Big Brothers Big Sisters


For more than 100 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America has been helping children reach their potential through professionally supported one-to-one relationships with measurable impact. Big Brothers Big Sisters provides successful mentoring relationships that contribute to better schools, brighter futures and stronger communities for all.

Research and anecdotal evidence shows that Big Brothers Big Sisters' one-to-one mentoring helps youth build their confidence, competence and caring skills. When compared with non-mentored children, Little Brothers and Sisters are:

46 percent less likely to begin using illegal drugs
27 percent less likely to begin using alcohol
52 percent less likely to skip school
37 percent less likely to skip class
More confident in their schoolwork
Able to get along better with their families

Children throughout our region are waiting to experience the magic that occurs when they are paired with a volunteer. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Illinois, a program of FHN Family Counseling Center, serves youth in Stephenson and Jo Daviess counties.

Community-Based Mentoring
Through this program, Big Brother Big Sister adult volunteers - or "Bigs" - provide youth mentees - or "Littles" - individualized time and attention on a regular basis (minimum of 6 - 8 hours a month). During the time with their Big, youth gain new skills, explore new interests and test behaviors that expand their experience base beyond their family and neighborhood. Couples can also join together to be matched with one Little/mentee.

Site-Based Mentoring
Volunteers offer mentees individualized time and attention on a consistent basis, with the venue being the child's school or other community setting. Volunteers and mentees meet regularly, one-to-one, during the school year for one hour a week. During the summer, they may exchange letters, e-mails or phone calls. Volunteers in site-based mentoring include adults 18 and older from the community and from corporations and businesses.

Start Something for Kids!
Every time you donate money or time to Big Brothers Big Sisters, you help a child reach his or her potential. You "Start Something." Every year, Big Brothers Big Sisters contribute to bringing joy and companionship to children in need of mentoring. So "Start Something" – become a mentor!

If you are unable to be a mentor, financial contributions help Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Illinois recruit, screen and match Bigs with potential Littles. Your time or donation ensures that more children are able to have a positive mentoring relationship and guidance toward a more successful future. Your donation can make a big impact for kids! Donations can be sent to us at FHN Family Counseling Center or made online through the FHN Foundation (please specify Big Brothers Big Sisters as the intended recipient of your gift).

Download the volunteer application

Big Brothers and Sisters of Northwest Illinois is a program of FHN Family Counseling Center, funded in part by United Way of Northwest Illinois Inc., Freeport Community Foundation and the Department of Human Services Division of Community Health & Prevention.

For more information on Big Brothers Big Sisters, contact us at 815-599-7344.