Big Brothers Big Sisters looking for volunteers - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Big Brothers Big Sisters looking for volunteers

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MARSHFIELD (WAOW) -- Olivia Hardesty says getting a visit from her big sister, Pam, is something she looks forward to every week.

"Visiting her house and playing Pretty, Pretty Princess, that's my favorite game," Hardesty says.

It's all part of the Big Brothers Big Sisters program in Wood County. But with more than 100 kids wanting to join, organizers say there's just not enough volunteers to match them up with.

"The trouble we're having is, you know, finding the volunteers," says Wood County Director Lisa Larson. "For every volunteer, we probably have two or three kids that we add to our waiting list."

Lisa Hardesty is a single parent, and says the program allows both her kids and grandkids to have someone else to look up to.

"It means the most, I guess, to my son who has a male role model to be around because his dad's not here," Hardesty says.

And each one is paired up with an adult based on his or her interests. Larson says there are currently about 50 kids waiting to call someone their big brother or sister.

"Parents who take different shifts and different jobs, you know, the kids are just in need of a little more attention," says Larson.

She says part of the reason is the jump in families signing up during the summer, coupled with difficult economic times. She says she hopes more volunteers join the program so they don't have to turn anyone down.

Larson says "We would love to grow, you know, and serve the kids on our waiting list. It's growing so we know that there's a need. And we would love to be able to say hey, you know what, we don't have a waiting list anymore."

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