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BBBS seeks to aid all area kids

As a new school year begins, Erath County residents of all ages and backgrounds are invited into Big Brothers Big Sisters.

“We’ve changed our mission with 2019,” said Regional Executive Director Sarah McNeal Weaver. 

The Dublin High School graduate said that BBBS has expanded their mission to serve every child, even children in middle class homes with both parents.

Because of this new mission statement, the organization is accepting boys and girls, both children and mentors. (Mentors are designated as bigs and children are referred to as littles within the program.)

Weaver said she would like to remove the stigma that the organization exists to benefit children from troubled homes or lower economic backgrounds.

Weaver said the program can benefit all kids by providing a mentor and contact with other kids through peer-to-peer.

“People don’t think about the peer-to-peer aspect,” Weaver said. 

BBBS operates with mentors pledging a 25-minute lunch period every week and monthly events with participation from all ‘bigs’ and ‘littles.’ (Mentors who have extra time can also identify a day where they are free for activities like helping their little with homework or playing a game.)

Weaver said she has seen relationships form between the kids at the monthly events that continue when the kids go to school.

Weaver has seen kids and mentors benefit from the matches made in the organization since she first started with BBBS in 2010. She believes in it so much that she also donates to the program and is a mentor herself.

Weaver assured that matching mentors and kids is a thoughtful process, with considerations made into similar backgrounds. 

Mentors are screened for security purposes but the application process is easy.

Simply visit bbbstx.org and fill out the online application.

Those who are cleared will be scheduled for an interview and paired with a child in the program.

Weaver reported that applications for BBBS are available at Dublin Elementary, who is very familiar with the organizations’ operations and has been supportive of the program.

Those who want to support the program but can’t devote time as a mentor can also make donations. Weaver said the matching process costs about $1,200, factoring in the background checks, monthly events, etc.

Those who can’t afford to fund a match can also join in as a community partnership for $10 per month (the donor can pick the day the monthly donation is drafted). 

Weaver said donations are important to the organization because they show community support of the program and keep her working within that community.

For more information, call 918-7295 or 485-9391 or visit bbbstx.org.

Dublin Citizen

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