Big Brothers Big Sisters launches #LiftUpLittles campaign to ease isolation

WORCESTER, Mass., Nov. 11, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — A new campaign seeks to counteract the effects of discrimination and fear in children…

WORCESTER, Mass., Nov. 11, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — A new campaign seeks to counteract the effects of discrimination and fear in children by uniting community action and social media.

The #LiftUpLittles campaign aims to show how important adult mentors are to building resilience in young people, said Connie Askin, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Mass and Metrowest.

«Each of us has someone who lifted us up and made us stronger – a relative, coach, teacher or friend,» Askin said. «We want to spread those stories to encourage others to help transform the life of a child. Too many children today feel isolated and ignored, and mentors can help them see their inner strength and gifts.»

The campaign will gather and share the stories of community members about mentors who were important in their youth. Stories can be submitted at www.bbbscm.org/liftuplittles or directly to Lindsay.McCarthy@bbbscm.org, or by using the hashtag #LiftUpLittles.

The effort will highlight the stories of Big Brothers Big Sisters participants such as Serenity Jackson, 12, of Worcester, who has been paired with mentor Kira Warren for five years. Serenity said when she was bullied, Kira helped her overcome the anxiety.

«When I told her all about that, she helped me, she took me out to do something fun to get my mind off it, and I felt comfortable talking to her,» Serenity said. «That made me more confident in myself.»

Big Brothers Big Sisters is seeking volunteer mentors to reach hundreds of young people from Acton to Sturbridge. «All it takes is one hour a week to be a ‘Big,’ or mentor, and create change for our ‘Littles,'» said Jack Hoehlein, Chair, Board of Directors. «Our dedicated volunteers build one-on-one friendships and lift up youth across central Massachusetts.

Framingham Police Chief Lester Baker has been a mentor to Blessed Ssentongo, 12, for the last two years. «I definitely am where I am today because of mentors,» said Baker, recalling his childhood football coaches. «They had a big role in the man that I am.»

Being a mentor has also been fun for Baker, seeing things he takes for granted through Blessed’s eyes. «I’m getting to experience his first Celtics game, his first Red Sox game – to see the look on his face, this kid just lights up to get these opportunities,» Baker said.

The public can volunteer to help #LiftUpLittles as mentors or donate to support the Big Brothers Big Sisters mission, at www.bbbscm.org/liftuplittles or 508-752-7868.

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SOURCE Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Mass/Metro West