Our Programs.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lower West Michigan matches children ages 6 through 12 with mentors in professionally supported one-to-one relationships. We have programs in Berrien, Cass and Saint Joseph Counties.

We have two programs that offer volunteers different levels of involvement and time commitment. In both programs, life-enriching relationships are developed between the Big and the Little.

Making the connection

Matches come together through our two essential programs:

Site-based mentoring (Lunch Buddy)

Lunch Buddy Bigs and Littles meet once a week in their schools (or the Boys & Girls Club of Benton Harbor) to talk and have fun. It’s not about being a tutor… it’s about being a friend.

There are plenty of fun activities at school:

  • Games
  • Reading
  • Recess
  • Songs
  • Chatting a while
  • Sharing a meal

Community-based mentoring

You meet with your little on your own schedule. It’s easy, too. Your Little can join you for the kinds of activities you already like to do, such as:

  • Shooting hoops
  • Playing a board game
  • Making cookies
  • Sharing a pizza
  • Taking a walk in the park
  • Just hanging out and talking

Supporting Research

Studies conducted through BBBS of America suggest that strong relationships can develop within the school context and the attitudes and behaviors of children involved in these programs improved. The most common effects were improvements in confidence, grades, social skills and attendance.

Learn more about the research and our impact

How a Big becomes a Big (and a Little a Little)

A lot of things have to happen before we make a match. All our Bigs go through a thorough background check and careful interview process. Then we match Bigs and Littles based on location, personalities and preferences. We provide full support along the way — so that matches can grow into lasting friendships.

Your donation will make a difference

Calls come in every day from parents, teachers and guidance counselors. They know what a difference a mentor can make in a child’s life. Your gift can help make Big magic for children in your local community by:

  • Helping us to recruit new Big Brother and Big Sister volunteers
  • Ensuring that trained professionals match children to caring and responsible Bigs
  • Offering one-on-one, ongoing supervision and support for every match
  • Providing cultural and social activities to enrich the opportunities for children

92.2 percent of every dollar you give goes directly to making and supporting matches; the remainder covers overall program administration.

Think about a child who has wished for a Big Brother or Big Sister. Someone to have fun with and confide in. Someone to be a mentor. A guide. A friend. Now… think of how your gift could make a difference in that child’s life.

Big and Little on Stairway

Want to Donate?

You can also get involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters as a donor. The gift you make today will help us match a child facing adversity with an adult role model. Your gift will allow us to change the life of a child for the better, forever.

When you donate online to Big Brothers Big Sisters, you join our cause and directly support children in your community. No matter how little or big the amount, donating can start making a difference in the lives of young people around you.

Make a Donation

BBBS thanks our sponsors for their support:

  • Honor Credit Union
  • McLaughlin Family Foundation
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BBBS is funded in part with grants from the following:

BBBS Run for Kids Sake Sponsors:

  • Pink Frog Designs