BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) – Big Brothers of Big Sisters of Northwest Florida fosters one-on-one mentoring throughout Bay and Okaloosa counties.
In Bay County, there are 25 kids waiting for a mentor. This means 25 kids are signed up and ready to be matched with a mentor. However, the non-profit organization lacks the mentors to pair them with.
Initiatives like “Bigs with Badges” is one way the organization aims to find more mentors and fulfill the need.
The nationwide initiative kicked off in 2017. In some areas across the country, the initiative is called “Bigs in Blue.”
Bigs with Badges connects youth with first responders such as law enforcement officers, firefighters, and EMTs or paramedics. This also includes correctional officers and state and federal departments.
Lt. Chris Coram with the Bay County Sheriff’s Office became a Big Brother in 2017.
“I think it’s a natural fit for people in our positions and our roles to be able to give back to the mentoring program at Big Brothers Big Sisters,” said Coram.
Coram said his little brother, Sheroid, has become part of the family.
“Sheroid is no different than my children,” said Coram.
Coram said they do everything from homework to playing sports. He attends his school sporting events and sometimes they even workout together.
“Really all Big Brothers Big Sisters asks for is the commitment of time,” said Coram. “It’s remarkable what you can do with time and a little bit of compassion.”
The agency requires mentors to be willing to provide a minimum of a one-year commitment and see their Little at a minimum of two times a month.
If you’re interested in becoming a Big Brother or Big Sister, click here.