LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Over the last few years the amount of mentors for the Big Brother Big Sister program have constantly declined.
January is National Mentoring Month and the Lake Charles chapter is challenging the public to reach out and get involved as their New Year Resolution.
"Consider doing something better for someone else in the way of becoming a mentor," program director Julian Green said.
The Lake Charles Big Brother Big Sister program has been in the community for decades. Providing children with a place where they can grow and be themselves.
“It’s not just about you, you have a whole lot of people who are able to enjoy this,” little brother Demarcus said.
Scott Raley and Johnny have been a big and little match for more than three years. Since their first encounter, the two have grown tremendously in their relationship.
“Four, five, six hours out of his day just to come and spend time with me, most people would be like how much money are you gonna pay me and he is just replayed in happiness,” little brother Johnny said.
“Johnny is actually really right you get repaid in happiness,” Raley said.
The two were a perfect match, but Green says not ever kid at the center is as lucky as Johnny right now.
“We have over twenty kids that are awaiting services,” Green said.
Over the last few years the community-based program has seen fewer mentors sign up. Leaving kids like Jeremiah and Dante lefts without mentors.
“You built a relationship, so at one point it was actually like you were actually family,” little brother Dante said.
"I’d go to like parades and car shows and now I don’t get to do that anymore," little brother Jeremiah said.
Green says it’s sad to see so many great kids without someone to play with and guide them.
“Our whole vision is to help make these kids’ lives better and make a difference,” Green said.
For the kids, they says it doesn’t matter the gender, they just want a big who they can mesh well with.
“Go to the library, and probably do arts and crafts,” Demarcus said. He is also interested in someone who can challenge him on the basketball court.
“Is fun to be around, just a good person in general,” Dante said. He also would love someone who can take him to the movies and other fun activities.
"Someone who is fun, energetic and playful,” Jeremiah. He also like to go to the movies, car shows and other things around the community.
Hoping to find that same connection Johnny and Scott have.
"Whenever you just go out with a friend and do something fun, or whenever your friend invites you to do something you get all excited, like that”
Director Green says pretty much anyone can become a mentor, they just have to pass a background check and go through the intake process.
The Big Brother Big Sister center has three programs the mentor are able join: the reading readiness program, community based program, and the high school mentorship program.
As for time commitment, the center ask for about two hours, twice a month and another hour to communicate with staff about how the match is going.
For more details about the Big Brother Big Sister program, visit their website or call (337) 478-5437.