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Big Brothers Big Sisters Southwest Louisiana launches ’30 guys in 30 days’ initiative

Updated: Jun. 29, 2019 at 6:05 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Having a positive mentor for a young child can be life-changing, which is what Big Brothers Big Sisters works to do.

However, BBBS Southwest Louisiana is currently facing an urgent shortage of male volunteers, which is why they’re launching a July initiative, ’30 guys in 30 days.'

That need for male mentors is something Joe Broussard and John Webber know all about. They’ve been matched for six years.

“I wanted somebody that was positive, that could lead me to do good things, rather than be on the street doing bad things, like hang around with the wrong company. So he came around, and he helped me a lot," Webber, Broussard’s little brother, said.

Their relationship is made possible because Broussard answered a call for male role models in the program, back in 2013.

“We just mesh together," Broussard said. "I mean, it never felt awkward, as soon as we met, we just got to know each other, and he really became family.”

There are about 20 boys in SWLA on the match waiting list, and that number is growing.

“They help you find somebody that you can be friends with, and trust, and have fun with," Jaiden, one of the boys waiting to be matched, said.

Alex Stinchcomb with BBBS SWLA said nationally, 66% of Littles are boys, while only 36% of their volunteers are males.

She said mentors play an integral part in kids lives, which is why it’s so important that every child waiting on a match, gets one.

“A lot of these guys are going through tough times, or are living with a single parent, or with a grandparent, or the parents just need help," Stinchcomb said.

If you’re interested in becoming a mentor, there are two different BBBS programs you can join.

One is the community-based mentoring program, where Bigs send time with their little at least twice a month, doing things around the community. The other program is a school-based mentoring program, where you can have a lunch buddy or be in the reading readiness mentoring program.

That means you meet with your little twice a month in a school setting.

If you’re interested in becoming a mentor, you can go here, or call BBBS SWLA at 337-478-5437.

All matches have to go through an application and background check process.

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