Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Big Bend

Big Brothers Big Sisters pairs children with adult role models, fostering unique one-to-one relationships built on trust and friendship that can blossom into a future of unlimited potential. 

Office Location
565 East Tennessee Street
(850) 386-6002
[email protected]
Louis Garcia, CEO
[email protected] 

Being a Big Brother or Big Sister is one of the most enjoyable things you’ll ever do - not to mention, one of the most fulfilling. You have the opportunity to help shape a child’s future for the better by empowering them to achieve. And the best part is, it’s also a lot of fun. You and your Little can share the kinds of activities you already like to do: play sports together, go on a hike, make a craft, read books, eat a pizza, give some advice and inspiration. Whatever it is you enjoy, odds are you’ll enjoy them even more with your Little—and you’ll be making a life-changing impact. 


Big Brothers Big Sisters targets the children who need mentors most, including those living in single-parent homes, growing up in poverty and coping with parental incarceration. Starting something begins with finding a great match between a Big and a Little. Making these matches, and performing all the background work involved with them, is possible because of donations from the community. It's also why BBBS is able to offer such a wide variety of programs that pair children, ages 6 through 18, with role models in one-to-one relationships. 


It's in the Numbers:

  • 85% of former Littles surveyed agree their experience influenced them in overcoming adversity or problems with courage.
  • 84% of former Littles surveyed agree that their Big taught them the importance of helping others.
  • 84% of former Littles surveyed agree their experience influenced them in showing understanding to those less fortunate.
  • 83% of former Littles surveyed agree that their Big instilled values and principles that have guided them through life.
  • 81% of former Littles surveyed agree their Big gave them hope and changed their perspective of what they thought possible.
  • 67% of former Littles surveyed agree that their Big played a role in their decision to attend college.
  • Researchers found that after 18 months of spending time with their Bigs, compared to those children not in our program, Littles were:

    • 46% less likely to begin using illegal drugs
    • 27% less likely to begin using alcohol
    • 52% less likely to skip school
    • 37% less likely to skip a class
    • 33% less likely to hit someone

How to Volunteer:

First, you have to decide whether you’d like to be a school-based mentor or a community-based mentor (see the descriptions below). Then you will go through an extensive background check and careful interview process with BBBS staff. Bigs and Littles are matched based on location, personalities and preferences. And staff provides full support from the start, so matches can grow into lasting, fruitful friendships.


School-based Mentoring Program:

In the school-based mentoring program, volunteers and children meet regularly during the school year, typically for one hour each week, using all available resources within the school: computer labs, the library, the gym, a classroom, or the schoolyard. Whether the Bigs and Littles play games or read the newspaper together, their relationships promote a positive school experience for the children, which increases attendance, positive peer and adult relationships, a positive attitude, and academic enrichment. As the friendships evolve over time, volunteers and children discover ways to make school and learning fun. In addition to the general volunteer requirements (see below), school-based volunteers must also have the ability/flexibility to go to the child’s school a minimum of once per week for a minimum of one hour during a time specified by the child’s school, and must display responsible behavior in the past as evidenced by the results of both Big Brothers Big Sisters and Leon County Schools background checks.  Check out the map of local schools that BBBS is currently serving.


Community-based Mentoring Program:

Community-based mentoring is about one-to-one time spent between the volunteer and the child doing things out in the community they can both enjoy. Several hours a month are filled with shared interests and activities like: shooting hoops, playing games, sharing pizza, taking a walk, or just hanging out and talking. The schedule can be flexible to meet the needs of mentors and young people in all types of situations. Some Bigs meet their Littles on the weekends or in the evenings. Others get together with their Littles after school. In addition to the general volunteer requirements (see below), community-based volunteers must also commit to meeting with a child at least twice per month for a total of at least four hours; must have car insurance with personal injury protection, property damage liability, and bodily injury coverage; and must be able to pass a home safety assessment if he/she owns a certain breed of dog, weapons, or any other potential child safety hazards.


General Volunteer Requirements:

  • You must be at least 18 years of age.
  • You must be willing to commit to meeting regularly with your Little (at least four hours per month) for at least a full calendar year from the date you are matched.
  • You must be willing to provide a $25 tax-deductible donation to cover the cost of your own background screening, which includes a criminal history check and a search of a sexual predator database.
  • You must be willing to provide three to four references with whom our agency can speak by phone.
  • You must be willing to come to our office, located at 565 E. Tennessee St in Tallahassee, for an extended personal interview.