Wanted: Big brothers and big sisters


Sir: Last year I lost my husband very suddenly to cancer. I moved back to Chatham in May with my young son.

I grew up in Chatham and am happy to be home.

One positive choice I have made is to enroll my son in the Big Brothers program. Although our application was approved right away, I’m very discouraged to know that there are little to no volunteers available as Big Brothers. I’m told that some children have waited two or three years for a match – and in fact there have been children who never receive a match.

This is heartbreaking. I had no idea that there was a shortage of volunteers for this life-changing organization.

All children need positive role models, and people to spend some quality time with. Children who have lost a parent have a clear need for some extra support.

I love being a parent, though I know I will face some definite challenges alone in the coming years.

We have all heard that it takes a community to raise a child. The Big Brother Association is in need of volunteers – both male and female – to help make a difference in young lives. Training and support is available; you’re never alone, and you don’t need to have “all the answers.” Chatham is a wonderful community, with much to offer.

I would like to appeal to Chatham Voice readers. If you are over 18, enjoy children, and would like to pay it forward, please call Big Brothers 519- 351-1582 or visit bigbrothersbigsistersofchatham-kent.com. A small gesture can make a huge difference.

Bonnie Ongena



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