Brews And Bigs Helps Fund Mentorship Program

130 tickets were sold for the 2nd ever Brews and Bigs Fundraiser to help fund Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Mahaska County.

Oskaloosa, Iowa – Inside the hospitable confines of Debbie’s Celebration Barn, community members came together to help raise money for Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Mahaska County.

The mentorship program has just completed its second year of serving not just the youth in Mahaska County, but also the adults who donate their time.

There were 130 tickets sold to Brews and Bigs, which is the largest fundraising event for the program. The money comes not only from the ticket sales but also an auction and silent auction items.

Big Brothers and Big Sisters board member Steve Burnett said the program has enjoyed success with matching littles and bigs. There are currently nine such matches, and as Burnett explains, “What child doesn’t need another quality adult in their life.”

“Interestingly enough, you know you think, well this is for the kids. Invariably, when you talk to the adults, the bigs that are in the program, they feel like they get as much out of it as the littles do,” said Burnett. “I don’t think they expected that going in.”

The program faces the same challenges other Big Brothers and Big Sisters programs do nationwide, and that’s finding enough male mentors. “Guys just don’t think that if they’re older, that nobody wants an old guy, and the younger ones, either don’t seem to have the time or they don’t think much about it. The challenges are getting enough male role models to be mentors for these kids,” said Burnett.

Currently, nine littles are waiting to be matched, with eight of those being males.

Burnett himself was matched recently with a little. “I enjoyed being able to spend some time with a young man, and our differences were quite a bit different. It was interesting. We went into it, not really having the same interests at all, but I learned a lot from him, and I think he learned some things from me, because it kind of opened our eyes to a world that we don’t normally see every day. I thought it was pretty good.”

Mentors are asked to spend four hours a month with their little. Big Brothers and Big Sisters do host several events for the program members. “We got together one Sunday afternoon to put together, they had these robotic things from Lego that we put together. That was kind of cool. We spent three hours doing that one afternoon, but the time just goes fast when you do it.”

“I had my little over to my house sometimes, and we’d work out in the yard, or we have a dog, so he didn’t have a dog. So he enjoyed playing with our dog all the time,” Burnett said of the time spent with his little.

“People think they’ve got to carve another hour out of their week somewhere, when in fact, all they have to do is include this child in their week,” added Burnett. “So whatever they’re doing, whether it’s that they work out in the yard or they put together a puzzle, or they may go to a movie, or they go fishing. Whatever it might be, they just include the child in that part of it with them, and they don’t have to carve an hour out of their life.”

You can find out more about Big Brothers and Big Sisters by visiting them on their Facebook Page –

Posted by on Oct 14 2019. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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