New Philadelphia, Ohio (WTUZ) – Volunteers are needed to mentor Tuscarawas County children to improve their lives and give them someone to look up to. Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Central Ohio has been serving youth since 1973 with a total of 6,500 mentors involved in 44 years. Mentor Elizabeth Stephenson became involved in the program over 10 years ago. “Somebody was speaking at our Lions Club and they talked about the Littles, the kids on the waiting list and it just broke my heart. At that point, the obligation was I think five hours a month or an hour a week, and I had four kids and a full-time job but I thought, I have an hour.” Stephenson was later matched with Little Sister Alie when she was six and for a first outing, they went to a high school basketball game. “I got her involved in YMCA soccer and then later travel soccer and then she did middle school soccer, [as well as] basketball for a few years too. My kids are very sports oriented so it was just what [my] family does so we took her to a lot of ball games and she got interested.” She points out that getting involved is a unique opportunity to make a difference, to be there for someone, and to give them opportunities. “I feel like it’s my duty to contribute and if I can help somebody else that’s what I feel like is my obligation. If someone else has an hour a week, which most people do, they would love it to make a difference in someone else’s life.” BBBS reports that more than 70% of Littles waiting for a matched role model are boys. Those interested in getting involved can visit - Mary Alice Reporting

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