(5 Minute Read) Dover, Ohio – It has been one year since Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Central Ohio launched the Pen Pal Program in partnership with Newsymom.
The program launched in January 2019 with six volunteers ready to be paired with a waiting little. Newsymom presented the idea after brainstorming ways to get more involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters.
“We see the true value in the organization and wanted to tap into our resources to become a larger part of what the BBBS team does every day,” explained Newsymom Founder and Executive Director, Michaela Madison.
BBBS officials explained that the good problem they have faced is that the waiting list has become so small and that children are being matched so fast that the pen pal relationships have not lasted long.
“This is actually a good thing,” added Madison. “The goal is to continue to offer a program should the waiting list ever get too long, but we don’t foresee that happening with BBBS staff continuing to achieve great awareness about the program and inspiring more bigs to get involved.”
BBBS officials added that the program has served as another great opportunity for littles and while the pen pal relationships haven’t been long, they have provided an introduction to our programs as littles join and go through the enrollment process prior to being matched.
Officials note that while the numbers haven’t been what was expected with the pen pals, it is not a reflection on the Pen Pal Program, but of the significant growth the agency has seen.
Just a few years ago when the waiting list was 40+ kids with some waiting for years for a match, the Pen Pal Program would have served a gap. And, it does offer peace of mind to the agency in knowing the Pen Pal Program is there if it is needed.
“We are proud to partner with BBBS any way we can and will continue to provide any resources needed to sustain the Pen Pal Program should it ever be of a greater need,” added Madison.