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Big Brothers Big Sisters sets out on recruiting campaign

SPRINGFIELD — Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampden County (BBBSHC) is embarking on a two-month campaign in May and June to raise awareness about the need for more Big Brothers and Big Sisters.
While the campaign touts benefits to children of Hampden County and volunteers, the primary focus is geared toward men. Although dozens of boys are ready to be matched in BBBSHC programs, only three out of every 10 inquiries to volunteer come from men.
Executive Director Beth Russell described the community response: "Partners have contributed everything from a billboard to ads to radio announcements. We received our first inquiries weeks before we cut the ribbon on this campaign. We are hopeful we won't have a waiting list by the time we are done."
More than 40 local businesses are displaying table tents that read, "Are you a real man? Real men mentor." The table tents have a smart phone code that links to www.realmenmentor.com, a Web site created especially for the campaign featuring a humorous commercial from the perspective of Little Brothers.
Another focus of the campaign is in the form of presentations to employee groups at area businesses.
Joel Morse of BBBSHC noted the impact volunteerism can have on employees and, in turn, their workplace.
"Research shows employees — even those that don't volunteer — feel greater pride and loyalty toward an employer that supports a respected cause like BBBS and encourages workers to get involved. Those that do volunteer return to work with renewed enthusiasm. And because BBBS mentoring relies on team-building, volunteers often tell us the experience has strengthened their relationships with co-workers and increased their commitment to the firm," he said.
To learn more about becoming a Big Brother or Big Sister or to set up a presentation with an employer, call Morse at 781-4730 ext. 125 or jmorse@bigbrothers-sisters.org.
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