Get Involved with Mentoring

Volunteer FAQs

Who are the volunteers?


BBBSLR does not discriminate against any religion, race, color, marital status, creed, national origin, veteran status, disability, or gender of a volunteer.

The volunteer must be at least 18 years of age and self-sufficient (or in high school for School-Based Mentoring).  There is no upper age limit as long as the volunteer can be active with the child.

The volunteer must have a valid driver’s license and carry Automobile Liability Insurance (Community-Based) and have access to a car/transportation (School-Based).

The volunteer must be willing to complete the BBBSLR application/orientation/training process in its entirety.

The volunteer must be willing to make a two-year commitment to a match with the agency.

The volunteer must be willing to attend any support/pre-match training workshops or meetings required by BBBSLR.

The volunteer must be willing to maintain regular contact with the agency, communicate any issues they may have with the match, and complete all other information as required by BBBSLR to maintain compliance with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. 


Can I really be a Big?

Yes – it’s really simple. All you need to do is share fun and friendship with a child-in-need while doing things you both enjoy.  Everyone can share experiences, talents, and skills - just sharing a few hours a month will make you a great Big Brother or Big Sister!       

What’s in it for me?

For a few hours a couple times a month, you get to feel like a kid again! Even better, you’ll make a BIG difference in the life of a child and in your community. And, you’ll be surprised how much you get in return.

Who are the Littles?

Littles are generally between the ages of 6 and 18, and when they’re first matched in the program they’re typically between 6 and 14. The one thing they all have in common is that they want a Big Brother or Big Sister to spend time with.  They represent all walks of life throughout Westmoreland and Fayette Counties.

How do I know I’ll get along with my Little?

BBBSLR staff take great care in matching together a child and volunteer with similar interests, hobbies, personality, and geography.  Also, when staff think they have found a good match for you, you will be told about the child and can make the decision on whether or not you want to move forward with the match.

I don’t have a lot of experience working with children – is that okay?

While some experience is helpful, you do not have to be an expert to work with a Little.  Behind the scenes, you’ll have a team of experts – BBBSLR staff – cheering you on, providing support, answering questions, and helping you out anytime you need it.


Do I really have the time to do this?

If you have the time to run errands, hit golf balls, see a movie, or watch a game on TV, you have the time to be a Big.  Volunteers are encouraged to try to engage in meaningful conversations with the child and incorporate the child into their daily routine through free and low-cost activities they would normally do.  The most important thing for a volunteer to remember is that you are a friend that child can count on, someone to share little moments that can create big magic!

How much is this going to cost me?

Being a Big Brother or Big Sister is absolutely free, other than providing your enthusiasm and the gift of sharing some free time with a child-in-need.  BBBSLR is fortunate to be linked to several agencies and donors who provide free tickets and passes to cultural activities, special events, concerts, and sporting events – including the Pirates, Penguins and Steelers.  BBBSLR staff can also help you learn more about great free and low-cost activities in your own local communities.

I’m not sure I can be a “traditional” Big – are there other options available?

We match, monitor, and support Big Brothers/Big Sisters who mentor children in local elementary schools.  BBBSLR operates three School-Based Mentoring Program options to allow for greater flexibility in meeting volunteers’ needs – Breakfast Buddies, Lunch Buddies, and After-School Tutoring.

There are so many mentoring programs out there – what makes Big Brothers Big Sisters the best choice?

Big Brothers Big Sisters is the oldest and largest youth mentoring organization in the world.  Trained professionals recruit, screen, match, and support Bigs and Littles through a network of 400 agencies throughout the country.  These one-to-one mentoring relationships have documented positive outcomes for children.  In short, Big Brothers Big Sisters has a proven record of success that extends more than 100 years.  The BBBS model for one-to-one mentoring, along with the outstanding professional support provided to each mentoring relationship, are unequaled