TOPEKA -- In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15th through October 15th), Big Brothers Big Sisters is issuing a challenge, asking the Latino community, supporters and donors to pull together to ensure that every Hispanic child who needs a caring mentor gets one.
The nation’s largest donor-based volunteer network of mentors for youth today announced its intention to increase the number of Latino children served and engage more Hispanic volunteers. Hispanic children represent more than 17 percent of children served by the nationwide network -- a percentage that is steadily increasing. Research has shown that Big Brothers Big Sisters has helped vulnerable children succeed in school, behave non-violently and avoid substance abuse.
In particular, the organization urgently needs a few good hombres to serve as Big Brothers. Two out of 3 children waiting for a “Big” are boys, yet only three out of every 10 inquiries about volunteering come from men.
“The Hispanic community has a strong tradition of mentoring youth,” said Hector Cortez, Big Brothers Big Sisters’ Director of Hispanic Mentoring. “As such, Big Brothers Big Sisters wants to join with the community in better serving more Latino youth.”
“Many of our Hispanic “Littles” come from immigrant families,” Cortez said. “They are adjusting to the nuances of American culture and often face great challenges that make them highly at-risk. You don’t need to speak Spanish, although it can be helpful. We simply ask that Latinos consider sharing their time and pride in their Hispanic culture with a child looking for a mentor.”
To learn how you can volunteer or more on Big Brothers Big Sisters efforts in the Hispanic community, please visit BigBrothersBigSisters.org for information in English and Spanish. Join us Tuesday, October 6 at 5:00PM at Red Robin Restaurant for a casual informational meeting. Or for more information about mentoring in Jefferson, Osage or Shawnee Counties call (785) 234-5524 or visit www.kansasbigs.org.