LINCOLN, Neb. - Across the country, the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization said there aren't enough volunteers to be bigs. Here in Lincoln, there are more than 100 kids waiting on a big to match with.
"I think people just prioritize differently or don't realize how many in our community really could use that mentor," said Veronica Riepe, who has been a big for 6 years.
In an effort to recruit new volunteers, the national organization has created a new logo, and the local chapter has changed its name. Heartland Big Brothers Big Sisters is now Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lincoln. The organization said it hopes that change will better convey the mission.
"We were in 7 counties here in Southeast Nebraska, but all of our active big/little matches are in Lincoln," said Executive Director Kiersten Hill. "We might expand out later, but we really want to focus on bringing mentors in here in Lincoln."
Mentors are asked to spend 4 to 6 hours a month with their little.
"That's a few hours a week," Riepe said. "And it doesn't have to cost anything. Sometimes we spend money based on the activities we do, but we do a lot of hanging out that doesn't cost anything."
While the new logo is aimed at recruiting millennials, the organization said anyone can be a big. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lincoln has orientation meetings every first Saturday of the month and every second Wednesday. You can also apply online here.