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Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Big Bend raising money for mentorship

Posted at 6:22 PM, May 19, 2023

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Mentorship can change the path of a child's life.

That's why Big Brother Big Sisters of the Big Bend is raising money to help create more matches for children in our community.

"When we pair a big with a little and that process takes dollars, so we reach out to community, find sponsors, find supporters to help us with our mission which is mentorship," said Blake Dowling, board chair for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Big Bend.

One way for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Big Bend to build those mentorships is through financial donations and fundraisers Friday's Havana Nights event in Tallahassee.

It comes during a time when the BBBS is working to clear its more than 130 person waitlist.

"When you see a mentor guide a young person through a crisis or day to day activity they may be experiencing," said Dowling. "I mean face it we all need mentors and this program allows young people that need mentors a place to get that service."

Dowling understands the importance of those mentorships and so does ABC 27.

We've partnered with BBBS for the Big Match campaign to help team children and teens up with mentors.

Each match costs $1850. Those financial donations will help with the matching process.

Joe McGehee is part of the 220 matches in the Big Bend right now. He has been paired up with his little Cortavious for a year now.

They're together every other weekend doing things like going to the movies or just talking.

"I don't think people realize your day to day interactions, that's what they're modeling after. We can give a good speech, we can do something nice one day a year but when it comes to the day to day that's where I'm getting as much out of it as he is," said McGehee. "I'm learning a lot about compassion, a lot about temperance, a lot about all kinds of things."

He said being a mentor has taught him a lot, as much as its helped his mentee grow.

"You know when we first met he didn't know what he wanted to do and now he's thinking about college and beyond college. He's thinking about being a doctor, he's thinking about being a biologist, he's thinking about all kinds of things, and it's cool to hear that. I look forward to being matched with him well into his adult life," said McGehee.

Friday's fundraiser was sold out of tickets. But you can still help by signing up to be a big, because the need for bigs is dire right now. For more information you can go to the BBBS Big Bend website.