SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ozarks says children thrive with structure- something which unfortunately many have had interrupted due to the outbreak of COVID.
Ashley French serves as CEO for the non-profit. She says the group encouraged Bigs to continue meeting with their Littles during the stay-at-home order via virtual platforms like Zoom and FaceTime calls.
French says while those connections continued, the non-profit made the decision to hold off on making new matches until a time after the order was lifted.
That time is now.
French says there are more than 80 children currently on their waiting list.
“Phone calls are great and we can keep that up as long as we have to, but we are to that point that we’re starting to see each other face-to-face,” French said. “I think with kiddos, the biggest impact was at school so they lost that school. Not just the classroom, but those kind adults around them supporting them. Kids just need more, and then you add on this layer again I mentioned, unemployment and that stress at home and the fear and these unknowns.”
Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ozarks is hosting virtual Bigs orientations the entire month of June. French encourages anyone who thinks they might be interested in becoming a Big to participate in one of those virtual sessions.
The group recommends anyone who becomes a Big to follow the CDC’s social distancing guidelines.
You can find a list of days and times these orientations will be happening by visiting their Facebook page here.