ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — With 150 kids on the waitlist, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region is looking for mentors to make a difference for kids in need.
During the pandemic — mentors and donations decreased, leaving a larger gap for kids to get the resources and experiences to help them in the future.
“We’re looking for somebody to step up and say yeah I can give a couple hours a month, ten hours a month, to helping a child who really is looking for someone to believe in them and invest in their future,” Lea Montalto-Rook, CEO, said.
The program matches kids with a one-on-one mentor who takes them on community outings and helps give them a different experience that might not be available in their family.
For single mom Ilona Frenkel and her three children, the program makes a huge difference.
“Not everybody has a parent that is able to jump hoops and do a whole lot of stuff but an extra hour of somebody else’s attention will influence a young person for the rest of their life,” Frenkel said.
Her daughter, Baylee, is paired with Amelia Gifford who said she is able to learn more about the world around her through Baylee’s eyes.
“It’s been extremely rewarding. Not only am I seeing the world through a different lens and I’m optimistic that she is as well,” Gifford said.
“You can really somebody’s personality when you hang out with them a lot so it’s been really fun,” Frenkel said.
Gifford said she encourages other people to get involved and explore what’s possible with Big Brothers Big Sisters. To become a mentor or help fund programs for kids in need, go to their website.