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Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana seeks male mentors

Big Brothers Big Sisters rally for male mentors

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — More than 1,000 kids in central Indiana are waiting to be matched to a mentor and 800 of them are boys.

On average, boys wait a year and a half for a mentor. Darcey Palmer-Shultz talked to Daybreak’s Jeremy Jenkins about the initiative to combat this challenge.

“We have more than 1000 kids right here in Central Indiana who are asking for mentors who have not yet received that support. This campaign is really intended to help us rally the community and invite people to get involved….,” said Palmer-Shultz.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana is teaming up with the Indianapolis Indians, and Indianapolis Motor Speedway to launch the recruitment effort. The goal is to find 300 men in three months.

“We have partnerships with the Indianapolis Indians in April, with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May, and with Indiana Sports Corp in June, to really have events that invite the community to come out and learn more,” Palmer-Shultz said.

Activities vary for bigs and littles. Palmer-Shultz says volunteers and the kids can choose activities that are interesting to them.

“So I think one of the things that surprises people is that it’s actually not a totally overwhelming experience to be a volunteer. It’s very doable … It can be bowling, it could be going to a park, it could be visiting a Pacers game, or going out to Victory Field. It really ranges, which is part of what makes it such a flexible and fun experience for people when they get involved,” Palmer-Shultz said.

Mentorship can be beneficial for both parties involved but safety is top of mind. Palmer-Shultz says it’s a very thorough process for hopeful mentors.

“Our very first value as an organization is to put kids first to make sure they are safe, that they are supported, that they are centered in this experience. We really work closely with parents to make sure that they have training and support to monitor, you know, the relationship,” Palmer-Shultz said.

For more information on how to help with the Rally the MENtors campaign, click here.