Big Brothers Big Sisters Teams Turn to Virtual Means to Stay Connected

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Friendships and mentorships have had to adapt during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kentuckiana has done that just that to make sure the relationships help get these dynamic teams through the pandemic.

“I didn’t think I’d lose contact because James and I have a good relationship,” said George Demaree, James Lockett’s Big Brother. “The most important thing that you can give to a child isn’t a pair of Nikes but the time that you give them.”

Jeri Swinton, the CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kentuckiana says the organization is still up and running. The group isn’t just working with friendship coaches to help maintain and grow current teams but also expanding to reach more people.

“We are still operating and in fact, we are doing introductions,” said Swinton. “We are introducing people this weekend who have never met before and they are launching their relationship virtually.”

Big Brothers Big Sisters said that children still need mentorship and someone to lean on and that didn’t change with COVID-19.

The group is looking for volunteers, especially males. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kentuckiana has over 700 kids on the waitlist. About 80% of those are male children looking for what Lockett has with Demaree. 

Demaree said he has had such a great time being able to watch Lockett grow. He said that Locket has helped enrich his life too and encourages other role models to step up to the plate.

“A few hours a month can help you be a part of a solution, these young men and women just need an ear,” said Demaree. “Budget your time help some young person grow into a successful adult.”

In the month of April, for every $1 donated, Big Brothers Big Sisters has a donor who will match that donation.