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Big Brothers Big Sisters Welcomes New Faces

Couples for Kids and Fifty and Better programs offer new ways to give the gift of friendship.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri is introducing two new ways to become involved in the life of a child. The Couples for Kids and Fifty and Better programs work to create valuable partnerships with those who might not otherwise imagine themselves fitting into the traditional mentoring model.

Couples for Kids encourages married couples to enrich their lives by spending time together while giving a child the gift of friendship. The program pairs couples with a child in a unique friendship that can help to broaden the life of a child and provide much needed guidance and support. Couples bring added value in their ability to demonstrate a caring, stable marriage firsthand. This model also provides built-in flexibility by allowing one member of the couple to spend time with the child if the other is unavailable. 

“With both of us involved, our Little Brother Larry gets to see two grown people who share things, who get along,” said Mark Feldman, a Big and Board member who participates in the Couples for Kids and Fifty and Better programs with his wife, Marilyn. “He gets the benefit of both of our influence, the full experience. And as a team, Marilyn and I fill different roles in the relationship."

The Fifty and Better campaign also give adults the unique and rewarding opportunity to share their lives with a child who needs a friend. Fifty and Better Bigs have a wealth of experience to share, along with the wisdom and perspective that they have gained throughout the years. And in return, they get to enjoy the energy and enthusiasm of youth through their Little.

“Meeting Larry gave us a real breath of fresh air,” Marilyn said. “After retiring we realized we wanted to do more. It just fit so well with the changes in our lives.”

As with all its mentoring relationships, Big Brothers Big Sisters works to match interests of the Bigs and the Littles to increase the likelihood of developing a trusting and enduring relationship.

About Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri was founded in 1914 as one of the “charter” agencies of the Big Brothers Big Sisters national movement. Through our 4:1+1SM model, young people are surrounded by caring and supportive adults to inspire them and show them anything is possible. The organization currently provides services to children and families in St. Louis City, St. Louis County, St. Charles County, Jefferson County, Cape Girardeau County and Scott County. For more information, please contact Kathy Martin, 314-633-0041, or visit www.bbbsemo.org.

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