Hometown Highlight: Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Texas Panhandle
The Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Texas Panhandle is an organization dedicated to serving children in its community by creating and supporting one-to-one mentoring relationships while providing guidance to the children in its programs.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Texas Panhandle formed in Amarillo, Texas in 1961 by a board of civic leaders. The original board of directors were visionaries in the Amarillo community that saw a need to support local children. Today, the organization serves over 360 children in Amarillo and the surrounding counties.
The organization strives to create guidance for children that will positively impact them and help achieve their goals.
“When children have that positive person in their lives, it makes a difference in their self-esteem, it helps them to see their self-worth, and it helps them become a better person,” said Lori Crofford, Resource Development Director at Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Texas Panhandle. “We believe that all children deserve to have that type of person in their life and that’s why we encourage people to volunteer with us.”
They offer several programs for volunteer mentors that are community-based, site-based and school-based. Additionally, they have a law enforcement program that connects children with police officers. They also have a program for high school students to become mentors for children. They are currently in need of mentors for their community based and school-based programs. Mentors and mentees are referred to as “Bigs” and “Littles.”
Additionally, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Texas Panhanlde encourages individuals to volunteer with them because it does not take a lot of time to make a difference in a child’s life. Bigs typically spend only 3 – 8 hours per month mentoring their Littles and can be planned around both of their schedules.
Their goal is to foster and build future leaders to obtain a stronger community foundation.
“We are helping break the cycles of poverty and drug and alcohol abuse. Most of the Littles in our programs avoid risky behaviors, get better grades and go on to graduate from high school and even into college or trade schools,” Crofford said.
FirstCapital Bank of Texas team member, Devin Savage began serving on the board for Big Brother Big Sisters of the Texas Panhandle in 2019 and said he believes it is important for him to give back to his community and mentor the next generation.
“The opportunity is not only to impact a child’s life but also to transform their potential for tomorrow. Mentors get a sense of fulfillment by giving back to their community and shaping the next generation that will someday be put back into the same community,” Savage said.