Big Brothers Big Sisters Program In Need of Volunteers

By Mallory Lane

Published 03/06 2014 05:53PM

Updated 03/06 2014 06:20PM

STATE COLLEGE, CENTRE COUNTY - It's a program helping young children in counties across the region and now they need some help themselves.

The Centre County Big Brothers Big Sisters program is reaching out for help so they can match more children with mentors. Right now, the program serves about 300 children and they only have about 200 volunteers.

Jodi Morelli sees Big Brothers Big Sisters of Centre County making a difference.

"Kids, locally, show improved self confidence, they do better with their peers, they do better with their family members in the community," Morelli, Centre County program coordinator, said.

She said now, about 100 children are waiting for their Big Brother or Big Sister match.

"The kids could use another positive adult person in their lives," Morelli said. "It's really important for people to volunteer because it's a fun and rewarding experience."

"For me, knowing giving that much time to her and doing little things for her means so much, it definitely makes it worth it to me," Big Sister, Thea Lose, said.

Lose was matched with her Little Sister last year. They visit local parks, the library, even take shopping trips together. She called the experience rewarding.

"On the way to the mall, I found out that she had actually never been to the mall before in her life. So when we got there, seeing the look on her face that it was like this huge place with all of these wonderful stores and she wanted to go into every single one, it was like the visit of a lifetime," Lose said.

Andrea Boyles said college students are great assets to Centre County's program, but said after four years in school, they usually move away, leaving a Little behind.

That's why now, the program is looking for community volunteers, like Lose, who will stay long-term.

"Here in Centre County, we're on a mission to really try and clean up our waiting list," Boyles said. "We have kids who are ready to be matched, they're waiting for their Big. Over the last month, we really have added a sense of urgency in the community."

To learn how you can help or to sign up to volunteer, visit the Big Brothers Big Sisters website.

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