Some local at-risk children with honorary brothers and sisters now have an extended family of sorts caring for them this holiday season.
Realtors at Century 21 Sbarra offered to purchase Christmas presents for some kids participating in the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Twin Tiers program.
BBBS matches at-risk children between the ages of 6 and 14 with same gender adults as mentors.
The real estate agents bought gifts for 5 of the kids who were in particular need this holiday.
BBBS expanded from Bradford County, Pennsylvania into our area last year and currently has 20 active matches, with another 70 on the waiting list.
BBBS Executive Director Kaitlyn Hoeflein says, “It’s so easy. All you have to do is give a few hours of your time each month and you can literally change the life of a young person. We especially need male mentors. We have over 50 boys who are waiting today for somebody to step up and say, ‘Yes, I want to give back and become a mentor.”
James Neal of Vestal is a financial advisor who has been mentoring a 13 year-old boy from Johnson City for the past 3 months.
He’s been working with his little brother to help him start his own landscaping business, mowing lawns over the Summer.
Big Brother James Neal says, “My heart feels for the kids because when I grew up, I didn’t grow up under such great conditions. So, I know what these kids are going through. So, I wanted to pitch in as much as I could. Time out of my day and month and week for them has more impact than I can imagine on them.”
Hoeflein says BBBS has plenty of wonderful kids waiting for a mentor.
If you’re interested in applying, go to BBBSTwinTiers.org.