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Big Brothers & Big Sisters of AmericaA program that promises much and delivers little.

A

My son spend 5 years on the waiting list for a Big Brother (He NEVER got one). BBBSA didn't even bother to keep in touch and update us on the progress (or lack of).

When boys sign up, the get them excited about the program to the point that they expect a knight in shing armor to arrive any day, only that knight doesn't always come and someone's child gets his heart broken.

5 years later BBBSA finally explained that there is a shortage of of male volunteers and it can take ages to get a child a Big Brother (if they ever get one at all). Ummm, anyone else see the flaw in waiting 5 years to mention this? Maybe the intake interview would have been a good time?

Sadly, based on a recent email from BBBSCFL, the reality is that my son's experience with BBBS is the most likely scenario for any boy entering the program and that the odds of being paired are only slightly better than winning the lottery. What this tells me is that the program is on the verge of extinction because it's difficult to maintain a program that promises so much and delivers so little.

When I look at the BBBS website it offers great hope and promise, but it's a little like false advertising because what it should inform the reader is that only a lucky few will get to receive the benefits of the program.

I understand there is a volunteer shortage, but it's a little like a car dealership offering a free car to anyone who applies, but is really only giving away a few on rare occasions. A lot of people are going to feel wronged and in this situation it's children who are suffering.

As much as I wanted to believe in this program, it seems there is little hope for a boy to actually get a Big Brother these days. When the topic comes up I will continue to share my story, for it is the only experience I have with BBBS. I don't know what else to do five years of waiting with little communication isn't hopeful. I'm certainly not going to send anyone else to the car dealership to sign up for a free car I know they'll never receive.

Responses

  • Do
    Dorian1970 Feb 06, 2017

    They should NOT get federal funding. The reason they have a shortage of male volunteers is because they turn everyone away! They don't want college students which is nuts. It's big brothers not big parents. It's ridiculous. I waited three years no reply and personally know someone who was rejected and had NO criminal record or incident. Stellar record as a school aide and Asst soccer coach. He thinks they felt he was too young at 25

    0 Votes
  • Ar
    Army Veteran 1 Feb 14, 2015
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I was approved as a Big Brother in the Hernando/Citrus/Sumter County of Florida in January of 2015. In order to be approved I had to take online training and have a criminal background investigation. I had a 3 hour interview with 2 administrators in my home. They were very happy with me and stated that they wanted a strong, successful male like me in their program. I was given a letter of acceptance and an id card. I met one potential little brother and I felt it was not a good match. I figured since there were 200 little brothers waiting for a big brother in this area of Florida, it would only be a short time before I found a good match. Well, I figured wrong. The local organization sent me a letter stating that they didn't feel I was a match for their organization anymore. I contacted the local chapter to find out why and got no call back. I emailed the national headquarters and still have not received an answer as to why I was dropped. They stated in a return email that they would get back to me in 5 business days. That didn't happen. I am still waiting. It is a shame for the kids waiting for big brothers. I guess this chapter feels that they are the experts in matching and if you object you're out.

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