You don't have to be a father to be a role model
with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada
The following post is brought to you by the team at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada.
This year marks 50 years of officially celebrating Father’s Day on the third Sunday in June. In North America the event dates back to 1909.
As we examine the meaning of many traditions and challenge our biases, we tip our caps to anyone in your life who provides guidance and support. We celebrate that feeling of physical and emotional security.
At Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada, we rely on the science behind the benefits of building healthy relationships. Did you know that in 2021, 3 out of 5 kids who enrolled in our mentoring programs identified as experiencing parental separation or living with one caregiver? Across Canada, volunteer ‘Bigs’ are building important and trusting relationships with our mentors and role models for ‘Littles’, children who are facing systemic barriers to their success. These committed relationships foster emotional well-being, support equity, and develop life-long skills that ignite the future potential in children.
Here are two mini mentor moments that help to shine light on human connection and the promise that kindness wins when we dismantle stereotypes.
Ashley W. is a volunteer “Big” mentor in Edmonton. When we asked her about any Father’s Day memories she recalls as a mentor, she said, “There was one young boy I mentored through my local BBBS agency... In school, when they made Father’s Day gifts, he brought it home and proudly gave it to his eldest sibling.”
David A. is an active member of the BBBS National Youth Mentoring Advisory Council. He is also a volunteer mentor. Reflecting on his childhood, David recalls how his Mom went through a period where she raised him and his siblings on her own. He adds, “The community played the role of Dad. We had support from other male role models in the church and among our community, while my father was away in another state advancing his education.” The family is back together. These moments inspired David to get involved as a Big.