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 in communities across the country.

Core Programs

Our programs get things started.

We offer two core types of donor-funded programs: Community-Based and School-Based Mentoring. And no matter when a child enters a program, there’s no limit to where he or she can go.

Community-Based Programs

BBBS of Essex, Hudson and Union Counties community or traditional mentoring program is the most popular because of the flexibility. This program requires the volunteer to go to the home of their little (men tee) and pick them up and mentor them on their own time. Volunteers meet with their “Little” freely in the community: at a playground, in the mall, over a meal, or at a museum, etc to expose them to new experiences. The minimum requirement is for the volunteer to commit to 4 hours a month and a minimum of 1 year.


  • Application form completed by parent
  • Interview scheduled by BBBS staff
  • Child and Parent interviewed at office

School-Based Program

BBBS of Essex, Hudson and Union Counties offer a SBM Plus program which is identical to the School-Based program with the additions of, provided signed Parental consent; Volunteer allowed to take the child on events/activities outside of school during summer vacations, when school resumes they will fall back into regular School Based program.


  • Referral form completed by school
  • Parental Consent forms signed
  • Child interview conducted at school
  • Additional consent forms signed by Parent
  • Parent interview

Special Programs

Youth Workforce Opportunity Initiative

The “Youth Workforce Opportunity Initiative” is a holistic approach that collaborates with the community to ensure the success of our youth.The program design is to improve criminal justice outcomes and reduce incidents of violence on a community wide basis. The Youth Workforce Opportunity Initiative is voluntary and therefore participants must be willing to take part in all programming. 

Bigs in Blue

Bigs in BlueSM is a one-to-one mentoring program that connects youth with police in communities throughout our nation, building strong, trusting, lasting relationships. These relationships can help children develop into confident adults and help build stronger bonds between law enforcement and the families they serve. We are pleased to roll out this initiative across the nation and looking for your support. Learn more or give a gift to support Bigs in BlueSM by selecting one of the options below. Thank you for your support.