There are a variety of volunteer opportunities in Utah, but one you should know about is the mentoring program here at Big Brothers Big Sisters. We align responsible adults with children facing opportunity gaps from within the community. The results show improvement among 90+ percent of the kids from our program in academics, behavior and overall character. Of all the volunteer opportunities in Utah, mentoring is by far one of the most impactful activities an adult volunteer will find.
With over 500 one-to-one mentoring pairings, we hear about empowering stories all the time. One of these stories comes from Park City, where Mike, Dina and Landon live. Landon, an 11-year-old, matched with Mike and Dina a few years after his father’s deportation from the states. Through spending meaningful time together, Landon is gaining extra support, and Mike and Dina are seeing him grow continuously.
After his father got deported a few years ago, Landon’s mother, Rose, has had to take on the role of raising three kids on her own. Rose, who has a job in bookwork, usually has to leave Landon and his two siblings waiting for her to return home every day from work. With an older brother with special needs and a younger brother, Landon stays home most of the time.
Missing out on all the positive influences that come from having a father at home and a more available mother, Landon is left facing a challenging circumstance. However, over the last year, Landon has benefited from additional support from his Big Couple.
Mike and Dina’s Support
Mike and Dina, empty nesters who miss the energy that kids possess, wanted to find a volunteer opportunity in Utah that would give them the chance to interact more with kids. As a result, they signed up with us at BBBSU (Big Brothers Big Sisters of Utah) and eventually matched with Landon. So far, the three are loving the experience! From hiking to biking, they enjoy doing anything and everything they can outside.
Some of the most notable stories that come from this match deal with Landon and Mike. While Landon and his family do their best to stay in contact with his father, Mike has stepped in for Landon in moments where a father usually would be. For example, Mike has done things like show Landon how to shave a mustache and support him at his little league games. In fact, thanks to Mike’s property management company sponsoring the entire baseball league, Mike encouraged Landon to sign up, and Landon LOVES it!
Before being enrolled at BBBSU, Landon was naturally shy, but that is changing. At a recent event, Landon was chosen to accept a check on BBBSU’s behalf in front of 100 or so onlookers. When the time came, he boldly rose up and received the check comfortably, and even left the audience with a few words. Landon also shows a significant increase in gratitude for all the time Mike and Dina make for him, something he never did in the beginning.
Whether you live in Park City, Payson or Layton, you can find volunteer opportunities in Utah just like this. There is an abundance of these kinds of experiences just waiting to happen within our program. Take advantage of the most fulfilling volunteer opportunity in Utah by becoming a Big now!