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  • What areas do you serve?
    Currently we serve the following communities. Kentucky: Boyd County Carter County Greenup County Ohio: Lawrence County West Virginia: Cabell County Kanawha County Mason County Putnam County Mingo County We hope to add more service areas in the future as we grow.
  • How do I become a Big?
    Visit our Bigs Page. You'll find some more information there, but if you have additional questions about the process or requirements we're happy to help! Click "Apply or Inquire Here!" and you'll be able to request to be contacted by our team. You're also welcome to send us a message through our contact page. or by any of the contact information listed there.
  • What age do I need to be to become a Big? I am middle-aged - am I too old?
    Absolutely not! Our Bigs must be at least 18 years of age to mentor in our programs, and we have had many older persons and active senior citizens successfully volunteer throughout our 50 years of service. As long as you're safe for children we have a place for you!
  • How long does it take to become a mentor?
    While we can't provide an exact length of time it takes to become a volunteer mentor, our team works swiftly and efficiently to complete the volunteer enrollment process. You can help the process by: Providing the three(3) specific references we request, and letting those folks know that they'll be hearing from us. If you have questions about whether a person would qualify as a reference for you, please use the information on our Contact Page to send a message explaining your situation. Responding quickly to the request for our background check (we cover the cost of this!). This will come by email from SterlingVolunteers, and will sometimes end up in spam/junk folders - please check there if nothing arrives in a timely fashion. Completing the volunteer training as soon as possible when it is provided, or being sure to participate if the training will be in-person. We have a waiting list of Littles, so once a Big completes their enrollment process it usually won't take long to match!
  • How do I sign up my child to become a Little?
    Visit our Littles Page. You'll find information there, and a link to either submit an application or request that someone on our team contact you. You can also send us a message through our Contact Page, or use any of the provided contact information to reach out to us directly - we're always excited to talk about our program!
  • Are there any activities my child can take part in while waiting to be matched?
    Although most of our activities are Match-only, we sometimes have activities open to Littles on our waiting list. The Enrollment Specialist that is assigned to you may reach out through email, text, or calls to let you know about these opportunities, so be sure to update your contact information regularly!
  • What is the screening process for a volunteer to become a Big?
    Our screening process requires: an extensive interview three reference checks a background check training a home visit, for community-based matches that intend to spend time at the volunteer's home after 3 months of being matched and guardian/parent approval If at any point in the enrollment process we determine that a volunteer is not a good candidate to become a Big, we are not obligated to accept them into our program or explain why we chose to reject that candidate. Child safety is our number one priority, and we do not make these decisions lightly.
  • How do you match volunteers with youth?
    Part of the enrollment process for both Bigs and Littles is an extensive interview. We use your answers and interaction with us to determine each person's interests, likes, dislikes, preferences for their Big/Little, and personality. We then compare notes and make a match based on that information. A note on preferences: We do not discriminate on the basis of age, race/nationality, belief or non-belief, sexuality, gender identity, political affiliation, ability or disability, or socioeconomic status when determining acceptance into our program. However we accept that many guardians/parents, children, and volunteers might have preferences about who they are matched to for a variety of reasons. For the safety, success, and happiness of both our volunteers and clients we will attempt to match you based on your stated preferences. It is important to keep in mind that depending on the number of restrictions you impose on your potential Big/Little, it may take us longer to find an acceptable match for you.
  • How long will I/my child be matched?
    For our community-based matches, we request a commitment of one-year from time of matching for both our Bigs and Families. We have many (and hope for more) matches that have lasted for decades after participants leave our program, though. For our site-/school-based matches, we ask for a 9- or 12-month commitment that only covers times that the Little is at the school or site. No contact outside of the school or site is permitted. We understand that life happens sometimes, and we can't always predict where it will take us. In those cases, we ask that you let us know as soon as you can if you will need to close your match early - we won't be mad! We try to help unexpected match closures go as smoothly as possible without causing unintentional harm to either the Big or Little. Ideally, we hope to conduct a match closure meeting where everyone gets to talk about the match, explain the situation (if possible), and say goodbye.
  • What other volunteer opportunities do you have?
    During our Christmas Tree Sale in November and December we need volunteers to help us set up our tree lots, unload Christmas trees, and work 3-hour shifts on teams of three or more. This is a perfect opportunity to spend time with your friends and family or increase co-worker cohesiveness while supporting our mission to improve the lives of the youth in our communities. Additionally, we sometimes have acute volunteer needs for things like stuffing bookbags, preparing mailers, and additional help for our monthly match activities. Use the form on our Contact Page to inquire about volunteer opportunities.
  • How can I donate?
    If you don't have the time to donate but would still like to support our mission, you can share your treasure with us instead! We have several options available: Fundraisers - throughout the year we conduct several fundraisers that allow community members to partake in various activities to raise funds for our mission - Bowl For Kids' Sake, Golf For Kids' Sake and our Christmas Tree Sale. Individual Giving - you can make a one-time donation on our Donate Page, or enroll in our Monthly Match Makers program that will allow you to set a recurring monthly donation at an amount that fits your budget. Passive Giving - We are registered with the Amazon Smile program that will donate a percentage of whatever you buy. Just be sure to set us as your charitable organization, and shop with the smile.amazon.com URL. We're always exploring additional avenues for our communities to give, so be sure to check our social media pages and our Donate Page for updates! Visit our Donate Page to see other ways you can make a monetary donation.
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