Committed To Kids - Big Brothers Big Sisters - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Committed To Kids - Big Brothers Big Sisters


by Jeannie Prescott

Wausau (WAOW)--Newsline 9 has partnered with Toyota of Wausau to begin a new monthly report on non-profit groups and other agencies in central Wisconsin that are helping improve the lives of kids.   

In this month's report we tell you about Big Brothers and Big Sisters and how it commits to kids.

It's in 50 states, 35 countries and right here in North Central Wisconsin.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of North Central Wisconsin, Director of Operations, Tammy Gardner says, the program is committed to kids by, "providing them with adult interactions through mentoring relationships through a couple of different programs, our community based program and our school based program. It allows kids to be matched one on one with a volunteer, who spends quality time with them...interacting with them and providing them with friendship."

Big Brothers Big Sisters in the area has more than 450 matches.

We met up with a big and little to see first hand how the program works.

Little sister Lakia tells us about her big sister, "Kristin and I go and do stuff a few times a week....we are in the same softball league, I help her in her garden. It's nice to have someone there to help you set goals and achieve them.

Big sis Kristin Tietz Janis says, "She's (Lakia) up for just about anything. We have a bet going this summer that if I go paint balling with her, she'll come golfing with me..haha...that will be interesting."

The program first started in New York in 1904 as sort of a way to keep young boys out of trouble.

Since it's inception it has grown into a base for life long relationships, with a focus of helping kids reach their full potentials.

Not only does it impact the kids but it has a huge impact on the community and the mentors.

"It's our responsibility as community members to be a good role model for people and Big Brothers Big Sisters really facilitates that role model aspect of things. I think also on a personal level, there is really a lot to be gained...when we think about our lives...often times it's relationships that have helped define who we are and sort of give us meaning. So I think personally this has helped define who I am as a person and has also giving my life meaning," Kristin says.

As a role model or big brother or sister, there are a few guidelines to follow as far as activities, but it doesn't take a lot of money and only about an hour a week.

There are a few different programs you can be involved in and the organization will make sure to find what best fits your lifestyle.

There are still many, many kids waiting for that role model.

To contact Big Brothers Big Sisters of North Central Wisconsin call 715-848-7207 or visit

Online Reporter: Jeannie Prescott

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