United Way Spotlight

United Way Spotlight An agency which received funding from United Way of Vermilion will be featured in this spotlight each week. The United Way of Vermillion Board of Directors wants the people of Vermillion to know more about the agencies that receive United Way funding and the services which they provide to the Vermillion community.

This week's featured agency is Big Friends-Little Friends, Inc. of Union County which is based in Elk Point. Union County Agent John P. Gille functions as the volunteer program chair of the agency.

Big Friends-Little Friends is growing! The Big Friends-Little Friends, Inc. is a non-profit agency which covers all of Union County and the city of Vermillion.

Youths ages 5-17 are matched with screened, qualified adults who spend at least two hours per week with them working to build a strong, mentoring relationship that will provide companionship and guidance for the young person.

The goal of each match is to create opportunities for the youth and the adult to spend quality time together. This promotes emotional growth and health for the youngster while providing the adult with the sense of helping raise a child who can benefit from the companionship of a caring adult.

For example, Alex, a 15-year-old, and Greg, an adult volunteer, have been getting to know each other since Sept. 12 and Nick and Blake, age 9, since Sept. 14.

United Way funds are used to help publish the Big Friends-Little Friends newsletter and to support group activities for the youths and adults who have been matched with each other as well as for young people interested in the participating in the program.

Currently Big Friends-Little Friends is looking for two boys who are between the ages of 5 and 17 to match with two volunteers who have already been screened and trained and are "on deck." Gille is also trying to locate an adult female to match with a 15-year-old girl in Vermillion.

If you are interested in acting as a mentor to a young boy or girl, or if you are between the ages of 5 and 17 and would like to have a Big Friend, please call Gille at (605) 356-2096 during the day or at (605) 356-2571 evenings to learn more about the program.

Let's keep the program growing. Call and sign up today!

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