Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southeast Idaho (BBSID) is a private, non-profit, youth development agency affiliated with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America in 1989. Our mission is to provide children and youth from single-parent families an opportunity to become confident, competent, and caring individuals through stable relationships with adult role models. We recruit, screen, train, and match adult volunteers with children ages 6 - 12 who live in Bonneville and Jefferson counties. Our office is located in Idaho Falls, Idaho.
A portion of our funding comes from the Idaho Falls United Way. Most of our funding comes from individual contributions, corporate contributions and sponsorships, grants, and agency-sponsored fund-raising events such as Bowl-for-Kids-Sake (BFKS) and the Diamonds-in-the-Rough golf tournament.
Our volunteers come from all walks of life, from young adults starting college or their first jobs to workers who are established in their careers to retirees. Some volunteers are single, others are married with children of their own or are even grandparents! It doesn't take any special training--just a sense of caring, a sincere interest in the well-being of a child, and good sense of fun!
The one thing our volunteers have in common is a strong commitment to making a difference in the life of a child in their community. And they really do make a difference! Children with a Big Brother or Big Sister do better in school, are much less likely to begin using alcohol or illegal drugs, and get along better with their families.
Have some questions about becoming a volunteer?
Q: What kind of time commitment is required?
A: Weekly contact is best but some Bigs and Littles get together twice a month and talk on the phone in between visits. Mostly it's important to get together regularly to provide ongoing support and friendship.
Q: What skills do I need to be a Big Brother or Big Sister?
A: Being a "Big" is like being a favorite aunt or uncle--no special training is needed. Being a reliable, friendly, and trustworthy adult is what it's all about!
Q: How much does it cost?
A: We encourage our volunteers to include their Littles in whatever they ordinarily do in their spare time, such as riding bikes, taking a walk, gardening, working on hobbies, going fishing or to the library, or just hanging out. We can even help by coming up with inexpensive ideas for outings. We also ask parents to help cover costs for their children, for example, going to the movies or to a baseball game.
Q: What are the benefits of being a volunteer?A: Both volunteers and children benefit from the program. Little Brothers and Sisters know that there's a trusted friend they can count on as they grow up. And volunteers feel a great deal of satisfaction knowing that they've made a real difference in a child's life!
Q: How do I get started?
A: Call or e-mail our office for an application, complete it and e-mail or send it in. We'll conduct a background check and an in-person interview, which helps us get to know you and make a good match to a child on our waiting list. The screening process takes just a few weeks and once you and a child are matched, we provide ongoing support to make sure that everyone--volunteer, child, and parent--is happy with the match.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southeast Idaho
545 Shoup Ave, Suite 341
Idaho Falls, Idaho 83402
(208) 523-4842 - Phone (208) 523-6317 - Fax