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Big Brothers Big Sisters mentors staying connected with Littles during social distancing

Posted at 6:03 PM, Apr 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-01 20:47:16-04

HELENA — Even through social distancing, Big Brothers and Big Sisters (BBBS) of Helena and Great Falls are making sure Littles still get some time with their Bigs.

Personal interaction plays a big role in the youth mentorship program with BBBS.

However for everyone’s safety, in person interaction have been halted for the time being to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Modern technology has helped Bigs and Littles stay connected even though they can’t physically connect with each other.

“We’re just asking our matches to get in touch through the phone, facetime, text, email, playing social games on their phones or iPads, that type of thing,” said Mike Buchanan, BBBS Helena and Great Falls VP of Programs.”Really we’re just trying to keep in simple.“

Buchanan says they don’t expect the matches to be chatting the full 6 to 8 hours a month, but any interaction helps.

“That interaction is hugely beneficial,” said Buchanan. “You know 90 percent of the kids matched in our programs see greater self confidence. The vast majority of them improve their relationship with friends and parents, and they have better academic success.”

Buchanan added the keys to being a good mentor is just being there and showing them that you’ll be there.

COVID-19 has also had the organization make alternative plans for their annual Wine Crush fundraiser. If social distancing guidelines are extended through May, the organization will instead hold a digital auction for the event.

More information about BBBS of Helena and Great Falls programs and services, and ways to support the organization, can be found here.

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