If you know how to be a friend, then you already know how to be a Big. On this page, you’ll find answers to the most commonly asked questions people have about becoming a Big.
What kinds of programs are available?
We make matches in the following programs:
What are the requirements?
- Must be at least 18 years of age.
- Have a valid Virginia Drivers license.
- Have had no DUI within the past 2 years.
- Must be a resident of Danville or Pittsylvania County.
- Must have an interest in children ages 6-14.
- Are subject to a criminal background check and a Child Protective Services check.
- Must provide a minimum of three references.
How do I apply?
Submit the sign up form and volunteer application to begin the application process.
When can I expect an interview?
After submitting your application, our staff will contact you within a few days to schedule an interview.
How long does it take to be matched?
Once you are accepted, we’ll look to see if we have any children waiting who we believe would make a good match for you. When we think we’ve found a good match, we’ll contact you and share the child’s profile to see what you think. If you agree with our suggestion, we’ll schedule a “Match Introduction” where you will be introduced to your new Little Brother or Little Sister. Again, our emphasis is placed on finding the right match for you, so this process may take some time. If we don’t have a child on our waiting list that is an immediate match for you, we’ll place you on a waiting list, and will contact you as soon as we believe we have a match. We request that you stay in touch with us, and let us know if you move, change workplaces, or change phone numbers while we are looking for the right Little for you.
What kind of support will I get from BBBS of Danville Area once I’m matched?
We’re here to help! We provide an orientation and training session for you and your Little called New Member Orientation. We also provide activities for groups of Bigs and Littles to attend together to meet, talk, and get to know each other. After that, your Match Support Specialist (MSS) will stay in regular contact with you to provide assistance and give feedback. Your MSS will be there to help if you are unsure what to do or how to handle a situation.
What do Bigs and Littles do together?
The program is fun and flexible. You can make it fit your schedule. There are no mandatory activities, so feel free to do what you and your Little enjoy.
Some Community-Based Bigs and Littles:
- Attend fun, cultural events like plays, the circus, and festivals
- Play catch in the park, go bike riding, or go for a walk on the Riverwalk Trail
- Complete errands like picking up groceries and laundry
- Cook, make crafts, or just hang out together
School-Based Bigs and Littles meet consistently twice a week on the school campus and during the Little’s lunch time.
Can I bring my partner/friend/family member on outings?
In the beginning, it is important for you and your Little to get to know each other. This happens best on a one-to-one basis. Over time, it is also valuable for your Little to get to know the people who are important to you. Keep in mind that if you’re spending lots of time with others, your Little may begin to feel jealous or neglected. Remember that the main focus is the friendship that YOU have with your Little.
Are there any benefits for the Big?
For a few hours a month, you get to be a child again! Even better, you’ll make a BIG difference as a volunteer mentor in your community and in the life of a child. Most of our Bigs say that they get more than they give.
Who are the Little Brothers and Little Sisters?
Generally, our Little Brothers and Little Sisters are between 6 and 14 years old. Our Littles come from many types of home environments and family structures, social-economic situations, ethnic backgrounds, and neighborhoods and schools across all communities. Their backgrounds and personalities are unique, but they all have the need for a friendship with a caring adult.
How do children find out about the program?
Children and parents may hear about BBBS of Danville Area from a teacher, a counselor, their church, a friend, etc. All children and their parents choose to be in our program.
How do I know I’ll get along with this child?
We get to know you first, so we can find the best Little Brother or Little Sister for you. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Danville Area matches you with a child based on common interests, personality and geography.
I don’t know much about kids — is that okay?
You bet! Behind the scenes, you’ll have a team of experts — the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Danville Area Match Support Team — cheering you on and giving helpful advice if you need it.
How much is this going to cost me?
Being a Big Brother or Big Sister is absolutely free (other than providing your enthusiasm and some of your spare time).We discourage you from spending a lot of money on your outings. The goal of the relationship is friendship. We encourage you to focus your time on getting to know each other by seeking out free or low-cost activities, especially in the beginning.
We offer group activities that are a great way to meet other Bigs and Littles. You will also receive notices for opportunities for free tickets for your match to attend a variety of cultural and sports activities.
How have Bigs helped Littles in the past?
View the transformations and statistics that result from our program. Also, read our inspiring match stories featuring real Bigs and Littles from our own program.