So many ways to get started

Looking to get involved? Whether you’re interested in donating, volunteering or enrolling your child, Big Brothers Big Sisters offers several types of programs right here in Hampden County.

Big meets Little

Big Brothers Big Sisters targets the children who need us most, including those living in single parent homes, growing up in poverty and coping with parental incarceration. Starting something begins with finding a great match between a Big and a Little. Making these matches, and performing all the background work involved with them, is possible because of donations from people like you. It's also why we're able to offer such a wide variety of programs that pair children, ages 6 through 18, with role models in one-to-one relationships.

Community Based Programs                                                             Site-Based Programs
-Community-Based Mentoring                                                                    -Lunch Buddies
-Children and Allies                                                                                         -Mentoring at MassMutual
Mentoring Program (CHAMP)                                                                      -Mentor Springfield                    


How a Big becomes a Big—and a Little, a Little.
Before we make a match, we do our homework. After someone expresses an interest in becoming a Big, they go through an extensive background check and careful interview process. Then we match Bigs and Littles based on location, personalities and preferences. And we provide full support from the start, so matches can grow into lasting, fruitful friendships. It’s also important to note that the entire matching process is made possible through donations—we can’t do what we do best without them!

What’s a Big and Little to do?
Each match is unique. Getting together doesn’t require a special occasion or expensive activity—just a few hours every month doing things the Little and Big already enjoy. For example:

-Playing catch
-Reading books
-Getting ice cream
-Going to a museum
-Providing advice and inspiration

For more information about all of our programs, contact Cindy Colangione, Director of Program Services, at or 413-781-4730 x116.

Community Based Mentoring

Spending time together out in the local community is primarily how Bigs and Littles develop their relationship. After all, to change a child’s perspective of the world, it helps to spend some time out in it.

Site Based Mentoring

Sometimes the best place to help a child realize their potential is at school or through an employer-sponsored program. At the end of the day, it's really all about starting a friendship, providing guidance and inspiring kids to reach their potential.

Lunch Buddies

During the school year, matches meet for lunch weekly at the child’s school for about 30 minutes. Activities may include journaling, talking and games.

Mentor Springfield

During the school year, matches meet weekly for one hour at various Springfield schools. Activities may include writing in journals, talking, hanging out, playing games, and working on homework.

Mentoring at MassMutual

During the school year, matches meet for lunch weekly at the child’s school for about 30 minutes. Activities may include journaling, talking and games.

More about school-based mentoring

Kids enjoy having their Bigs meet with them at school, whether it’s in the classroom or on the playground. And parents know what a positive impact it makes.

Nationwide School-Based Mentoring

At Big Brothers Big Sisters, we have tremendous confidence in our ability to impact children and put them on the right path. But it means even more when an outside study comes to the same conclusion.
Public/Private Ventures—a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve the effectiveness of social policies, programs and community initiatives, especially as they affect youth and young adults—has carried out a thorough evaluation of the Big Brothers Big Sisters School-Based Mentoring program.

The analysis culminated with the issuing of “Making a Difference in Schools: The Big Brothers Big Sisters School-Based Mentoring Impact Study”. And the results? The study found that within a one year period, Big Brothers Big Sisters School-Based Mentoring makes a real difference in the lives of our nation’s at-risk school children. Since that time, Big Brothers Big Sisters has integrated the learnings into our programs so that these impacts will be felt over a two-year period and beyond.

The study was generously funded by the Atlantic Philanthropies, Philip Morris USA – an Altria Company, and The William T. Grant Foundation.