Mentor and Mentee dress up as superhero's

SUPERHEROES Big Brother Josh and Little Brother Curt get ready for a group activity in this pre-pandemic photo.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Western North Carolina is expanding its mentoring programs into eight new counties in 2021, bringing the total to 18 counties it serves.

“We are very excited to bring BBBS programs to all counties in Western North Carolina and to expand the number of children we serve throughout the region,” said Lelia Duncan, Executive Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Western North Carolina. “We are grateful to the The Dogwood Health Trust for their support in this endeavor.”

BBBSWNC will recruit “Bigs” and “Littles” in Avery, Clay, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Rutherford, Transylvania, and Yancey counties in months to come.

An Asheville based nonprofit organization affiliated with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America currently serves hundreds of matches in Buncombe, Burke, Cherokee, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Polk, and Swain counties.

Like those counties, each new branch will offer volunteers one, two, or all three of these opportunities:

Community-based mentoring — Mentors meet at least twice a week with Littles who share their interests — cooking, gardening, reading, hiking, fishing, or whatever.

School-based mentoring — One hour a week, mentors meet with their elementary-age Little to work on academic assignments and do activities such as board games and crafts.

High School Bigs — High school students meet with elementary students for an hour a week of homework help and mentoring activities.

Partnering with Project MARS/AmeriCorps, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Western North Carolina serves more than 2,000 children, most of them from single-parent families. Recruited by their parents/guardians and school personnel, all “Littles” have a demonstrated need to have a professionally trained and supported “Big” on their side.

To learn more about BBBSWNC, visit bbbswnc.org. Or contact Jamye Davis, BBBSWNC assistant director, at 828-776-0192.

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