COMMUNITY ORGANIZATION BRINGS STABILITY TO LIVES OF LOCAL CHILDREN
Edmond, okla. has been named by several magazines, newspapers and editorials as one of the top suburbs to live in the country.
The culture and community this city offers is to be rivaled with many of the TV shows we all remember growing up. However, for many young Edmond children, this is not the case.
In the Edmond area alone, there are 30 Littles on the Big Brothers Big Sisters waiting list. Each of these families have come to our agency and said that these children need a mentor in their life to help them succeed. By setting aside just a couple of hours, a couple of times per month we are able to give each of these children a chance to not only succeed, but thrive in our community.
Sammy Flores, an active Edmond community member, Big Brother and board member for Big Brothers Big Sisters has been matched in the community-based program for over four years. Sammy and his Little spend the majority of their time in Edmond doing things like hanging out in our parks, catching a movie at Kickingbird Cinema, shooting hoops at the YMCA and practicing at the driving range at Kickingbird Golf Course. Like most matches, Sammy has realized that it’s not the activity they do that’s important, it’s simply him showing up and showing his Little he cares about him.
Sammy says he has seen tremendous growth in not only his Little, but in himself over the past four years. His Little has increased levels of confidence, motivation and is much more outgoing than he was when Sammy first met him. In the past two years his Little has lost both his father and grandfather and Sammy has remained the most consistent mentor in his life. As these major life changes have come through this Little’s life, Sammy has been there for him as a steady male role model, a confidant and close friend.
Like Sammy’s Little, there are many children in the Edmond community that are awaiting their own mentor. Investing in a child in this city can mean so much to them, their family, the mentor and the community as a whole. Children that have been matched for just one year in the program are 55 percent less likely to skip school, 46 percent less likely to turn to drugs and 27 percent less likely to try alcohol.
Being a Big is much simpler than what people expect. Like Sammy, the activities that you do don’t have to be major events, they can simply be bringing someone into your life and alongside you in things you are already doing. Do you like to go play basketball on a Saturday morning? Great! Logan would love to tag along. Do you love computer games? Awesome! Xavier wants to work with computers when he grows up and is waiting for you.
Through the process of becoming a Big, we evaluate your background, your interests and comfort levels of the lifestyle of the Little you will be matched with. The Big, Little and Little’s family have a say in what they are comfortable with in their match.
There are a few different ways to start the enrollment process. If you are ready to start today, please visit BBBSOK.ORG to sign up. If you have any questions at all, please contact Clayton Ramick at Clayton.Ramick@BBBSOK.org or by phone at 405-606-6314. Clayton would love to answer any and all questions you might have over a cup of coffee.
We look forward to working more closely with the families of the Edmond community and helping make a BIG difference!