Some kids in Jackson are in need of a stand-in sibling.

Serena Lynch, the program coordinator, said:  “We’re loOKing for someone who is responsible, somebody who’s a leader, somebody who has positive community standing.”

The United Community Action Partnership’s 'Big Buddies' program is seeking mentors who can volunteer their time to make a difference in a child’s life. 

The kids range in age from 5 to 18 and come from a variety of backgrounds.

“A lot of our kids, like I said, might come from single parent homes so they really just want that extra person or people in their life to be a positive influence on their kids or I have a couple of kids who are home schooled so they just want the social interaction with their kids and want their kids to still be involved with people their age.” Serena said.

Little buddies who have participated in the program end up doing well later in life.

Juanita Dorschner, an employee at UCAP said:  “Some of these kids that come out of this program learned manners.  And the older kids, what they learn is how to deal with life and going on, and about college and about going to school and become an adult.”

Adults and kids who have been in the program, end up being friends for life.

“I’ve had a couple mentors that I spoke to see if they were still involved in the program and things that have said, you know, I still connect with my little buddy even though  they’re out of high school and I still make sure that they’re doing ok and that they’re being successful in college.” Serena said.

Mentors do undergo a background check and screening process.  If you are interested in becoming a Big Buddy, call 507-847-2632, extension 3103.