time and attention.”
For more information about BBBS, visit santacruzmentor.org.