Big Brothers planning open house
Executive director Dawn Froese, centre, with caseworkers Marilyn Jasper, left, and Jocelyn Harder, right, at the Big Brothers office in Portage la Prairie on Thursday. (Angela Brown, QMI Agency)
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Portage organizers are looking forward to their new fall season of programs.
An open house is planned on Tues., Sept. 18 at the office at 20 Tupper St. N. from 12 to 6 p.m. Visitors will be able to have a tour of the Big Brothers centre at the same time.
"This time we thought we would just really open it up to anyone in the community who might like to come by and see talk to us for a few minutes," said executive director Dawn Froese. "If they are at all interested in volunteering, we hope they come and sign up with us. If they just want to see what we are about they are welcome to come. There is no commitment. It's a chance to meet the staff."
Big Brothers provides its community-based Big Brothers program, as well as the in-school and after-school mentoring programs.
Currently, there are 23 children waiting for Big Brothers/Big Sisters matches — 19 boys and four girls.
Froese said the agency has about 30 mentors, but needs about another 20 more for its programs.
For the in-school and after-school mentoring programs, high school students are also invited to apply to volunteer.
The agency is also starting up its "Go, Girls" program in the fall and is looking for volunteers to help with facilitating the program offered to girls. The aim of the program is to encourage girls to develop a healthy lifestyle and positive attitude.
Froese said Big Brothers’ volunteers continue to provide a positive influence for children. During the upcoming open house, staff will be able to inform the public of agency’s initiatives.
"We are making a difference," Froese said. “We know that kids who have a mentor are more likely to complete high school, and go on to post-secondary school than some other kids. As well, they seem to have better relationships — both with their peers and with adults.