The Muskoka chapter of a youth mentorship organization is looking for more mentors.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Muskoka pairs children in need of mentorship, or “Littles,” with adult volunteers, or “Bigs.” Children in the program might be struggling at school, new in town, or just in need of someone to help them build their self-esteem, according to chapter Executive Director Chrissy King. She says the program is not meant to provide an extra parent, but rather a reliable friend. 

“What it really means is that you want a mentor, someone to go and do fun things with, but also someone to help support you,” says King.

This year, the organization has helped 37 children, with 18 currently in the program, and 28 waiting to be paired. 

“Right now we have three volunteers who are about to be matched, so they’ve made it through the [screening] process,” says King. “We’ve got three more [being screened], but that means we still have over 20 kids waiting for a Big.”

Aside from needing more volunteers, the organization is also in need of donations, as it does not receive government funding. According to King, it takes about $1,500 to help each child. The funds go towards events and activities for the kids, as well as support calls to check in on participants.

To enroll in the program or make a donation, visit the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Muskoka website.