82% of our littles report having what they thought was possible changed because of their bigs.
Learn more about us
Simply put, Big Brothers Big Sisters helps children by adding another positive adult to their lives in the form of a mentor.
We make meaningful, monitored matches between adult volunteers (“Bigs”) and children (“Littles”), ages 6 through 18, in Helena and Boulder. We develop positive relationships that have a direct and lasting effect on the lives of young people.
Through the generosity of a variety of funding sources including individual donors, corporations, governmental entities, and foundations we have the resources necessary to carry out our mission, which includes conducting background checks on volunteers to ensure child safety. Donor support also allows us to provide ongoing support for children, families, and volunteers to build and sustain long-lasting relationships, which are key to successful mentoring. Big Brothers Big Sisters is proven by independent research to improve children’s odds for succeeding in school, behaving nonviolently, avoiding drugs and alcohol, and breaking negative cycles.
Big Brothers Big Sisters is the ONLY prevention program in Montana proven to affect a broad spectrum of risk factors (i.e. delinquency; alcohol, tobacco and drug use; teen pregnancy, and school dropout) while simultaneously helping children reach their highest potential. As such, the return on investment is higher across the board than dollars invested in single issue prevention programs.
Mission, Vision & Accountability
Provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever.
All children achieve success in life.
We partner with parents/guardians, volunteers, and others in the community and hold ourselves accountable for each child in our program achieving:
~ Higher aspirations
- Greater confidence
~ Avoidance of risky behaviors
~ Educational success
- More positive relationships
Our Programs Start Something
~ More confident in their schoolwork performance
~ Able to get along better with their families
~ 46% less likely to begin using illegal drugs
~ 27% less likely to begin using alcohol
~ 52% less likely to skip school
We have been around for decades
BBBS of Helena started in 1967 as a project of a priest in the Helena diocese, supporting seven Big Brother Big Sister relationships in its first year. In 1992, BBBS-Helena affiliated with BBBS of America and standardized program delivery. Today, we serve an average of 120 children in the community-based program and 200 children in nine local elementary schools and two middle schools in the school-based program.
How does Big Brothers Big Sisters help Kasaius?
When Big Brothers Big Sisters works to match a Little with a Big, we take into account the needs, personality, interests, and goals of both the child and the adult volunteer. We introduce the Little and his or her family to the Big slowly and make sure everyone is fully committed to the match before it is made official. Little Brother Kasaius is outgoing and up for anything, so he needed a Big who was creative and had a variety of interests.
Children like Kasaius get the most out of their one-to-one relationship with their Big when the Big, the parent or guardian, and the child talk openly with their Match Support Specialist. Working as part of the team helping the child succeed, the Match Support Specialist can help identify problems, brainstorm solutions, and connect the family with essential services.
When Kasaius’ Big Brother saw the email from BBBS saying that there were spots open in a free acting class, he jumped at the chance to take Kasaius. BBBS affiliates across the country provide activities for Bigs and Littles and also alert Bigs to opportunities in the community. This enables Bigs to get to know other Bigs, who might be experiencing similar things and who might have great suggestions for more new activities.
Screening and Training
Child safety is Big Brothers Big Sisters’ highest priority. To achieve the highest standards possible, we work constantly to review and strengthen our background check systems as new best practices in the industry emerge. We also make sure our Bigs and our staff have the training and resources they need to help Littles on their path to success.