Big Brothers Big Sisters to provide mentoring for military familiesBig Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota received a contract from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) to provide mentoring services to youth of military families.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota received a contract from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) to provide mentoring services to youth of military families.
This includes: National Guard, Reserves, and Active-Duty. Named “Operation Mentoring” the contract aims to provide funding for the support of new mentoring relationships between adult mentors and youth who have a parent in the military (National Guard, Reserves, Active-Duty or Gold Star Families).
Big Brothers Big Sisters recognizes that military families sacrifice a lot to protect and serve our nation and feel it is their duty to ensure that their families and children are taken care of in their own communities when they have dedicated their lives to defend us and our freedoms. Studies show that children need support from at least three non-parental adults in their lives.*
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota and the Camp Ripley Training Center have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to better serve the families of military personnel through Operation Mentoring.
Combining the Big Brothers Big Sisters’ expertise in mentoring and the resources of Camp Ripley Training Center, both will contribute to changing how children of military families can grow up to be successful and contributing citizens.
“Camp Ripley is very excited to enter into this collaboration with Big Brothers Big Sisters. We see this program as a safety net for military families. We highly encourage military families in Central Minnesota to take advantage of this great opportunity. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota is a quality, nationally recognized program and we are lucky to have them as partner." Maj. John Donovan, spokesperson for Camp Ripley.
Ann Matvick, program director for Big Brothers Big Sisters, said, “This formal contract strengthens our efforts to work with military families both now and in the future. We continue to be committed to providing safe, supported mentors for kids, knowing that our program makes a huge difference in their lives.”
Wade and Sue Bastian, and their son, Joe, can attest to such a situation. Joe was matched with a Big Brother during the elder Bastian’s deployment to Iraq.
“It made me feel better knowing he had a male to do guy things with and who was a good role model,” said Wade Bastian, a retired Major in the National Guard who was deployed from 2005-07. His wife, Sue, reiterated that sentiment and said the experience helped Joe have a positive male influence that he could spend time with and talk to if need be.
If you are interested in signing up your child or volunteering as a mentor for this program, contact Big Brothers Big Sisters at (320) 253-1616 or bbbscentralmn.org.