Big Brothers Big Sisters is a well known organization that serves more than 6500 children. It works to match children who would benefit with a having a positive role model. Several students at Southwestern College are a part of this organization.

Caitlin Dyck, nursing senior, said, “It’s awesome to be able to influence young kids, since I don’t have any younger siblings.” Dyck’s little sister is a school-based match. It is recommended that big brothers or sisters see their little brother or sister once a week. For busy college students, that can sometimes seem like a burden, but many would say that the time is well spent.

Christy Rude, early childhood education junior, said, “I saw it as an opportunity to get involved with a child in the community who needed a role model and somebody to look up to. I love kids and I love working with them and learning from them.”

Rude has taken her little on Discipleship outings, out to eat, or to the park. Dyck meets her little at school, and so usually does puzzles or crafts with her. Another important aspect is simply talking to them. These kids need someone to look up to, someone to get advice from. The children aren’t the only ones learning something, though. “Whenever you’re trying to change a kid’s life, they end up changing yours,” said Dyck.

That one day a week can have a huge impact. Rude said, “Not everyone is blessed with family who is able to devote all of their time and energy to their children, and a lot of different aspects factor into that. A lot of children need someone to look up to and to give them advice, and to help nuture their developmental process, to encourage them to be the best they can be.”

Rude would encourage others to carefully consider becoming a big brother or sister. “It’s a big time commitment. The little brother or sister is going to be depending on them.”

Volunteering isn’t the only thing you can do, though. The annual Bowl for Kids’ Sake is a great way to be involved. Those interested in helping can start a team of five or six members. Each team should try to raise $1000. On March 6, all teams will be rewarded with two free games of bowling, a t-shirt, concessions, and door prizes. The best part is that this celebration is funded by sponsors, so all the money raised will go directly to the kids.

To find out more, visit www.kansasbowl.org.

Erin Morris is a freshman majoring in communication. You may e-mail her at erin.morris@sckans.edu.

Edited by Samantha Gillis