Celebrating National Volunteer Week with a 20-Year Mentoring Relationship
On April 9th, President Barack Obama issued a proclamation, recognizing April 15 – 21 as National Volunteer Week. At Big Brothers Big Sisters, our supporters—both volunteers and donors—allow us to fulfill our mission to provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever.
In honor of National Volunteer Week, we pay tribute to those who help make our work possible and celebrate the successes of our mentoring programs and the positive impacts they make on the lives of children across the country—like volunteer Brian Lewis, who signed up to be a Big Brother to a young man named Robert nearly 20 years ago.
In a recent article from the Chicago-Sun Times Media, Robert, now 29 years old, says that his Big Brother gave him the guidance he needed as a young 10-year old when his mother enrolled him in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program in Aurora, Illinois. Robert says he didn’t have an adult role model in his life and that his Big Brother introduced him to a lot of new experiences—things he says were "outside the box"—like visiting museums and learning to change the oil in a car. Robert says that even now, after nearly two decades, he still looks to his Big Brother for ambition, entertainment and advice.
"I still know some kids I grew up with and they are far away from where I am now," Robert said.
Big Brothers Big Sisters is the largest donor-supported network of volunteer mentors in the country and serves nearly 630,000 mentors, mentees and their families nationwide. Learn more about supporting Big Brothers Big Sisters as a donor, volunteer, or in another way that's right for you.