INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — On Saturday, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana, together with the Indianapolis Indians, launched their “150 Men in 50 Days” campaign at Victory Field.
The goal is to recruit more men to serve as mentors, because 700 boys are waiting right now.
There’s such a great need that the boys in the program spend an average of one year waiting to be matched with a big brother.
Caiden’s been part of Central Indiana’s Big Brother’s Big Sister’s program for 8 months now.
“It makes me feel great because I’m the biggest brother in the family,” said Caiden, who is 10 years old.
He has a 4-year-old younger brother and another brother on the way. Caiden told News 8 why he wants to be in the program: “I just want to feel more experience because I’ve never actually had a big brother.”
This is a crucial time for 14-year-old George, who is also in the program.
“I’m in the program to have a role model in my life because that’s something I need. Not having a role model in my life makes me prone to do things I’m not supposed to do,” George said.
He feels lucky that he matched with his big brother mentor, Paul Allor.
“I know from my own experience how important mentorship is, how much of an impact it has on people’s lives. I knew they have a long waiting list, and I wanted to give back to my community,” Allor said.
“The reality is a lot of boys are waiting a year or in some cases more, because we can’t find the men that we need to step up and be a consistent role model in their life,” said Rick Belbutoski with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana.
Those waiting children get something special if they match — entry into the Knot Hole Kids Club, a program offered by the Indianapolis Indians.
“Basically, you can get a Knot hole kids club T-shirt, you get a ticket to any Indianapolis Indians home game throughout the season, all 70 games. You can run the bases after the games on Sundays,” said Charlie Henry with the Indianapolis Indians.”
The whole things means a lot to Caiden’s big brother, Collin Wilkins.
“The excitement that it can bring. We’ve done such cool things, like go to Pacers games. But even as simple as helping him with his math homework at IUPUI’s library, seeing him get it and understand it. What that means to him,” Wilkins said.
The hope is that all of the children who aren’t matched yet find someone to make a difference in their lives.
If you are interested in learning more can, click here, or contact BBBSCI’s corporate volunteer outreach and engagement coordinator, Rick Belbutoski, at 317-472-3720 or at email@example.com.