100 area kids waiting to be matched with mentor - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

100 area kids waiting to be matched with big brother or big sister


Eau Claire (WQOW) - A local organization is putting the call out for volunteers. More than 100 kids in northwestern Wisconsin are waiting to be matched with a mentor. Big Brothers Big Sisters says that's the biggest waiting list they've had in years.

Chance Jerome had been hoping for a big brother for some time and says waiting, was hard. "You keep finding stuff to do and you just say, it's not fun enough because I have no one to do it with," says Chance.

Fast forward to today Chance has found a big brother and a friend in Mark Degner. 

"My kids are grown so we're empty nesters, I had free time and it wasn't a big time commitment so I thought it would be a fun thing to have a little brother to hang out with," comments Mark.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwestern Wisconsin is in need of all types of volunteers, but there is an especially big need for male mentors.

"We have in Eau Claire alone 57 kids waiting right now. 74 kids waiting in the Chippewa Valley and these are registered kids ready to go, ready to be matched. So our need is bigger than it's ever been," says Craig Monson, CEO.

"The staff here does a really good job of asking what kind of kid do you want to get paired up with," adds Mark. "And I told them that I wanted somebody that liked to do stuff, liked to be active."

Mark says once he decided to become a big brother, the next step was to attend an informational meeting. It's a place where anyone interested in mentoring can get their questions answered and often times, erase any hesitations they may have

"I don't have time, I wouldn't know what to do with a kid, I can't relate well to them and these are all myths," continues Craig. "If you ask any of our bigs now, most of them get as much out of it, if not more than the children do."

For more information about becoming a volunteer contact Big Brothers, Big Sisters at (715) 835-0161.

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