Eli & Diego
BECOME A BIG – VOLUNTEER ENROLLMENT PROCESS
To see what programs we offer and eligibility requirements, please see more here.
All potential mentors must complete an orientation before being matched with a Little. This orientation includes information about our local agency, details about our programs, guidelines for health, safety, and confidentiality, and more. These are offered 2-3 times monthly at varying times at our office in Knoxville (Virtual accommodations can be made if needed). A staff member will reach out to you after completing your application or inquiry call to sign you up for an upcoming orientation.
Background check & fingerprinting
All potential mentors must pass a background check, child abuse registry check, and fingerprinting process to be considered for our programs. These are completed at no cost to the volunteer.
All applicants must choose references to be contacted in the screening process, including any youth-serving organizations that the volunteer has worked with in the past, professional references, spousal or family references, and personal references.
Potential Bigs must complete a one-on-one interview with a BBBS-ETN staff member as a part of the screening process.
Determination of acceptance or denial
Get matched with a Little
Once a volunteer has completed the process above and has been accepted as a volunteer, they will be matched with a Little based on experiences, backgrounds, and interests.
Each match is assigned a Match Support Specialist – a trained staff member at BBBS-ETN – who is there for professional support throughout the life of the match. Their role is to ensure the success of a match, including giving advice, promoting match activities, and helping work through any conflicts that may arise in the mentoring relationship. The MSS keeps in contact with all parties in the match throughout the entirety of the relationship, in order to check in with the Big, Little, and caregiver, including surveying all parties for feedback.
To read more about the expectations for Bigs in each program, visit Our Programs page here.
Schedule an inquiry call
To schedule an inquiry, please visit our contact page here.
Please allow 2-3 business days to be contacted by a BBBS-ETN staff member.
Short-term volunteer opportunities
- Volunteer on a committee
- Volunteer at an event
- Volunteer at our office
- Volunteer remotely
FAQ FOR VOLUNTEERS
What are the eligibility requirements for becoming a Big?
All Bigs go through a screening to help create safe, meaningful, and lasting relationships with our Littles, as listed in the steps above. To learn more about the age minimums for Bigs in each program, click here.
Can my spouse be a part of meeting with my Little?
Absolutely! BBBS-ETN has an option for couples who would like to be matched together. Married spouses go through the same process to be a Big and are then matched with one Little Brother under the age of 10. Spouses can participate in match activities with their Little either together or separately.
Can I be a Big to more than one Little?
Yes; however, we ask that you only be matched with one Little per program. We do not start both matches at the same time but instead, ask that you wait six to twelve months after your first match to ensure you have time for both before starting your second match. For example, you may have one match in our Site-Based program for a year, and you decide to be matched with a different Little in our Community-Based program.
How is a Little chosen for a Big?
Potential Littles’ parents or caregivers complete an application to determine if this program is appropriate for the youth. During the process, our staff will interview both the parent and the child separately in order to get to know them. From there, volunteers and youth are matched based on interests, backgrounds, and personalities.
What support does BBBS-ETN provide for Bigs?
Each match is assigned a Match Support Specialist who is there to provide advice, support, and guidance throughout the life of the match. They stay in contact with each party in the match in order to ensure the success of the match overall. Our agency also provides volunteers with pre-match training and other ongoing training opportunities throughout the year. Lastly, our agency provides regular match activities, such as events hosted by us, free tickets provided by local partners, and more. Find more information about Match and Family Engagement here.