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Big Brothers Big Sisters Christmas celebration

Over the past 10 years the local Big Brothers Big Sisters organization has served children facing adversity in Polk County and the Landrum area. Most of the children in the BBBS community-based program are from single-parent homes and very few live in homes with a traditional family. Some live with a grandparent or other relatives, some have lost a parent or have a parent in prison. In the community program, children ages 6-14 are matched with screened and trained adult volunteers to enjoy outings in the community while developing trusting friendships. These matches can continue through the child’s high school graduation. In addition, a mentoring program provides volunteers to assist elementary school students who need extra attention at school.

Measurable results prove it’s wise for adults to invest quality time with children. Youth matched with a mentor experience significant benefits including increased self-confidence, better relationships with others, improved school performance and are less likely to engage in risky behavior.

Investing in our youth serves the entire community, for children will certainly participate in shaping our future as adults as they become teachers, leaders, business people, doctors, veterinarians and parents themselves. For the children to make a positive difference they must be encouraged and supported in reaching for their greatest potential.

We can all participate in making a difference. Volunteers are the core of BBBS. Those unable to volunteer as a Big or local council member could consider helping financially. Big Brothers Big Sisters depends on the generosity of the community for support.

For information on how you can volunteer or donate, call 828-859-9230, email polk@bbbswnc.org, or mail to BBBS, 301 N. Trade St, Tryon, NC 28782.

– article submitted by Karen Dacey