Local volunteer organization expands
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwestern Wisconsin is expanding its programming in Rhinelander to include Community-Based mentoring. When Big Brothers Big Sisters began services in Rhinelander in January 2014, the focus was exclusively on School-Based mentoring because Kinship of the North provided Community-Based Mentoring.
“The goal was to not duplicate services but to provide additional opportunities for the children of the Rhinelander community to benefit from mentoring,” said Big Brothers Big Sisters CEO Wesley Escondo.
In December 2014 Kinship of the North decided to dissolve the agency with the understanding that Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwestern Wisconsin would expand its services and provide Community-Based mentoring in Rhinelander.
Since 1980, Kinship of the North has served the youth of Oneida County with adult mentoring programs. The officers of Kinship of the North are excited about merging their resources with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwestern Wisconsin. Those resources are committed to continuing the Community-Based mentoring program begun by Kinship, as well as supplementing the School-Based mentoring program of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwestern Wisconsin currently taking place in the School District of Rhinelander.
“We are sorry to see the Kinship of the North mentoring chapter end,” said Kinship of the North Board President Michelle Beard. “But we are confident the Big Brothers Big Sisters staff and volunteers will be of great service to Oneida County children facing adversity. We want to thank all the individuals and businesses who supported Kinship throughout the years, and we sincerely hope that you continue to support these vital programs through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwestern Wisconsin.”
“We are excited to be able to expand our services in Rhinelander, serve more children, and be able to offer more options to both children and volunteers wanting to be a part of a mentoring program,” Escondo said.
Big Brothers Big Sisters will now offer Community-Based mentoring and School-Based mentoring in the Rhinelander community. Community-Based mentoring is the traditional mentoring program of Big Brothers Big Sisters where the child and volunteer meet for an average of one hour per week at a day and time that works for both parties and participate in activities out in the community such as attend a football game, shoot hoops in the park or bake cookies. In School-Based mentoring the volunteer meets with the child at their school at a set day and time each week and usually spends time during lunch and recess sharing a meal and participating in activities at the school, like playing board games, making crafts or throwing a ball on the playground.
Anyone interested in more information about volunteering or enrolling a child can call 800-648-1696, email [email protected], or visit www.bbbsnw.org.