CONNECTION IN A TIME OF ISOLATION

Big Brothers Big Sisters' Response to COVID19

Update as of May 8, 2020: While we all miss in-person connection, the safety of our Bigs, Littles and families is our organization’s number one priority. We previously issued a strong recommendation for traditional program matches to avoid in-person outings and physical contact. That recommendation is now extended — for the duration of summer, communication between Bigs and Littles will remain virtual. We will be updating all traditional program matches on or before Sept. 8 with guidelines as we head into fall. 

Mentors are protecting the most vulnerable through this crisis: our children.

They are our hidden heroes, fighting back against the crippling effects of isolation that include depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts. For youth already at-risk of disconnection, existing stressors are also made worse as their families struggle with loss of wages and lack of access to educational resources and technology.

The consistency, guidance and connection provided by our mentors is more important than ever. 

Here are a few ways we continue to support mentorship and encourage virtual connection at Big Brothers Big Sisters: 

Webinar orientations and online interviews for new volunteers to match our wait list kids

Weekly outreach and support to 1,300+ matches, including volunteers and families

Retraining mentors to virtually engage with Littles safely and with intention

Connecting families to resources to ensure access to education, including WiFi and tech support

Zoom sessions to continue developing leadership skills of our High School Bigs volunteers

Collaborating with school districts to offer emotional support to youth outside our program

Our partner, Listos California, provides Californians with access to resources that can help them better prepare and protect themselves in the face of disaster. We invite our community to utilize the tip sheets below to learn safety measures, discover reliable news sources and understand important health terms as the world responds to the COVID-19 pandemic.